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Homotherium is a morphologically unique, extinct genus of cat. It was part of the taxonomic group machairodontine or scimitar-toothed cats. It existed from the Pliocene into the Pleistocene (5 mya to ~10,000 years ago), or about 5 million years. A genus with a large geographic range, the remains of this animal have been found throughout North America, South America, Eurasia, and Africa (Turner, 1997).

Interestingly, it first became extinct in Africa (~1.5 million years ago) and last became extinct in North America (~10,000 years ago) (Reumer et al., 2003; Rincón et al., 2011).  The timing of their extirpation on each continent implies that members of the genus Homo played a role in their extinction (Antón et al., 2005).

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© Joseph Villari

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