Ice Age: Continental Drift is the fourth installment of the Ice Age Franchise, set to be released this July. For fans of the Ice Age gang, the film gives us another chance to laugh at the antics of Manny the mammoth, Sid the ground sloth and Diego the Smilodon. The movie centers on the cataclysmic splitting of the land into different continents. For Diego the Smilodon, the movie touches on him finally finding a love interest.
Smilodons were among the largest of the large cats to ever roam the earth, with sub subscpecies exceeding 500 kilograms in weight. They had short tails, but very powerful legs and a thick, muscular neck, theorized to help in biting down prey. Compared to today’s generation of felids, a Smilodon was more robustly built, more similar to the stocky body of a bear. Moreover, the smilodon had a shorter lumbar region in proportion to its upper limbs, which suggests the big cat was not built for speed, but power.
As for what exactly caused the extinction of smilodon is still largely a mystery today. It’s though that prehistoric men hunted the cats to extinction, while another theory suggests that the felid died along with many other animals during the end of the Ice Age.