Definitions for machairodus
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word machairodus
a genus of extinct mammals allied to the cats, and having in the upper jaw canine teeth of remarkable size and strength; -- hence called saber-toothed tigers
Origin: [NL., fr. Gr. ma`chaira dagger + 'odoy`s tooth.]
Machairodus was a genus of large machairodontine saber-toothed cats that lived in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America during the late Miocene. The fossil species assigned to the genus Machairodus were divided by Turner into two grades of evolutionary development - M. aphanistus and the North American "Nimravides" catacopis representing the more primitive grade, and M. coloradensis and M. giganteus representing the more derived grade. The characteristics of the more advanced grade include a relative elongation of the forearm and a shortening of the lumbar region of the spine to resemble that in living pantherine cats. These trends would be taken further in Homotherium, which is thought to have evolved from Machairodus.
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