Well it seems those pesky scientists have been at it again answering all those really important questions we desperately need answering. This time it’s our friends the BBC reporting the most urgent breaking news: How did a Smilodon Sebretooth cat close its mouth?
Personally I have been pondering this very question since I got my first ever dinosaur book at the tender age of five. “Wow!” I would say to my Dad, “how did that cat close its mouth with those big teeth, surely it would bite itself? Imagine if it bit its tongue!” usually followed by me doing a highly convincing impersonation of a sabretooth that had bitten its tongue, “mhhhfff hmmm mufff”.
Now the new analysis reveals that the cats’ jaw muscles evolved into a specialised pattern, which allowed them to open their mouths so wide.
Ok so this is a remarkable development, they used specialised muscles… Really, that’s it? Muscles? Oh come on a five year old could come up with that.
They delivered a quick, powerful and deep stabbing bite to the throat or upper neck of their prey.
Again there’s not much of a revelation here, I’m pretty sure I saw that on 2000 BC or some other film from my childhood.
Per Christiansen, from Aalborg University in Denmark, led the study. He took a novel approach to studying the extinct predators by creating a complex model of how their jaws moved.
Oh now I get it, yes a revolutionary method for determining how something might work, create a model, nobody would have thought of that unless they were a professor. Please tell me nobody actually paid for this research?
These fearsome-looking cats – the biggest of which would have hunted very large prey, including buffaloes, horses and extinct giant ground sloths – had a relatively weak bite force compared to their modern feline relatives, previous studies have revealed.
Hold on in a previous quote he said they had a “quick, powerful and deep stabbing bite”, well was it powerful or weak, I’m getting slightly confused now? Oh wait it was the BBC that published the original article so that probably explains the contrariness.
“Smilodon was outrageous in terms of its anatomy,” said Dr Christiansen.
What’s more outrageous is that the BBC bothered to publish this bilge on their “news” site. Save it for a documentary please, I’m sure we will all be watching it…
Credit to the BBC for their highly original article.