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Temporal range: MiocenePleistocene
Metailurus (Metailurus sp) Asenovgrad2.jpg
Metailurus 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 Colbert, 1939
M. ultimus Li, 2014
M. boodon

Metailurus range.png
Range of Metailurus based on fossil record

Metailurus is a genus of felid saber-toothed cat in the family Machairodontidae and belonging to the tribe Metailurini, which occurred in Asia and Africa from the Miocene to the Pleistocene.[1][2]

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.[3]

"Metailurus" minor Zdansky, 1924 has been reassigned to the felid genus Yoshi.[4]


  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. ^ "Fossilworks: Metailurus". Retrieved 2016-04-22. 
  3. ^ Turner, A and Mauricio Anton. Big Cats and Their Fossil Relatives 1997. Columbia University Press. New York.
  4. ^ Nikolai Spassov; Denis Geraads (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. doi:10.1007/s10914-014-9266-5.