Except for those living in the Savage Land, saber-tooth tigers became extinct during the Pleistocene period, the time during which the Earth experienced its last so-called Ice Ages. Saber-tooth tigers were named after their resemblance to modern day tigers (although the saber-tooths of the Savage Land, at least, were not striped), and the unusually long pair of saber-like teeth that each saber-tooth tiger possesses. Saber-tooth tigers could also open their mouths far wider than other members of the cat family can. The saber-tooths' great physical strength and agility and their long, sharp teeth made them the most formidable carnivores of their time, capable of killing animals as large as mastodons and giant ground sloths.
Zabu bore a great resemblance to the best known of the extinct saber-tooth tigers, those of the genus Smilodon, to which Zabu himself may have belonged. Zabu, however, seemed more massive and powerfully built than the known examples of Smilodon whose fossilized remains have been found in North America. Like these examples of Smilodon, Zabu had a very short tail, although some accounts have erroneously portrayed him as having a tail as long as that of a modern tiger.
Saber-tooth tigers, as well as many other forms of prehistoric life, even including dinosaurs, survived into recent times within the Savage Land, a hidden jungle in Antarctica whose tropical climate was maintained by the heat of Antarctic volcanoes. It was in the Savage Land that Zabu was born. While Zabu was still a cub, his mother and siblings were killed by human natives of the Savage Land. Subsequently Zabu was adopted by a family of wolves, but he fled from them after he killed the eldest wolf cub in a struggle for supremacy.
Afterwards Zabu wandered the Savage Land on his own, teaching himself how to survive as he grew to adulthood. A year after his birth Zabu first encountered the female who became his mate.
Maa-Gor, leader of a tribe of primitive Cavemen living in the Savage Land, had been leading his people in exterminating saber-tooth tigers, nearly rendering them extinct in the Savage Land. Maa-Gor and his men killed Zabu's mate. Enraged, Zabu tracked them down and found them about to attack the young boy Kevin Plunder, who had come to the Savage Land with his explorer father, Lord Robert Plunder. Maa-Gor and his men had just killed Kevin's father, and probably Maa-Gor would have then killed Kevin had not Zabu suddenly leapt on Maa-Gor from behind. Zabu scattered the tribesmen except for Maa-Gor, who, unseen by Zabu, was about to kill the tiger with his spear. But before Maa-Gor could do so, Kevin Plunder shot Maa-Gor in the shoulder with his father's gun.
Zabu realized that Kevin had saved his life, and the two became companions. They went to dwell in the Place of Mists, a region where Maa-Gor's tribe refused to set foot. There, Kevin grew to manhood, protected from all dangers by Zabu. It is said that Zabu did not age during the years he was exposed to the strange gases within the Place of Mists. Maa-Gor's people referred to Kevin as "Ka-Zar," which meant "son of the tiger."
Zabu remained Ka-Zar's companion when Ka-Zar became an adult. After Ka-Zar again made contact with people from outside the Savage Land, he often brought Zabu with him on his journeys to the outside world.
Zabu remains the loyal companion of Ka-Zar and his wife Shanna O'Hara Plunder.
Zabu is unusually intelligent, and, although he was a savage opponent in battle, he was loyal and affectionate to Ka-Zar and Shanna, and could even be playful with them
Powers and Abilities
- Smilodon Physiology: Zabu is a Smilodon and has all the natural abilities associated with that species.
- Heightened sense of smell
- Remarkable hearing
- Razor sharp claws and teeth, two sabre-teeth,
- Near-human intelligence: due to mutations caused by "Land of Mists"
Equipment: None known.
Transportation: None known.
Weapons: Large fangs and sharp claws on all four paws.
- The nickname "saber-tooth" refers to the extreme length of their canines. Despite the colloquial name "saber-toothed tiger", Smilodon is not closely related to the tiger.
- Zabu is the last known species of saber-tooth tiger in existence.
- Zabu's parents were killed and he is self-taught in surviving the Savage Land.
- Appearances of Zabu (Earth-1010)
- Character Gallery: Zabu (Earth-1010)
- Quotations by Zabu (Earth-1010)
Discover and Discuss
- Search News for: ·
Links and References