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Temporal range: MiocenePliocene
Metailurus (Metailurus sp) Asenovgrad2.jpg
M. sp. skeleton
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Machairodontinae
Tribe: Metailurini
Genus: Metailurus
Zdansky (1924)

M. major Zdansky, 1924
M. mongoliensis
M. pamiri
M. boodon

Metailurus range.png
Range of Metailurus based on fossil record

Metailurus is a genus of false saber-toothed cat of the family Felidae, belonging to the tribe Metailurini, which occurred in Asia and Africa during the Miocene and Pliocene.[1]

Metailurus was named by Zdansky (1924). It was assigned to Felidae by Carroll (1988).

Metailurus is known as a "false sabertooth" cat because, instead of true saberteeth, it has a cross between long, flat and blade-like saberteeth and the shorter cone-shaped teeth of modern-day felines. The canines are longer than even the Clouded Leopard but significantly shorter than true saber teeth and more conical than bladed. Due to the fragmentary nature of Metailurus fossils, the number of species is subject to debate.[2]


  1. ^ McKenna, M. C.; Bell, S. K. (1997). Classification of Mammals: Above the Species Level. Columbia University Press. p. 631. ISBN 978-0-231-11013-6. 
  2. ^ Turner, A and Mauricio Anton. Big Cats and Their Fossil Relatives 1997. Columbia University Press. New York.