« "Smilodon. It's literal meaning is "knife tooth." They're up to three meters long. They have saber-teeth. They hunt in packs. They're ruthless predators." »
Nick Cutter[src]
« "It's a Smilodon; better known as a saber-toothed cat. Fast, elegant, it's a real-natural born killer." »
Nick Cutter[src]

Smilodon (or Sabre-toothed cat) was a predatory big cat, which lived in South and North America during the Pleistocene. As its name suggests, it had two large, saber-like teeth. Smilodon was the largest sabre-toothed cat, being up to two and a half metres long and weighing up to 400 kilograms.


« "Known as Saber-Tooth Cat, from North and South America, short tail, powerful front legs and muscular neck, long canines." »
Abby's Sketchbook[src]

Smilodon was a prehistoric cat, which grew to 1-1.2 metres tall and weighed 55-400kg. (Primeval Evolved Sketchbook) Powerfully built, it possessed large, deadly sabre-teeth which it used to kill its prey by crushing its throat, and it was capable of running at immense speeds of approximately 30 kilometres per hour.

When hunting, Smilodon killed its prey by using its immense strength to pin its prey down before crushing its prey's throat with its sabre-teeth. Like some modern-day species of big cat, Smilodons would gnaw on the bones of their prey. But when fighting against more capable and defensive prey or opponents, Smilodon would instead go into an extremely wild, uncontrolled, dangerous and unpredictable battle frenzy; madly slashing at the opponent with its claws, and lashing out at anything else in its way that got too close. (Episode 2.3)

Though they typically hunted in packs, a lone Smilodon was just as dangerous. Like many predators, they would typically go for easy prey and would pick off any who strayed from the group. This was shown when it pursued and killed Warren rather than the two girls he was playing paintball with, and when Abby Maitland used herself as bait to keep it from harming her friends. (Episode 2.3, Episode 2.7)

Incursions and encounters

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A photo of Valerie and the Smilodon as a cub. (Episode 2.3)

A Smilodon cub came through an Anomaly to the 1990s - early 2000s. Valerie Irwin found it in her garage and raised it, believing it to be an escaped government genetic experiment. The Smilodon was tame to Valerie, but killed her boyfriend Dave when he "got careless." Valerie took care of it, and it treated her as a motherly figure as it had known her since it was a cub. (Episode 2.3)

Episode 2.3

The Smilodon stalked and killed Warren in Blue Sky Park's paintballing area, and the park's owner, Peter Campbell, at a train station the following night. When the ARC team investigated and realised what the Smilodon was, they tried to trap it in a pit the day after Campbell's death. But the trap went awry when the Smilodon chased Nick Cutter up a tree and escaped.

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The Smilodon with Valerie seconds before killing her.

Later, when Cutter went to Valerie's house searching for the Smilodon, Valerie set the creature on Cutter. The Smilodon chased and fought Cutter through and out of the house, until Valerie intervened. The Smilodon then killed Valerie in a frenzy before Abby Maitland tranquilised it.

The Smilodon was then taken by the ARC, but Oliver Leek had it smuggled to his Creature Prisonto use the Smilodon as part of his creature army. Leek covered up the Smilodon's disappearance by telling Cutter that it had died and its body had been destroyed as a health and safety protocol. It was kept in the prison along with another of its kind, pacing restlessly in its cage.

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The Smilodon in Leek's dinner theatre

Episode 2.6/2.7

Oliver used the captive Smilodon to try and kill Abby, Jenny Lewis, Connor Temple and Caroline Steel by locking the four in a room with the creature. Abby faced up to the Smilodon when she recognised it. It tried to attack her but Abby dodged the Smilodon's attack, causing the creature to accidentally trip the controls; freeing the group. The Smilodon then escaped into the facility.

The Smilodon and the other creatures were later lured back to the cage room by the feeding time siren and locked inside with Stephen Hart. The trapped creatures, including the Smilodon, set about surrounding and killing Stephen, then presumably died when they turned on and destroyed each other.

Other references

Series 1

Cutter had a Smilodon skeleton in his office at the Central Metropolitan University, and Connor had Smilodon on his database of extinct vertebrates.

Episode 1.4

When Helen Cutter was captured by the Home Office, she tricked them into taking her to Matchroom Stadium by lying to them that there was a pride of Smilodon on the other side of the Anomaly in the stadium.

Primeval Evolved Intro

Smilodon is among the creatures sketched and recorded by Abby in Your sketchbook.

Episode 3.1

Cutter had a flashback of Stephen's final moments, and the Smilodon was seen.

Episode 3.3

When Helen and the Nick Cutter Clone looked at Cutter's matrix model, a post-it note was seen with Smilodon, Pleistocene written on it.




Real life

Smilodon (name meaning "knife tooth") was a genus of machairodont felid, which lived from 2.5 million years ago to 10,000 years ago, in North America. Smilodon had iconic 28cm-long upper-canines, which were slender but fragile and were adapted for precision killing, and it had a robust built with muscularly well-developed forelegs and a wider jaw gape capacity. Smilodon is believed to have lived in closed habitats which would have provided it with cover from its prey, such as shrubs and forests. It was a specialised hunter which preyed on large animals such as camels, bison and Toxodon. It is unknown whether Smilodon was a social animal or was solitary.


  • Though not officially confirmed for certain, as Valerie stated that the Smilodon she raised was inexplicably in her garage when she found it would strongly implies that this was where the Anomaly that the Smilodon had come through was located.
  • The Thylacosmilus on the cover of Shadow of the Jaguar is a promo of Smilodon from Episode 2.3.
  • The Smilodon in Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals resemble the Smilodon in Primeval.