Sunday, April 20, 2014

3841 Enforced diet?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

I don't understand saber-toothed tigers.  You always see them depicted with these enormous long teeth, right?  Well, how did they get food in their mouths with those barriers in front like that?

They could open their mouths 130 degrees.  Nice start.  But if you look at the skulls,
(photo from
even with the jaws fully open, you can't fit much more than a very small rabbit in the resulting open space.  I haven't found any explanation of how they got food into their mouths anywhere out there.

Maybe once the prey had been stabbed to death they could nibble off bits with those tiny front teeth, between the sabers, or chew off small sticking-out chunks with the side molars.  The saber-teeth would not be very helpful at tearing off chunks because they were very brittle and broke easily.  It all seems very inefficient for a beasty that big.

Saber-tooth tigers (not really a tiger anyway) just don't make any sense to me.


Anna in Sweden said...

Perhaps that's why they all died and never came back?

~~Silk said...

They did manage to keep going for more than a million years, dying out only about 10,000 years ago when there was a climate change for whatever reason (I forget and it's too late to look it up this evening) --- so something must have worked right. But what that something was, how they ate, I don't know.

Most of the older individuals, by the way, suffered from very bad arthritis.