Having lived in the Netherlands 66 million years ago, this theropod is only known from an incomplete femur, based on that it's estimated that the predator was only around 4 m long.
With little else to go by, the taxonomy of Betasuchus bredai is unclear, though it's most commonly attributed to be an abelisaur and possibly a close relative of the older, even smaller and also dubious abelisaur Tarascosaurus salluvicus, who, funny enough, is also only known from an incomplete femur.
If it's indeed an abelisaur, Betasuchus would be the northernmost species currently known from the fossil record.
While Smilodon has nowadays stolen all the thunder as the definitive saber-toothed cat (as it does have the biggest set of the eponymous saber-like canines) one can't forget the original, classic genus that gave the machairodont felines their name : Machairodus!
Though its remains were known since 1824, they were originally thought to have belong to ancient bears by French naturalist Georges Cuvier, but in 1932 they were properly identified as belonging to a cat and were given the name Machairodus.
Unfortunately though, like with many other fossil genera found in the 19th century, Machairodus was given the wastebasket taxon treatment, and many, many fossil cat species from across the globe were lumped into the genus, mostly notably all the species that are now classified under the aptly named genus Amphimachairodus.
Like with the dinosaur Iguanodon, once the taxonomic splitters got their hands on it, Machairodus went from being one of the most successful groups of big cats, and predatory mammals in general, of all times to more of a cliff note in the rich, evolutionary history of the Cenozoic.
That said, Machairodus still holds some notable big cat species, including the Chinese Machairodus horribilis (possibly one of the largest and most powerful felines known) and of course, Machairodus aphanistus.
Hailing from the Cerro de los Batallones (Hill of the Battalions) near Madrid, Spain, this lion-sized feline lived during the late Miocene (11-9 mya) alongside a Serengeti-style ecosystem of megafauna.
It preyed on ungulate like the horse Hipparion, the giraffe Decennatherium rex and the hornless rhino Aceratherium incisivum, and maybe even on juvenile Tetralophodon longirostri (a primitive type of elephant).
This ecosystem also housed an impressive community of other predators. Being one of the largest, Machairodus aphanistus was likely the resident apex predator, the lion of Batallones, dominating over its smaller cousins, the leopard-sized Paramachairodus orientalis and Promegantereon ogygia (the oldest known smilodont), and the bear-dog Magericyon anceps (90 kg). One possible rival was the large basal bear Indarctos arctoides.
In sharp contrast to the hunting strategy of Smilodon, Machairodus aphanistus fossils recovered from Batallones reveal a high percentage of tooth breakages, indicating that due to a lack of protruding incisors, it often used its sabers to subdue prey in a manner similar to modern cats.
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