STL Science Center

STL Science Center

06 October 2011

The Popular Populator

Smilodon, as mentioned yesterday, has been popular for a good long time. There are a number of things that make extinct animals popular including size, likeness to living animals, the WOW! factor, etc.; Smilodon possesses all three of these things. The first two roll into one thing; Smilodon is an enormous cat, larger than the largest living cat in existence. Also, those teeth! Amazingly scary looking skulls on these animals regardless of how they used their teeth. So where have these animals been popular in our culture?

First stop is the Flintstones. Despite some of its crazier depictions of dinosaurs and other extinct animals, Smilodon was the Rubble's family pet, a large cat named Baby Puss:
Smilodon has also shown up in numerous documentaries over time as well from National Geographic to Walking with Prehistoric Beasts.

They've been in Sinbad (not the comedian) movies like Eye of the Tiger

Sinbad attacks the cat from behind and promptly gets scratched up like the big cheat he is. I'm sure he ends up killing the cat, but he should have been cat food! Anyhow, Smilodon has continued its acting career and is now the center of attention rather than having cameos due to roles such as Diego.

Then, of course, there's always video games like Zoo Tycoon and Spore. Unfortunately most of the Spore renditions are barely cat like, so instead, here's the Smilodon from Zoo Tycoon 2.

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