This object is on permanent display in the Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life and Land exhibit, located in the Pleistocene Epoch wall case.


Gracile Saber-toothed Cat Skull (Smilodon gracilis)
From Hillsborough Co., Florida
Lived ~1.25 million years ago


Vertebrate Paleontology


Most people don’t realize that there was more than one type of saber-toothed cat. In fact, in Florida we have about a half a dozen different species. In the Pleistocene, the genus Smilodon includes two species: the large tiger-size Smilodon fatalis and the skull in the case, the Leopard- or Jaguar-size Smilodon gracilis. The world’s largest sample of Smilodon gracilis comes from near Tampa at the famous Leisey shell pit.

Richard Hulbert
Collection Manager, Vertebrate Paleontology*
Florida Museum of Natural History


On display Sept. 23, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018, Rare, Beautiful & Fascinating: 100 Years @FloridaMuseum celebrated the Museum’s rich history. Each Museum collection was asked to contribute its most interesting items and share the stories that make them special. Though the physical exhibit is closed, this companion website remains online, providing an opportunity to experience the Florida Museum’s most treasured specimens.

Exhibit Area: Always on Display

Cover of the All Things Beautiful bookWant to see more? Explore more than 300 breathtaking color photos of plants, animals, fossils and cultural heritage materials from the Florida Museum of Natural History’s collections in the award-winning book All Things Beautiful available from the University Press of Florida.

*This title was accurate at the time the exhibit was on display in 2017. Please visit the collection website to verify current staff and student information.

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