Ancient Native Americans came face to face with sabertooth cats


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I learned about that in the same documentary which explained how mammoths built the pyramids.


What is responsible for the speed of the North American Pronghorn? Was it something like the eurocat, Homotherium latidens? or did the Americas have some other sort of fast cat?

Glad I looked that up: I hadn’t heard about the new DNA analysis separating these from old world cheetahs.


Not, strictly speaking, impossible:

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I spent a good chunk of my childhood in the LA area and I loved reading about and seeing depictions of saber-toothed tigers, as people used to call them. The tar pits seemed like an almost holy place when I was a kid.


Someday, maybe Fred will win the fight
Then that cat will stay out for the night

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Native Americans were probably responsible for their extinction, along with other North American megafauna. Just like humans did in Asia, Europe and possibly Australia.

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For the uninformed - there used to be huge mammals on the scale of large dinosaurs. Avocados evolved alongside a mammal that would eat them whole without destroying the huge seed inside.

We have no good explanation for their disappearance beyond circumstantial evidence: they start to disappear after we show up. And we may have eaten some of them.

No, you are off by about about one order of magnitude. Biggest extinct land mammal was the Paraceratherium, estimated at 12 to 22 tons. Titanosaurs have been estimated at a range of 120 to 200 tons.

Mammals just don’t cut it, at least not on land, where structural restraints favor large dinosaurs.

Cougars are pretty fast.

I don’t think you can squarely rest their disappearance on man. I think their populations would have already had to have been effected by climate change and on a natural death spiral. Humans probably helped things along in that respect, but if their populations were as healthy as say bison, elk,moose (mooses? meece?), or brown bears (not quite mega-fauna, but not tiny either) there’s no way man could have hunted them all down. Native Americans didn’t kill what they didn’t use, and the Americas are so vast with wilderness it would have been a challenge to kill them all even if it was their goal.

Also - where can I find what the range of sabertooth cats were? My ancestors are from the Great Lakes region (Pottawatomie). It would be neat to think they were cat hunters.

What is your goal? If it is to educate others, then we can improve your approach.

What do you figure most people think of when hearing ‘large dinosaurs’? Not the ‘largest’, but the ones that have captured people’s imagination.

A stronger approach would have been to identify that there are classes of dinosaurs that are far larger than the ones commonly thought of. That may actually be welcomed by your audience, instead of coming off as a pedant.

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I’m German. If we perceive something as factually incorrect, we offer a factual
correction and go not feel the need to sugarcoat it

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I’m guessing you come from an educated/academic background as I do?

In North America we have an incredible split between academia and the public, largely exacerbated by our historical failure to make it accessible. Many Americans don’t believe in global warming, the big bang, or evolution. Empathizing with your audience is a critical life skill that will make you more happy and effective.

Luckily it seems like we’re at the start of a new generation of science communicators, like Chris Hadfield and Neil deGrasse Tyson. As hokey as Cosmos may be, it’s a huge accessible step in the right direction.

What’s the situation like in Germany and Europe?

We have our fair share of kooks, but we don’t take them seriously. Probably because they are not armed.

From sabertooth cats of America to guns in less than 20 posts. Impressive.

I experienced something really neat in Berlin: while visiting a holocaust memorial some neonazis drove by and shouted ‘LIES!’
Immediately a huge proportion of Germans in the area started shouting back at them. It was inspiring to see general people take a stand.

In any case, we have many people in this world who we have to educate :slight_smile:

Is it possible to get a good job in project management/process improvement/IT in Germany without very good German?

Well, I assume that visitors of the Holocaust memorial are especially motivated. Otherwise there’s unfortunately not so much verbal outrage against racism, especially not if the daily “mild” kind foreigners and non-citizens report of. I can’t really judge this - I seldom witness casual racsim, but that’s probably because I don’t go out much.

In an international company very like. In what we call Mittelstand which is a major factor of the German economy it’s a different matter. While those may deal internationally and might be among the top exporters in their field, they often are distinctly German and their processes will be in German. But “not very good German” can mean a lot. Not many people will mind that a foreigner knows all the correct tenses of all the verbs or the grammatical gender of any noun and will appreciate the effort. Those who can speak English will probably glad to use their English on you. :slight_smile:

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