The sabertooth cat was all fur and fangs, living in a world of ice and cold. Based on fossil discoveries, the cat is believed to have inhabited the cold areas of North and South America. Its thick fur would have helped to protect it from the cold. A sabertooth cat, or Smilodon, would have hidden in bushes to stalk its prey, much as the housecat does today. However, unlike the housecat, this large cat, weighing in at 800 pounds with a length of seven feet, would have captured its prey by using its sharp claws and long saber-like teeth to sink deep into the flesh of its dinner. Sabertooth cats were thought to travel and hunt in packs, but that failed to protect them from extinction. The exact reason for their disappearance has baffled scientists, as they study the fossil remains of these great creatures. The series “Extinct Monsters” presents six of these giant animals that lived long ago. Through the supplemental pages that offer Internet sites, books to be read, and explanations of unfamiliar words, the reader will increase vocabulary while learning about this giant. There is also an index and “Monster Facts,” brief facts presented on several pages to increase the reader’s knowledge. This is an excellent addition to Social Studies curriculums for grades 1-3 and higher where reluctant readers are addressed. Reviewer: Joyce Rice
Janet Riehecky is a longtime writer for children. She has worked as a high school English teacher, a college professor, and a children's book editor. Her 24 volume series Dinosaurs! won the Summit Award for Best Children's Nonfiction, presented by the Society of Midland Authors, and her Tasmanian Tiger was a Junior Library Guild selection. Janet loves to collect dinosaur bones. On a dig in western Colorado, she dug up the first bone found of a brand new dinosaur, the Mymoorapelta.