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State Fossil: Sabre-Tooth Cat

The sabre-tooth cat (Smilodon californicus) was adopted by the Legislature as the official State Fossil in 1973. This tiger-sized cat with 8-inch upper canine teeth was a meat-eater very common in California 40 million years ago. Fossil bones of the sabre-tooth cat have been found in abundance preserved in the tar pits of Rancho La Brea in Los Angeles.