10 million years ago the largest cat alive was a 600 pound sabre-toothed cat species

Scientists have identified a giant new sabre-toothed cat species which they believe was present on the planet in North America between 5 and 9 million years ago. It had an estimated body mass of 604 lbs (274 kgs) but it could have been larger. The long bone of the arm (humorus) was 1.4 times longer than that of the modern day lion.

This is a sabre-toothed cat but not the one mentioned. Photo: Getty.

They decided that this super-sized cat species attacked rhinoceroses which were abundant in North America at that time. They would have also preyed upon camels and sloths both of which would have been much larger than today's species. As yet, the scientists do not know how this species of cat fits in with the others in terms of evolution and taxonomy.

They said that it was known there were giant sabre-toothed cats in Europe, Asia and Africa and now North America have their own. They used digital images and specialised software to find similarities from the relics of other cat species. They say that they discovered many specimens of this big cat in museums in western North America. Comment: perhaps they had not realised the significance of them until now. They used these other specimens as a basis for their analysis which helped them to identify this new felid.

Associated: Sabre-toothed cats were endurance hunters in complete contrast to today's stalkers and dashers.

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