Saturday, 30 September 2017

ARTICLE: Saber-Toothed Kittens Were Really, Really Strong

The apparent pun in Smilodon, the scientific genus of the saber-toothed cat, seems to be an accident. The largest assemblage of fossils of these prehistoric carnivores comes from the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, where they lived up until about 11,000 years ago. Weighing between 100 and 620 pounds, depending on the species, they had exceptionally long canine teeth, specially designed for precision killing. A new study, published in PLOS ONE, reveals more about these mammals and how they killed their prey. Limb bones found in the tar pits suggest that, even as kittens, Smilodon was very strong and robust. These kittens had big teeth—and muscles to match.


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