The diet of Smilodon fatalis has been discussed extensively. However, it is actually poorly understood, mostly because of the hot debate over feeding strategies. What is definitively known is that they ate prey from transitional areas between wooded and open habitats. This is consistent with the ambush predator hypothesis, and is generally accepted. It is also believed that their primary targets were large herbivores because studies have shown that they did not eat other predators, but rather fed primarily on consumers eating grasses. Thus, it is hypothesized that they ate animal such as deer, antelope, bison, and baby mammoth.
- Meloro, C. (2011). Feeding Habits of Plio-Pleistocene Large Carnivores as Revealed by the Mandibular Geometry. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 31(2), 428–446. doi:10.1080/02724634.2011.550357