Temporal range: Eocene
|Machaeroides eothen skull|
Machaeroides ("dagger-like") was a genus of sabre-toothed creodonts which lived during the Eocene (56 to 34 mya). Its fossils were found in the U.S. state of Wyoming. It is the earliest known sabre-toothed mammal.
It looked like a small, dog-sized saber-toothed cat. Machaeroides could be distinguished from feliforms by their longer skulls, and their plantigrade stance. They walked with their feet flat on the ground, whereas cats walk on their toes.
The long survival of these small animals shows that their killing method suited small cats as well as large cats.