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sabretoothed tigers


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#16    fantazum

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 11:06 PM

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the lower jaw fit right between the teeth, so there was no problem opening or closing.

http://www.skullsunlimited.com/graphics/BC18AS&T-vlg.jpg


your stating the obvious. Of course the animal could open and close its jaw but the point is that the sabre teeth would have acted as a barrier against anything the animal tried to grab with its jaw if those teeth extended beyond the jaws maximum articulation. Unless of course you are suggesting that the sabre tooth tiger had a double jointed jaw.


#17    frogfish

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 11:21 PM

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Of course the animal could open and close its jaw but the point is that the sabre teeth would have acted as a barrier against anything the animal tried to grab with its jaw if those teeth extended beyond the jaws maximum articulation. Unless of course you are suggesting that the sabre tooth tiger had a double jointed jaw.

But it indeed survived...why else would long teeth evolve...the teeths would of not been a barrier, and the jaw would be able to open wide enough to bite.

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#18    fantazum

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 01:25 AM

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But it indeed survived...why else would long teeth evolve...the teeths would of not been a barrier, and the jaw would be able to open wide enough to bite.


yes indeed it did survive but how it managed it amazes me.
Here is a pic of one which shows clearly the length of sabres which exceeds the maximum jaw articulation. The lower jaw protrudes slightly which would allow the jaw some grip on prey. http://www.museum.state.il.us/exhibits/larson/smilodon.html
The animal could not have been a fast hunter owing to its small legs so my guess is that it was predominantly a scavenger or dependant on  prey that was sick or injured. The neck and shoulder musculature is similar to a hyena's.
I also cannot visualise the sabre teeth being used as an aid in hunting or defence,,,,in fact I can see no use for them at all and I suspect that they were of considerable irritation to the animal. Should the animal have used the sabre teeth as weapons in hunting doesnt make sense but the consensus is that it did....so I must concede the point.


#19    frogfish

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 02:24 AM

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The animal could not have been a fast hunter owing to its small legs so my guess is that it was predominantly a scavenger or dependant on prey that was sick or injured. The neck and shoulder musculature is similar to a hyena's.

Similar to tigers...AMBUSH predators...

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in fact I can see no use for them at all and I suspect that they were of considerable irritation to the animal. Should the animal have used the sabre teeth as weapons in hunting doesnt make sense but the consensus is that it did....so I must concede the point.

Plus. evolution doesn't work that way...the teeth give it an advantage, I must say its probably for bite, but evolution does not make animals evolve "irritations".

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#20    fantazum

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 08:47 PM

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Similar to tigers...AMBUSH predators...
Plus. evolution doesn't work that way...the teeth give it an advantage, I must say its probably for bite, but evolution does not make animals evolve "irritations".


the animal could not possibly have used the sabres for biting once the length of the teeth exceeded the maximum opening of the jaw....its physically impossible.
Once the sabres exeeded maximum jaw articulation they would have acted as a barrier against normal hunting methods and the creature would have been forced to adapt its hunting methods.
Once the sabres had reached a length that created such a barrier then the animal could not have been capable of running down a fit prey and using those long sabres as a weapon....again this would have been physically impossibe as in order to use the sabres as a weapon the cat would have not only have been capable of overtaking its quarry but would also have needed to develop a unique method of attack, which would have involved using its long sabres as stabbing weapons. This is rediculous as the cat would have needed to have not only run at a fast pace, but when alongside its quarry then jerk its head back and forth in a stabbing  motion. Even if it did learn to use such a method then another problem occurs. If the cat's quarry is a large and fit beast it would be dragging the cat along by its sabres....this would have place an enormous strain on the teeth.
The teeth were most certainly an irritation. Like the tusks of the walrus which are entirely useless and the tusk of the narwhale...which has no purpose whatsoever.


#21    cyrus11

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 10:11 PM

yeah!!!!! so, that's what i was talking about! can the cat open its mouth wide enough so that the sabres can be used to bite the neck of a large prey? or even a small one for that matter?
is it more likely that they used those sabres as an ice pick to dig thru the frozen ground to uncover dead animals killed by the ice age climates? mainly as scavangers...  :T


#22    frogfish

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 01:59 AM

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yeah!!!!! so, that's what i was talking about! can the cat open its mouth wide enough so that the sabres can be used to bite the neck of a large prey? or even a small one for that matter?

yes, otherwise they would starve, and the saber teeth would of not evolved if it killed the animals...

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is it more likely that they used those sabres as an ice pick to dig thru the frozen ground to uncover dead animals killed by the ice age climates? mainly as scavangers... :

Sabre teeth evolved before the Ice Age...so the ice pick theory is probably wrong...There would be no ice.

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#23    fantazum

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 07:44 PM

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yeah!!!!! so, that's what i was talking about! can the cat open its mouth wide enough so that the sabres can be used to bite the neck of a large prey? or even a small one for that matter?
is it more likely that they used those sabres as an ice pick to dig thru the frozen ground to uncover dead animals killed by the ice age climates? mainly as scavangers...  :T


during the cat's adolescence when its sabres were growing and could actually be used as fangs....then yes the cat could have used them as weapons against prey and very effective they would have been too.But once the sabres extended beyond the limit of articulation of the jaw then they would have become entirely useless either as weapons in hunting ,defence or in fact anything. Only that part of the jaw that actually protruded beyond the sabres could have been used and certainly not for hunting thats why I suspect that the cat began its adolescence as an affective aggressive hunter but then evolved into a scavenger .
Your idea that the sabres may have been used as digging instruments is interesting but not supported by science. The examples that have been found have all been in possession of sabres that have extended beyond the jaws maximum articulation which can only mean that they were never used as digging or scraping implements otherwise they would have been worn down or shown signs of being used as such.
If the cat had learned to wear its sabres down by such action then it would have been an active hunter for a much longer period of its life.

















#24    Hehe

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 08:09 PM

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cats dont really chew their food.
its grip, rip, and swallow.
their digestive system is designed to handle large hunks of raw meat.

Careful there, saying "designed" is taboo here. Evolved is more appropriate here w00t.gif  rolleyes.gif  blink.gif

Edited by Hehe, 26 January 2006 - 08:09 PM.


#25    newbloodmoon

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 11:25 AM

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i saw a special on smilodons on the discovery channel (i think, possibly the learning channel).  



Yes i had seen the same special and it was the discovery channel.  they had gathered some of the top scientists who believed that they had killed via throat shot, and an equal number of scientists who believed they had disembowled them with a gut shot.

When they had made the model that both sides agreed to simulate the skull and biting of the smiledon they tested each theory on a dead buffalo or calf I believe.  They had concluded that they would go for the throat shot as being the least dangerous.  They further explained it would be to easy to get trampled via the disembowlment and easier to bleed them by severing the jugular or cutting off their wind supply.

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#26    frogfish

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 03:08 AM

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Careful there, saying "designed" is taboo here. Evolved is more appropriate here

No, actually he is fine...no problem there newmath.

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#27    Hehe

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 06:12 AM

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No, actually he is fine...no problem there newmath.

Oh yeah evolution designed their digestive system... pffft unsure.gif


#28    newmath

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 09:36 AM

im not intersted in arguing semantics; and if i were, there are plenty of threads on this forum which address this specific issue.

my point is, big cats kill by inflicting a 'death bite' to the neck/throat of their prey, then eat it by ripping off huge chunks of flesh and swallowing it whole. the ph balance of a cats digestive system is conducive to breaking down large chunks of raw flesh.

sabre toothed tigers were well adapted to such a lifestyle...and modern big cats really arent much different.

i should also point out, that a cat can open its mouth REALLY wide; if youve ever seen your housecat wake up from a nap, you know what im talking about.


#29    GreyWeather

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 03:33 PM

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i should also point out, that a cat can open its mouth REALLY wide; if youve ever seen your housecat wake up from a nap, you know what im talking about.


heh, thats right.

but what if the sabretooth tiger could unhinge its jaw, like snakes - the python (I think) does this. if it could unhinge its mouth and then used its jaw muscles to clamp down, the prey would be literally dead-meat. I mean, if the alligater has an imense power in its 'clamping' jaw, why not the sabretooth tiger.

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#30    frogfish

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 10:20 PM

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my point is, big cats kill by inflicting a 'death bite' to the neck/throat of their prey, then eat it by ripping off huge chunks of flesh and swallowing it whole. the ph balance of a cats digestive system is conducive to breaking down large chunks of raw flesh.

sabre toothed tigers were well adapted to such a lifestyle...and modern big cats really arent much different.

i should also point out, that a cat can open its mouth REALLY wide; if youve ever seen your housecat wake up from a nap, you know what im talking about.

Agreed!



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but what if the sabretooth tiger could unhinge its jaw, like snakes - the python (I think) does this. if it could unhinge its mouth and then used its jaw muscles to clamp down, the prey would be literally dead-meat. I mean, if the alligater has an imense power in its 'clamping' jaw, why not the sabretooth tiger.

I think though if it unhinges its jaw, the cat would lose a lot of its power..

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