Saber-Toothed Tigers: The...
Charles River Editors
Saber-toothed tigers were arguably the most fabled of all the Ice Age creatures. The fearsome beast has earned itself quite the reputation, and it has been referenced to, appeared in, and inspired unique characters in endless books, films, comics, and other pop culture mediums. For example, Marvel's Victor Creed, otherwise known as “Sabretooth,” is most known as Wolverine's nemesis, and he’s depicted as a hulking, vigorously robust menace in a red and orange-gold jumpsuit with a hunched back, a shock of wild blond hair, tiger-like claws, and frightening fangs. As that indicates, the prehistoric creature is often portrayed as impossibly cunning, unfeeling villains. Even in films geared towards children, such as the first of the Ice Age animations, the saber-toothed tigers, excluding Diego, are depicted as vicious and vindictive, lawless fiends whose sights are set on a Neanderthal toddler.
The name and reputation of the ruthless saber-toothed tiger, as enduring as it is chilling, overshadows those of its contemporaries, and the fanged feline remains a household name and one of the foremost symbols of the Ice Age to this very day. So, what is it about the Smilodon that has captured – and continues to capture – the fears, morbid curiosities, hearts, minds, and imaginations of Holocene humans after all this time? And exactly how accurate is the general public's perception and understanding of the saber-toothed tiger?