________________ CM . . . . Volume IX Number 3. . . . October 4, 2002

cover Ice Age Sabertooth: The Most Ferocious Cat That Ever Lived. (Ice Ages Animals).

Barbara Hehner. Illustrated by Mark Hallett.
New York, NY: Scholastic/Madison Press (Distributed in Canada by Scholastic Canada), 2002.
32 pp., cloth, $21.99.
ISBN 0-439-98925-6.

Subject Headings:
Saber-toothed tigers-Juvenile literature.

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4



When researchers counted the bones discovered at Rancho La Brea, they found that for each large plant-eater trapped in the asphalt, five to ten sabertooth cats were trapped as well. It is likely that even more were caught in the sticky pits, but managed to save themselves. Some scientists say that this puts so many Smilodons in one place at one time that there is only one explanation: they must have hunted in packs.

internal art

Part of the "Ice Ages Animals" series, this book examines the evolution, the life and the eventual extinction of the sabertooth cat (sabertooth tiger is a misnomer). Though only the bones of this animal have been found, largely in the La Brea Tar Pits of southern California, scientists have made educated guesses about the cat's appearance based on restoration done by a paleoartist and on studies of wild and domestic cats living on earth today. Three distinct members of the sabertooth family have been identified. The book discusses the various structural and behaviourial adaptations that enabled the sabertooth to be an efficient hunting machine as well as the effects of the Ice Age on this species. Finally, it compares the sabertooth to the various members of the modern-day cat family. A brief glossary, an index and a short list of recommended books and websites for further study are included. The text engages the audience with its questions for readers to ponder and its vivid description of the sabertooth's habitat which readers are asked to imagine. Headings aid young researchers in finding specific information while text boxes add visual interest without disturbing the continuity of the main body of the text. Featuring an attractive layout, the book combines colourful illustrations, photographs, maps and diagrams which enhance the text and help youngsters to understand better both the sabertooth and the times in which they lived.


Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian at Bird's Hill School in East St. Paul, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364