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Comments thread for Smilodon "bonaërensis" - 46: The Forgotten Skeleton that Defined

United States tigerluver Offline
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( This post was last modified: 06-22-2019, 04:50 AM by tigerluver )

This is the comment thread for Smilodon "bonaërensis" - 46: The Forgotten Skeleton that Defined a Species. Please post any comments, questions, or the like in this thread.
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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Sound like a subspecies of Smilodon populator.
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United States tigerluver Offline
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(06-23-2019, 12:24 AM)GrizzlyClaws Wrote: Sound like a subspecies of Smilodon populator.


Yes, it is S. populator that we know, just named differently at the time.
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Switzerland Spalea Offline
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@tigerluver : Very interesting ! I like the Mauricio Anton's illustration very much.

When I read " The mandible is relatively short and thin with a rather small masseteric fossa and short, a defining feature for Machairodontinae. Overall, the skull may have been more dependent on the canines than its musculature for its lethal function. "

Do I have to understand that this machairodont's bite force - because mainly of the small masseteric fossa - was clearly weaker than the extant pantherines ? In this case this handicap was compensated by the greater strength of the shoulders and forelimbs. This felids definitely needed to bring down its prey on the ground before biting it.
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United States tigerluver Offline
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(06-23-2019, 02:29 AM)Spalea Wrote: @tigerluver : Very interesting ! I like the Mauricio Anton's illustration very much.

When I read " The mandible is relatively short and thin with a rather small masseteric fossa and short, a defining feature for Machairodontinae. Overall, the skull may have been more dependent on the canines than its musculature for its lethal function. "

Do I have to understand that this machairodont's bite force - because mainly of the small masseteric fossa - was clearly weaker than the extant pantherines ? In this case this handicap was compensated by the greater strength of the shoulders and forelimbs. This felids definitely needed to bring down its prey on the ground before biting it.


Correct, it looks to be that the bite force of Machairodontae was relatively weak. For one, the cranium is relatively thinner between arches, decreasing bite force. The masseteric fossa (where the muscles that determine bite force insert) being very, very small indicates there was not much force behind the bite. For instance, we see how much weaker the bite of S. fatalis is than the lion in McHenry et al. (2007):

*This image is copyright of its original author
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Switzerland Spalea Offline
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@tigerluver :

Great ! Would it be exclude the lifestyle of a scavenger ? Because a big corpse with the whole skeleton, particularly the big bones wouldn't be very attractive for a weak-jawed beast, even if it could have all the time to apprehend this corpse (I indeed imagine there were not a lot of animals able to fight with a fully adult smilodon over a corpse).

A hyena's gait with extra hefty forelimb (compared to a spotted hyena which also has a very strong neck), but with a much weaker jaw...
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