Friday, 9 August 2019

ARTICLE: Fossils redraw picture of the fearsome saber-tooth tiger

Until about 10,000 years ago, the saber-tooth cat Smilodon fatalis was a fearsome predator in what is now the American West. More than 3,000 fossilized cats have been pulled from the acrid ooze of the La Brea tar pits in California, and researchers studying them have long pictured Smilodon as a lion-like hunter, chasing bison and horses out on open grasslands.

But now, analyses of hundreds of teeth from La Brea are painting a vastly different picture of this prehistoric terror, which could weigh up to 600 pounds and sported seven-inch-long canine teeth.

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