Sabertooth cat skull in Iowa "like finding a needle in a stack of needles"
Mar 30, 2023
A recent discovery of a complete sabertooth cat skull in southwest Iowa is the first known evidence of the animal in the state.The skull shows one complete signature tooth, with the other tooth broken. According to Matthew Hill, associate professor of anthropology, the skull also shows evidence of the animals size and age, indicating it was 2-3 years old and already well over 500 lbs. at its death. That suggests that this sabertooth cat was potentially much bigger than most of the cats found in southern California. Radiocarbon dating indicates the cat lived approximately 13,500 years ago, before getting buried in the East Nishnabotna River. Hill next hopes to learn more about what the animals in Iowa ate by using chemical signatures in the fossil itself.