Most people are familiar with the Nashville Predators' Mascot, the Saber-tooth Tiger called Gnash. It represents the Prehistoric era and what the King Carnivore may have looked like with its long canine teeth. Here is the story behind the Nashville Predators Mascot.
History Of The Saber-Tooth
The first remains of this creature called the Smilodon, a word for Knifetooth, were found in 1842 in Brazil. As the 1900s approached, the Los Angeles, California area had come up with almost 2000 of these Smilodon skulls in the La Brea Tar Pits of the city. Remains were being found in both North and South America.
In Downtown Nashville in 1971, workers excavating the First American Bank Complex's foundation came across a cave system from the prehistoric era. This cave system had remains of a foreleg from Smilodon Fatalis and a 9-inch fang.
Since the Saber-tooth was thought to be extinct almost 11,000 years ago, this was huge information showing that this cat was alive just 9,500 years ago.
More About the Smilodon
The Smilodon is a descendent of Megantereon, an ancestry of the cat subfamily Machairodontinae. Just a little shorter than a lion, the Smilodon actually weighed twice as much. They were built to attack larger prey from short distances.
They ate Ground Sloths, Mastodons and Baby Mammoths because they were slow moving plant eaters. They killed by biting a fleshy area with their large teeth and their victim would die of shock and blood loss.
Saber-Tooth in Nashville
Due to these findings, Nashville contains the remains of the last known Smilodon. Although there could be more out there, Nashville has the last known one and this has made for a great mascot.
No one knows exactly what the Smilodon looks like, so the mascot is only a version of what people believe the creature may have looked like. It's a great choice for a mascot since it was one tough cat.
Other Mascots in Nashville
While Gnash may be one of the most recognizable and interesting Nashville mascots, there are several others who are noteworthy in the community.
- Shotgun Red: A unique character true to his southern roots, Shotgun Red rose to fame on the TNN show “Nashville Now.”
- T-Rac: The goofy and energetic mascot of the Tennessee Titans, T-Rac cruises the field wildly in a golf cart and randomly entertains the crowd.
- LU Bison: Lipscomb University's favorite sports persona is dubbed LU Bison, and he's a relative newcomer to the mascot scene.
- Mr. Commodore: Also known as Mr. C, this Vanderbilt University mascot has a team of supporting dancers and cheerleaders keeping him in step.
- Ozzie: One of the city's most beloved characters, Ozzie brought laughter and thrills to guests at the now demolished Herschel Greer Stadium.
Visit a sports arena anywhere in Nashville and you're sure to see one of our city's great mascots. We love our mascots almost as much as we love our sports, and team spirit is something the whole city can come together for, whether it's as friends or sports rivals.
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