Smilodon Populator James Kagel Statue

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“In ancient times, they were the masters of the earth, and many species lived for millions of years or even longer, worthy of our awe. They are the real Spirit of the world – the Spirit of the Ancient.”

Zenpunk works together with James Kagel, the famous Hollywood sculptor, to launch the Ancient Spirits series statues with the theme of paleontology. Going through time and space together, entering the remote world, and bringing all kinds of lifelike prehistoric creatures to you.

The Predatory Scale Statues search for the most powerful carnivorous overlords in the ancient century and the brilliant rulers of the biological world. The first is the most powerful and ferocious King of the felines – Smilodon Populator!

During the 1830s, Danish naturalist Peter Wilhelm Lund and his assistants found some new species fossils in the calcareous caves near the small town of Lagoa Santa, Minas Gerais, Brazil. He stated it would have matched the largest modern predators in size, and was more robust than any modern cat. He instead named it Smilodon populator in 1842. He explained the Ancient Greek meaning of Smilodon as σμλη ( smil ), a scalpel or two-edged knife, and δoς ( odoús ), tooth. This has also been translated as “tooth shaped like a double-edged knife”. He explained the species name populator as “the destroyer”, which has also been translated as “he who brings devastation”.

2 million years ago, the isthmus of Panama uplift, North and South America was connected and the saber-toothed cats chased their prey into South America. Here they replaced the original overlord thylacosmilus and Titanis to become the top predators in the area.

Because there are a lot of huge prey in South America, such as all kinds of Grotesque Southern ungulates, Megatheriums , Glyptodons and Cuvieronius, there is less competition among predators. So they evolved a bigger body than their counterparts in North America.

Its 30 cm skull had 2 huge saber-like canine teeth, oval in cross-section, and up to 18 cm long. In addition, they have a strong lower jaw that can could have reached almost 120 degrees, while that of the modern lion reaches 65 degrees. This made the gape wide enough to allow Smilodon to grasp large prey despite the long canines. Smilodon also had very strong jaw and neck muscles that let it stab prey with its deadly maxillary canine saber teeth. Its front incisor teeth may also have been used to pull away strips of flesh from the bones of its prey.

Smilodon populator was among the largest known felids, with a body mass of 400 kg (880 lb), and one estimate suggesting up to 470 kg (1,040 lb). It stood at a shoulder height of 120 cm (47 in) and had a body length excluding the tail of 220 cm. The largest body size can reach 2.7 meters, and even some broken fossils show that the largest ” Smilodon populator ” individual shoulder height may reach 1.65 meters. They were built more thickly muscled than any species of cat. It could be said, that the Smilodon was built more like bears than the cats of today and it can be rated the king of kings in the predators..