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Temporal range: Late Miocene–Middle Pleistocene
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Machairodontinae
Tribe: Metailurini
Turner & Antón, 1997


Metailurini is an extinct taxonomic tribe of large saber-toothed cats that lived in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America from the Miocene to the Pleistocene.[2]

The best known Metalurini genera are Dinofelis and Metailurus. Metailurini had canines longer than neofelids, but smaller than true saber toothed cats. The teeth were also are more conical than flat, so called "scimitar-toothed", having broad and mildly elongated upper canines. Like most extinct cats, the majority of species in Metailurini are known primarily from fragments. However, the systematic position and taxonomy of these creatures is now accepted as being true members of Felidae and descended from Proailurus and Pseudaelurus.[3] Within Felidae, they had been traditionally considered to belong in Machairodontinae, albeit some have in the past proposed a relationship to Pantherinae,[4][5] all phylogenetic analyses support the former classification but the monophyly of the taxon itself might not be supported.[5][6][7]


  1. ^ Spassov, N., & Geraads, D. (2015). A New Felid from the Late Miocene of the Balkans and the Contents of the Genus Metailurus Zdansky, 1924 (Carnivora, Felidae). Journal of Mammalian Evolution, 22(1), 45-56.
  2. ^ PaleoBiology Database: Metailurini, basic info
  3. ^ Wesley-Hunt, Gina D.; Flynn, John J. (2005). "Phylogeny of the Carnivora: basal relationships among the Carnivoramorphans, and assessment of the position of ‘Miacoidea’ relative to Carnivora". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 3: 1–28. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2005.00194.x
  4. ^ Lars W. van den Hoek Ostende, Michael Morlo, Doris Nagel: Fossils explained 52 Majestic killers: the sabre-toothed cats. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Geology Today, Vol. 22, No. 4, July–August 2006 online
  5. ^ a b Christiansen, Per (2013). "Phylogeny of the sabertoothed felids (Carnivora: Felidae: Machairodontinae)". Cladistics. 29 (5): 543–559. doi:10.1111/cla.12008.
  6. ^ Salesa, M.; et al. (2012). "A rich community of Felidae (Mammalia, Carnivora) from the late Miocene (Turolian, MN 13) site of Las Casiones (Villalba Baja, Teruel, Spain)". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 32 (3): 658–676. doi:10.1080/02724634.2012.649816.
  7. ^ Meloro, C. & Slater, G.J. (2012). "Covariation in the skull modules of cats: the challenge of growing saber-like canines". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 32 (3): 677–685. doi:10.1080/02724634.2012.649328.