Prehistoric Sabertooth Skull Found in Iowa for the First Time

Iowa State University

Sabertooth cats went extinct nearly 13,000 years ago.

In what feels like something out of a movie, a prehistoric sabertooth cat skull has been found in Iowa, according to reports.

Two professors at Iowa State University said they’ve made the discovery that was over 13,000 years in the making. Researchers said someone found a sabertooth skull in southwest Iowa in Page County, according to KCRG.

Researchers said the discovery is the first piece of evidence of one ever existing in Iowa and, to top it off, they said the skull was in near perfect condition, according to KCRG.

Radiocarbon dating indicates the cat, which they were able to identify as male, died at the end of the Ice Age between 13,605 and 13,460 years ago before getting buried in the East Nishnabotna River, according to Matthew Hil, an associate professor of archaeology at Iowa State and expert on animal bones, who told Fox News.

Hill analyzed the specimen along with David Easterla, professor emeritus of biology at Northwest Missouri State University.

Hill told Fox News the chance of finding any fossilized remains from a sabertooth cat is slim, and finding one in Page County is even rarer.

"The skull is a really big deal," he told Fox News. "Finds of this animal are widely scattered and usually represented by an isolated tooth or bone. This skull from the East Nishnabotna River is in near-perfect condition. It’s exquisite."

“To have a complete skull like this is exceedingly rare. It’s like finding a needle in a stack of needles,” he added.

Their findings were recently published in Quaternary Science Reviews.

Only around 70 sabertooth skulls have ever been found in the United States, and they are extremely rare outside of Southern California, where one of the world’s largest collections of sabertooth bones was found at the La Brea Tar Pits, according to Field and Stream.

This is the first specimen of a sabertooth discovered in Iowa, according to Field and Stream.

Sabertooth cats went extinct nearly 13,000 years ago.

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