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Temporal range: Late Miocene
Barbourofelis loveorum.jpg
B. loveorum , Florida Museum of Natural History Fossil Hall at the University of Florida
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Barbourofelidae
Genus: Barbourofelis
Schultz, Schultz & Martin, 1970
  • B. fricki
  • B. loveorum
  • B. morrisi
  • B. osborni
  • B. piveteaui
  • B. vallensiensis
  • B. whitfordi

Barbourofelis is an extinct genus of large, mostly carnivorous, mammals of the family Barbourofelidae (false saber-tooth cats). The genus was endemic to North America during the Miocene, living from 13.6—5.3 Ma and existing for approximately 8.3 million years. [1]


Barbourofelis was named by Schultz and et al. (1970). Its type is Barbourofelis fricki and is the type genus of Barbourofelinae. It was assigned to Hoplophoneinae by Flynn and Galiano (1982); to Barbourofelinae by Bryant (1991); and to Nimravidae by Schultz and et al. (1970) and Martin (1998).


A single specimen was examined by Legendre and Roth for body mass. The first specimen was estimated to weigh 66.4 kg (150 lb).[2]

While Barbourofelis fricki is thought to have been lion-sized predator, other species in the genus, such as Barbourofelis morrisi are believed to have been closer to the size of leopards. Species in this genus had the longest canines of all the barbourofelids, which were also flattened, indicating a high degree of specialization to its diet. Other notable traits include the presence of a postorbital bar, the presence of a ventrally extended mental process (bony extensions on either side of the lower jaw), and the shortening of the skull behind the orbits. [3] It had a very robust constitution, with B. morrisi as intermediate between the size of Sansanosmilus and B. fricki, which is thought to have been a particularly large predator, large individuals of B. fricki have been reconstructed with shoulder heights of around 90 cm (2 ft 11 in).[3] The barbourofelids were probably very muscular, resembling a bear-like lion or lion-like bear.


  1. ^ Paleobiology Database: Barbourofelis Basic info.
  2. ^ S. Legendre and C. Roth. 1988. Correlation of carnassial tooth size and body weight in recent carnivores (Mammalia). Historical Biology 1(1):85-98
  3. ^ a b Antón, Mauricio (2013). Sabertooth. Bloomington, Indiana: University of Indiana Press. p. 104. ISBN 9780253010421.