Ancient Animals: Saber-toothed Cat
Sarah L. Thomson, author
Sarah is a former children's book editor who is now a full-time children's book writer. She has written more than thirty books across many genres, including Ancient Animals: Terror Bird and Ancient Animals: Saber-Toothed Cat. She lives in Portland, Maine.
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Andrew Plant, illustrator
Andrew is a trained zoologist with a strong interest in paleontology. He has illustrated more than one hundred books for children, including Living Fossils: Clues to the Past; A Platypus, Probably; Ancient Animals: Terror Bird; and Ancient Animals: Saber-Toothed Cat. Andrew lives in Melbourne, Australia.
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The Ancient Animals series continues with a look at what's known about the saber-toothed cats that lived thousands of years ago. An imagined hunting scene kicks off this introduction to saber-toothed cats, a well-camouflaged Smilodon fatalis hiding under a bush while a bear, a lion and two wolves pass by (all in the same illustration). A bison is the cat's prey. Using its strong legs and sharp claws, the cat drags down the bison, killing it with either a bite to the throat or a slash to the bison's stomach or side. Thomson goes on to explain how we know so much about these ancient cats: Bones found in asphalt tell us about its size, and from that, scientists can determine what it ate, how it caught its prey and a bit about its social groups. Scientists think that these cats became extinct because of competition for prey: Early humans hunted the same animals, and there was less prey to go around because a warming climate meant less grass for them to eat. Plant's acrylic gouache illustrations are quite realistic, and each animal is helpfully labeled with its scientific name. Backmatter includes a list of other "large-toothed hunter[s]" and resources for finding out more. A good introduction to both saber-toothed cats and paleontology.
ISBN: 978-1-60734-739-2 EPUB
ISBN: 978-1-60734-630-2 PDF
Page count: 32
6 x 8 1/4
Correlated to Common Core State Standards:
English Language Arts-Literacy. Reading Informational. Grade 1. Standards 1-8 and 10.
English Language Arts-Literacy. Reading Informational. Grade 2. Standards 1, 3-8, and 10.