Saber-toothed tigers, also known as smilodons (pronounced: /ˈsmaɪloʊdɑːn/ SMEYEL-o-dan), were an ancient dire species of cat whose existence persisted in some places. Despite their name, these creatures were in fact not closely related to tigers and were only distantly related to the more modern feline species of the Realms.
These creatures were twice as large as any lion. Their roars were likewise twice as loud as that of any lion. Two large, curved fangs jutted out from their mouths, upon which their name was derived. On average these measured around 6 inches (0.15 meters) in length.
Saber-toothed tigers rarely ever pursued prey over long distances. Often they would attack in groups, ambushing their prey. One half of a pride would startle and chase their prey, steering them straight into the direction of the other half.
In the late 15th century DR, a man in Barovia by the name of Rictavio owned a saber-toothed tiger. Around that same time, Queen Bjornhild Solvigsdottir of the Tribe of the Tiger had a pet saber-toothed tiger named Grava.
These creatures lived in prides ruled over by female members and worked as a group, much like lions. Infighting over dominance, prey, territory, and mates was quite common. At times this could be quite lethal.
Weaker members of prides were often driven out in pairs, forcing them to set up their own hunting territories.
Saber-toothed tigers were a carnivorous species.
These creatures were typically found in the forests of either warm or cold climate regions, as well as plains and hills. They laired within caves or small earthen dens when bearing and rearing their young.
Smilodons could be found in the Ice Spires, the Shining Plains, and much of the Savage Frontier, In the late-15th century DR, they could be found in the jungles of Chult near the River Soshenstar, where they were mistaken by locals for a variety of Chultan tiger.
Saber-toothed tigers were sometimes domesticated by neanderthals. In the Ice Spires region, both the Ice Spire ogres within Dour Fissure and frost giants were known to have domesticated smilodons.
The fangs of smilodons were a source of ivory, primarily fossilized ivory.
- The spirit conjured by the find greater steed spell could take the form of a saber-toothed tiger.
- A saber-toothed tiger could be summoned by the conjure animals spell.
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