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Homotherium serum

Venezuela epaiva Offline
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( This post was last modified: 12-12-2017, 05:21 AM by epaiva )


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Homotherium serum had long, slender forelimbs and a relatively long neck suggesting it was a more cursorial predator than the bear-like Smilodon. It had a holarctic distribution, so was cold-adapted to some degree with thick fur. It was approximately the size of the modern African Lion (Panthera leo). Scimitar-toothed cats, like dirk-toothed cats, had enlarged upper canines. These teeth were curved, serrated, and razor-sharp. It measured 110 cm height at the shoulders  and weighted 150-230 kg. Although rarer than Smilodon, scimitar cats had a wider range during the last ice age, and have been recovered from Florida to the Yukon. In 2008, H. serum was recovered from Tyson Spring Cave in Fillmore County, southeastern Minnesota. DNA from this animal was very similar to much earlier H. serum from the Yukon suggesting very minor population changes over large geographic and chronological distances (Widga et al. 2012).
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Venezuela epaiva Offline
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( This post was last modified: 06-29-2017, 06:56 PM by epaiva )


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Homotherium seems to have combined strength with short bursts of speed and agility. It probably engaged in prolonged pursuit of its prey more often than Smilodon. The scimitar cat was able to see well during the day. The recovery of cubs and adults from caves in Texas and Tennessee suggest that these animals lived in dens, possibly as family groups. An assemblage of multiple scimitar cats (13 cubs + 20 adults) associated with the remains of over 300 juvenile mammoths from Friesenhahn Cave in Texas suggests that these cats selectively preyed on juvenile mammoths. This is further supported by the association of multiple mastodons with two adult and one juvenile scimitar cat at Gassaway Fissure, Cannon County, Tennessee (Rawn-Schatzinger 1992).
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United States tigerluver Online
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Sabre-toothed cats prowled Europe 200,000 years after supposedly going extinct


The backstory to this is interesting. When working his genetic analysis of the cave lion, Dr. Barnett found that one of the bones matched that of Homotherium and not P. spelaea. This was striking because P. spelaea is considered to have disappeared much later. And finally, Dr. Barnett and colleagues have published their findings.

Evolutionary History of Saber-Toothed Cats Based on Ancient Mitogenomics
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Venezuela epaiva Offline
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( This post was last modified: 11-01-2017, 05:44 PM by epaiva )

Homotherium serum, Friesenhahn Cave. (drawing Mark Hallet) taken from the book THE OTHER SABER-TOOTHS


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Venezuela epaiva Offline
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( This post was last modified: 11-30-2017, 04:27 AM by epaiva )

Credit to @_quagga


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( This post was last modified: 12-03-2017, 06:46 AM by epaiva )

A herd of Mammoths attemping to drive off several individuals of Homotherium serum that have been stalking their young. Partial skeletons of young Mammoths have been found with the remains of this scimitar tooth cat, suggesting that they may have been a prefered prey species. (drawing Mark Hallet) taken from the book THE OTHER SABER-TOOTHS (Virginia L. Naples, Larry D. Martin and John P. Babiarz)


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Venezuela epaiva Offline
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( This post was last modified: 12-03-2017, 07:12 AM by epaiva )

Skeleton of Homotherium serum from Friesenhahn cave, Texas Memorial Museum, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas


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( This post was last modified: 12-03-2017, 07:14 AM by epaiva )

Skull of Homotherium serum in Cincinnati Museum


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Italy Ngala Offline
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( This post was last modified: 12-03-2017, 04:08 PM by Ngala )

Judging by Paijmans et al., 2017 (Evolutionary History of Saber-Toothed Cats Based on Ancient Mitogenomics), also previously mentioned by Tigerluver, H. serum is now considered a synonym of H. latidens.
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( This post was last modified: 01-13-2019, 09:42 PM by epaiva )

Credit to Mauricio Anton

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                       Was Homotherium Social?   


In paleontology, there is debate as to whether some prehistoric big cats were social or not. These would include the Pleistocene lion-like cats Panthera Atrox and Panthera Spalea, Smilodon, and Smilodon. Of all cats, I believe there is one genus that was undoubtedly social. That cat would be Homotherium. But why would they be social? where is the proof? well then, lets take a look at the situation shall we? 

For the first question, why would these cats be social? Most cats are solitary, although the puma has shown to be more social than previously thought. The only cat we can look to for a reference is the lion. One advantage to living in a group for cats of their size is that it helps defend kills and cubs against other predators on the plains, in the lions case, Spotted Hyenas. In the Early Pleistocene, Homotherium did coexist with the massive hyena, Pachycrocuta brevirostris, which was larger than a modern spotted hyena, which the size was probably linked to aggressive scavenging habits (Anton). As in the case for Homotherium Serum in North America, it coexisted with Panthera Atrox, a huge lion-like cat that weighed more than 700 pounds, was more powerful, and was better armed for battle, so one on one, a Homotherium would have been helpless against this big cat, so by definition, a P. atrox could have killed one scimitar, and a small group could have chased off or killed an equal sized group of scimitars, but not a large group, and it seems likely that P. atrox wasn't in huge groups like the African Lion. Another enemy was Arctodus, the Giant Short-Faced Bear, this animal was a beast, weighing in at more than a ton, one swipe would have ended a scimitars life. But in a big enough group, perhaps the cats could have held their own against this behemoth. Another advantage comes to hunting, studies done in Etosha National Park in Namibia have shown that lion prides can overcome the problem of being detected by prey in places with not very much cover by coordinating their activities, Homotherium, likely would have been the same. I will quote another advantage to group living from the book "Sabertooth" by Mauricio Anton. 

    "Zoologists have long wondered why only modern lions among all the big cats are social, and the most convincing hypothesis to date suggests that the numerical advantage provided by a pride structure when competing with conspecifics for the highest quality territory is the key reason why lions group together. According to this hypothesis, the heterogeneity of savannah habitat would be an important cause of pride formation, because territory quality depends on proximity to river confluences, which serve as funnels that force prey into a small area and also hold persistent waterholes and dense advantages over prides that are forced to the periphery and need to made do with poorer- quality real estate." Mauricio Anton  

So those are the advantages to group living for big cats, and we know that they liked grasslands, the kind of habitat where these advantages take place. 

As for question 2, where's the evidence? At Friesenhahn cave in Texas, several specimens of Homotherium Serum have been found, including cubs, showing that was a family group, not only that, they were found in association with the fossils of mammoths, and hunting mammoths including those of the age class these were in would have required cooperation to distract the mothers attention from her calf. Homotherium actually wasn't as strong as a modern lion or tiger, and except for the huge dewclaw, the claws weren't as retractable as other cats, and were worn down due to being used for traction. So using teamwork would have helped add some firepower in hunting big game.
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Venezuela epaiva Offline
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( This post was last modified: 05-17-2019, 03:44 AM by epaiva )

(05-17-2019, 03:29 AM)Ysmedz Wrote:
                       Was Homotherium Social?   


In paleontology, there is debate as to whether some prehistoric big cats were social or not. These would include the Pleistocene lion-like cats Panthera Atrox and Panthera Spalea, Smilodon, and Smilodon. Of all cats, I believe there is one genus that was undoubtedly social. That cat would be Homotherium. But why would they be social? where is the proof? well then, lets take a look at the situation shall we? 

For the first question, why would these cats be social? Most cats are solitary, although the puma has shown to be more social than previously thought. The only cat we can look to for a reference is the lion. One advantage to living in a group for cats of their size is that it helps defend kills and cubs against other predators on the plains, in the lions case, Spotted Hyenas. In the Early Pleistocene, Homotherium did coexist with the massive hyena, Pachycrocuta brevirostris, which was larger than a modern spotted hyena, which the size was probably linked to aggressive scavenging habits (Anton). As in the case for Homotherium Serum in North America, it coexisted with Panthera Atrox, a huge lion-like cat that weighed more than 700 pounds, was more powerful, and was better armed for battle, so one on one, a Homotherium would have been helpless against this big cat, so by definition, a P. atrox could have killed one scimitar, and a small group could have chased off or killed an equal sized group of scimitars, but not a large group, and it seems likely that P. atrox wasn't in huge groups like the African Lion. Another enemy was Arctodus, the Giant Short-Faced Bear, this animal was a beast, weighing in at more than a ton, one swipe would have ended a scimitars life. But in a big enough group, perhaps the cats could have held their own against this behemoth. Another advantage comes to hunting, studies done in Etosha National Park in Namibia have shown that lion prides can overcome the problem of being detected by prey in places with not very much cover by coordinating their activities, Homotherium, likely would have been the same. I will quote another advantage to group living from the book "Sabertooth" by Mauricio Anton. 

    "Zoologists have long wondered why only modern lions among all the big cats are social, and the most convincing hypothesis to date suggests that the numerical advantage provided by a pride structure when competing with conspecifics for the highest quality territory is the key reason why lions group together. According to this hypothesis, the heterogeneity of savannah habitat would be an important cause of pride formation, because territory quality depends on proximity to river confluences, which serve as funnels that force prey into a small area and also hold persistent waterholes and dense advantages over prides that are forced to the periphery and need to made do with poorer- quality real estate." Mauricio Anton  

So those are the advantages to group living for big cats, and we know that they liked grasslands, the kind of habitat where these advantages take place. 

As for question 2, where's the evidence? At Friesenhahn cave in Texas, several specimens of Homotherium Serum have been found, including cubs, showing that was a family group, not only that, they were found in association with the fossils of mammoths, and hunting mammoths including those of the age class these were in would have required cooperation to distract the mothers attention from her calf. Homotherium actually wasn't as strong as a modern lion or tiger, and except for the huge dewclaw, the claws weren't as retractable as other cats, and were worn down due to being used for traction. So using teamwork would have helped add some firepower in hunting big game.

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Very good post very good
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smedz Offline
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(05-17-2019, 03:42 AM)epaiva Wrote:
(05-17-2019, 03:29 AM)Ysmedz Wrote:
                       Was Homotherium Social?   


In paleontology, there is debate as to whether some prehistoric big cats were social or not. These would include the Pleistocene lion-like cats Panthera Atrox and Panthera Spalea, Smilodon, and Smilodon. Of all cats, I believe there is one genus that was undoubtedly social. That cat would be Homotherium. But why would they be social? where is the proof? well then, lets take a look at the situation shall we? 

For the first question, why would these cats be social? Most cats are solitary, although the puma has shown to be more social than previously thought. The only cat we can look to for a reference is the lion. One advantage to living in a group for cats of their size is that it helps defend kills and cubs against other predators on the plains, in the lions case, Spotted Hyenas. In the Early Pleistocene, Homotherium did coexist with the massive hyena, Pachycrocuta brevirostris, which was larger than a modern spotted hyena, which the size was probably linked to aggressive scavenging habits (Anton). As in the case for Homotherium Serum in North America, it coexisted with Panthera Atrox, a huge lion-like cat that weighed more than 700 pounds, was more powerful, and was better armed for battle, so one on one, a Homotherium would have been helpless against this big cat, so by definition, a P. atrox could have killed one scimitar, and a small group could have chased off or killed an equal sized group of scimitars, but not a large group, and it seems likely that P. atrox wasn't in huge groups like the African Lion. Another enemy was Arctodus, the Giant Short-Faced Bear, this animal was a beast, weighing in at more than a ton, one swipe would have ended a scimitars life. But in a big enough group, perhaps the cats could have held their own against this behemoth. Another advantage comes to hunting, studies done in Etosha National Park in Namibia have shown that lion prides can overcome the problem of being detected by prey in places with not very much cover by coordinating their activities, Homotherium, likely would have been the same. I will quote another advantage to group living from the book "Sabertooth" by Mauricio Anton. 

    "Zoologists have long wondered why only modern lions among all the big cats are social, and the most convincing hypothesis to date suggests that the numerical advantage provided by a pride structure when competing with conspecifics for the highest quality territory is the key reason why lions group together. According to this hypothesis, the heterogeneity of savannah habitat would be an important cause of pride formation, because territory quality depends on proximity to river confluences, which serve as funnels that force prey into a small area and also hold persistent waterholes and dense advantages over prides that are forced to the periphery and need to made do with poorer- quality real estate." Mauricio Anton  

So those are the advantages to group living for big cats, and we know that they liked grasslands, the kind of habitat where these advantages take place. 

As for question 2, where's the evidence? At Friesenhahn cave in Texas, several specimens of Homotherium Serum have been found, including cubs, showing that was a family group, not only that, they were found in association with the fossils of mammoths, and hunting mammoths including those of the age class these were in would have required cooperation to distract the mothers attention from her calf. Homotherium actually wasn't as strong as a modern lion or tiger, and except for the huge dewclaw, the claws weren't as retractable as other cats, and were worn down due to being used for traction. So using teamwork would have helped add some firepower in hunting big game.

@"ysmedz"
Very good post very good

Thank you, I think I'll make another one on the locomotion (endurance) and how their social structure may have worked.
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Sully Offline
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Should this thread not be dissolved into the Homotherium latidens thread in light of the study mentioned above?
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