Smilodon is an extinct genus of Machairodont felid. It is one of the most famous prehistoric mammals, and the best known saber-toothed cat.
Smilodon lived in the Americas during the Pleistocene epoch (2.5 mya–10,000 years ago).
Three species are recognized today: Smilodon gracilis, Smilodon fatalis and Smilodon populator.
Smilodon gracilis was the smallest and earliest species in Genus Smilodon, estimated to have been only 55 to 100 kg (120 to 220 lb) about the size of a jaguar.
Smilodon fatalis was largest from North America and had a weight of 160 to 280 kg (350 to 620 lb) and height of 100 cm (39 in).
Smilodon populator from South America is perhaps the largest known felid, over all, at 220 to 400 kg (490 to 880 lb) in weight and 120 cm (47 in) in height.
Smilodon gracilis was the earliest species in Genus Smilodon evolved around 2.5 million ago and went extinct around 500,000 years ago.
Smilodon fatalis was second largest overall (largest in North America) and second to go extinct. Most recent fossil records show it became extinct around 13,000 years ago.
Smilodon populator from South America was largest among all species. It held a little longer and went extinct around 10,000 years ago.
All Smilodon species are most famous for their relatively long canine teeth, which are the longest found in the saber-toothed cats, at about 28 cm (11 in) long in the largest species, S. populator.
Despite being more powerfully built than other large cats, Smilodon had a weaker bite. But, Smilodon's gape could have reached almost 120 degrees, while that of the modern lion reaches 65 degrees.
All of them were apex predators in their respective times.
All 3 species probably lived and hunted in herds.