Everyone has seen a picture of a Saber-tooth Tiger. It is easy to envision it as being the King Carnivore of the Prehistoric era, with its menacing elongated canines.
The first remains of a Saber-tooth, (more commonly known as Smilodon, meaning Knifetooth) were discovered in Brazil in 1842.
At the turn of the century almost 2000 Smilodon skulls were discovered in the La Brea Tar Pits of Los Angles California. Smilodon remains have been discovered in many places in both North and South America.
In May of 1971 while excavating the foundation for the First American Bank Complex, now the AmSouth Bank Complex, in Downtown Nashville, workers discovered a prehistoric cave system, which contained a 9-inch fang and foreleg bone from a Smilodon Fatalis.
The importance of this find is in the fact, that of all the previous remains, by use of Carbon Dating, revealed that the Saber-tooth's became extinct around 11,000 years ago. The Carbon Dating of the Nashville find indicated that this cat was alive 9,500 years ago and to date no other Smilodon remains have been dated more recently.
I guess Nashville could claim to possess the remains of the last known Smilodon. From being a lifelong resident and living among its citizens, I know that local Nashvillians are not that presumptuous.
Someone did however, in 1997 think to associate a newly arriving NHL expansion team with a artifact that few were aware Nashville possessed and thus the Nashville Predators were born, complete with a logo depicting a mighty Smilodon.