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Fri Jun 26, 2020, 03:24 AM

Bizarre saber-tooth predator from South America was no saber-tooth cat

JUNE 25, 2020

by University of Bristol



Skulls and life reconstructions of the marsupial saber-tooth Thylacosmilus atrox (left) and the saber-tooth cat Smilodon fatalis (right). Credit: Stephan Lautenschlager

A new study led by researchers from the University of Bristol has shown that not all saber-tooths were fearsome predators.

Saber-tooth cats, such as the North American species Smilodon fatalis, are among the most iconic fossil animals with a reputation for being fierce predators. However, saber-tooths came in all shapes and sizes and nearly a hundred different saber-tooths are known to science so far.

Thylacosmilus atrox (which means 'terrible pouched knife') is a well-known animal that lived around five million years ago in Argentina.

A jaguar-sized marsupial, it is popularly known as the 'marsupial saber-tooth', compared with the sabertoothed cats elsewhere in the world, and it is often presented as a classic case of convergent evolution—where animals appear similar in form despite having very different evolutionary relationships (such as marsupial flying possums and placental flying squirrels—both of course being gliders rather than true fliers).

More:
https://phys.org/news/2020-06-bizarre-saber-tooth-predator-south-america.html

Also posted in Science:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/122870307

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Reply Bizarre saber-tooth predator from South America was no saber-tooth cat (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jun 26 OP
niyad Jun 26 #1
Judi Lynn Jun 26 #2

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jun 26, 2020, 08:58 AM

1. Utterly fascinating. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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Response to niyad (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 26, 2020, 07:04 PM

2. It was startling seeing those fangs, and so puzzling hearing they were also marsupials! Whoa.

Thanks for taking the time to check it out.

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