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Animal Themes
Prehistoric Mammals Theme Unit
Big Cats from the Ice Age



Big Cats from the Ice Age
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.96

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    canine, saber-toothed, stalked, toothy, wounded, species, bony, southwest, wounds, landscape, easily, bison, sticking, bobbed, especially, skull
     content words:    Ice Age, Maybe Fred Flintstone, Baby Puss, North Dakota, North Dakota Heritage Center, South America, Rancho La Brea, Los Angeles, Fred Flintstone


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Big Cats from the Ice Age
By Colleen Messina
  

1     If you owned a cat thousands of years ago, it would eat a lot more than your pet cat does. An Ice Age cat was as big as a mountain lion! Maybe Fred Flintstone could take care of a saber-toothed Baby Puss, but the rest of us couldn't handle such a large, dangerous kitty. Fortunately, today we only have fossils of Baby Puss.
 
2     Scientists have found many fossils of these prehistoric cats. They found a perfect skull in southwest North Dakota in the summer of 2005. The 30-million-year-old skull was sticking out of the ground. A volunteer fossil hunter found the bony gem. This fossil will be on display at the North Dakota Heritage Center. The display will start in the summer of 2006. Everyone enjoys looking at fossils of saber-toothed cats, especially their long, strange teeth!
 
3     Prehistoric kitties were like modern pets in some ways. They liked to run. They liked to climb. They could swim. They were good hunters. They ate large dinners, though, like horses, bison, or deer. They hunted in groups when they wanted a juicy mammoth steak. A mammoth would be a big meal even for a pride of these cats! But we will never know if they purred after dinner.

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Animal Themes
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Prehistoric Mammals Theme Unit
             Prehistoric Mammals Theme Unit


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