Ancient Animals (Paperback)

Saber-toothed Cat

By Sarah L. Thomson, Andrew Plant (Illustrator)

Charlesbridge, 9781580894074, 32pp.

Publication Date: October 14, 2014

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (10/14/2014)

List Price: 5.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Discover the daily life of this iconic prehistoric predator, simply written and beautifully illustrated for beginning readers. 

California, sixteen thousand years ago. A saber-toothed cat lies in wait for the day's meal, foot-long fangs at the ready. Rooted in archaeological evidence, clear and succinct text explains how we think saber-toothed cats lived, hunted, and became extinct. Back matter explores other large-toothed feline predators, including one who is still alive today, and provides additional print, visual, and web resources.

About the Author

Sarah L. Thomson is a former children's book editor who is now a full-time children's book writer. She has written more than thirty books across many genres, including Ancient Animals: Terror Bird, the first book in this series. She lives in Portland, Maine.

Praise For Ancient Animals: Saber-toothed Cat

The Ancient Animals series continues with a look at what's known about the saber-toothed cats that lived thousands of years ago. An imagined hunting scene kicks off this introduction to saber-toothed cats, a well-camouflaged Smilodon fatalis hiding under a bush while a bear, a lion and two wolves pass by (all in the same illustration). A bison is the cat's prey. Using its strong legs and sharp claws, the cat drags down the bison, killing it with either a bite to the throat or a slash to the bison's stomach or side. Thomson goes on to explain how we know so much about these ancient cats: Bones found in asphalt tell us about its size, and from that, scientists can determine what it ate, how it caught its prey and a bit about its social groups. Scientists think that these cats became extinct because of competition for prey: Early humans hunted the same animals, and there was less prey to go around because a warming climate meant less grass for them to eat. Plant's acrylic gouache illustrations are quite realistic, and each animal is helpfully labeled with its scientific name. Backmatter includes a list of other "large-toothed hunter[s]" and resources for finding out more. A good introduction to both saber-toothed cats and paleontology.
-Kirkus Reviews