Navigation Links
Scientists say sabercat bit like a pussycat
Date:10/1/2007

In public imagination, the sabre-toothed cat Smilodon ranks alongside Tyrannosaurus rex as the ultimate killing machine. Powerfully built, with upper canines like knives, Smilodon was a fearsome predator of Ice-Age America's lost giants.

For more than 150 years, scientists have debated how this iconic predator used its ferocious fangs to kill its prey. Now a new Australian study, published today in the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, hopes to lay the arguments to rest. And the results will put in dent in Smilodon's reputation.

Scientists from the University of New South Wales and University of Newcastle have used a computer-based technique called Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to test the bite force and feeding mechanics of the fearsome predator.

FEA, normally used in the analysis of trains, planes and cars, allowed the team to "reverse engineer" designs to find out what sort of forces a structure like a sabrecat skull was able to handle.

"Skulls are much more complex then most man-made structures, and to apply the technique to a fossil big cat required some tricks engineers usually have to handle," says the University of Newcastle's Colin McHenry, lead author on the paper.

"Historically there have been a number of interpretations about how Smilodon killed," says UNSW palaeontologist Dr Steve Wroe. "Early researchers thought it had a weak bite. More recently, people have suggested that the bite was strong."

Using the skull of a modern-day lion for comparison, the team determined that Smilodon had a relatively weak bite - about one third as powerful as a lion of similar size. "For all its reputation, Smilodon had a wimpy bite" says Dr Wroe. "It bit like a moggy."

In a range of "digital crash-tests", the team found that under most conditions, the sabre-tooth skull performed very poorly compared to that of the lion. This would have seriously limited the big toothed fossi
'/>"/>

Contact: Mary O'Malley
m.omalley@unsw.edu.au
61-293-889-881
University of New South Wales
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

Related biology technology :

1. UW computer scientists fighting computer virus "Cold War"
2. Scientists find way to make human collagen in lab
3. Wisconsin scientists to be recognized for innovative biofuel technology
4. UW-Madison scientists to mimic nature for newest cancer drugs
5. UW scientists study strange material with communications potential
6. Scientists find nanotech method for examining cells
7. UW space scientists use Keck telescope to study wild weather of Uranus
8. UW computer scientists tout achievements and explain industry shortcomings
9. Facing shortage of U.S. scientists, UW wants to boost math enrollment
10. UW-Madison scientists find a key to cell division
11. TIP/UW Scientists Provide Mars Rover Commentary
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/31/2014)... Graphite Metallizing Corporation announces GRAPHALLOY® ... These bearings are uniquely suited to prevent loss of ... of the high temperatures . , Recently, a ... design engineers at Graphite Metallizing to overcome problems with ... manufacturing operation, pans containing blocks of powder mixture are ...
(Date:7/31/2014)... (PRWEB) July 31, 2014 CollabRx, Inc. ... inform therapeutic decision-making in oncology, today announced that it ... 2014 to discuss the Company's financial results for the ... update about the business in the current fiscal year. ... beginning on Thursday, August 14, 2014, at 5 p.m. ...
(Date:7/31/2014)... 31, 2014 Held at the Stanford ... an overview of the disease and its treatment. Survivors ... effects, as well as updates on the state-of-the-art with ... Sandy Srinivas for organizing this educational opportunity,” says KCA ... “Sandy and her colleagues have put together a program ...
(Date:7/31/2014)... 31, 2014 “Rapid technological advances ... the U.S., increasing unemployment, depressing American consumer spending ... is a Catch 22—we need automated manufacturing if ... fewer jobs,” says economist and corporate relocation expert ... Top 10 Pro-Business States for 2014, co-published with ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Graphite Metallizing Announces Bearings for High Temperature Oven Applications 2Graphite Metallizing Announces Bearings for High Temperature Oven Applications 3CollabRx, Inc. Schedules First Quarter Fiscal Year 2015 Financial Conference Call and Business Update 2ITRA Global Affiliate’s Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States Minimize the Impact of Automation on Middle Class and Unemployment 2ITRA Global Affiliate’s Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States Minimize the Impact of Automation on Middle Class and Unemployment 3ITRA Global Affiliate’s Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States Minimize the Impact of Automation on Middle Class and Unemployment 4
... call for making available more detailed maps of the locations ... crops on a county and township level will give researchers ... wildlife, water quality, and on pest and beneficial insects. ... been planted with biotech crops in the U.S.," said Michelle ...
... Corporation, an advanced,biomaterials company, announced today that ... AlloSource., (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080424/NETH117LOGO ), ... Bone Matrix (DBM),powder to be mixed with ... form EquivaBone(TM)., This agreement is consistent ...
... 24 Idenix,Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: IDIX ) ... overview at the upcoming Morgan Stanley Global,Healthcare Unplugged ... p.m.,ET at The Ritz Carlton in Key Biscayne, ... the company presentation can be,accessed under "Calendar of ...
Cached Biology Technology:Scientists call for more access to biotech crop data 2ETEX Announces Supply Agreement with AlloSource 2
(Date:7/30/2014)... Press (OUP) is pleased to announce its new relationship ... 2015, OUP and CINP will partner to publish ... a fully open-access journal. , Alan Frazer, Editor-in-Chief of ... size and expertise of OUP will further facilitate the ... of the very leading journals within neuropsychopharmacology. The conversion ...
(Date:7/30/2014)... of $1 million from the Cornelia Cogswell Rossi Foundation ... Center. , The newly established Connie Cogswell ... develop a greater breadth and depth of knowledge of ... pace of research to improve human health. , The ... the Laboratory and its external partners, supporting research to ...
(Date:7/30/2014)... from HIV infection could be as simple as inserting ... , University of Washington bioengineers have discovered a potentially ... women from contracting HIV. Their method spins the drug ... with moisture, releasing higher doses of the drug than ... creams. , "This could offer women a potentially more ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):OUP to partner with the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology 2Rossi Foundation pledges $1M for JAX neurobehavioral research center 2Dissolvable fabric loaded with medicine might offer faster protection against HIV 2Dissolvable fabric loaded with medicine might offer faster protection against HIV 3
... not always show it, but people are rarely born with ... and legs to grow in the right places and point ... between our fingers and toes and every other formative detail ... to construct and position our limbs were being perfected more ...
... one strain of an infectious disease can exist at ... in the August issue of The American Naturalist, Ken ... mathematical model to help explain multiple strains, showing that ... that the coexistence of multiple infectious disease strains result ...
... could peer microscopically into the closest freshwater pond, you'd ... you'd probably notice an oddly furry, pear-shaped organism gliding ... This tiny predator has a big name-- Tetrahymena thermophila ... star organism for research into how cells work. , ...
Cached Biology News:UF scientists discover evolutionary origin of fins, limbs 2UF scientists discover evolutionary origin of fins, limbs 3What's shaped like a pear and has 2 genomes? Check the pond 2What's shaped like a pear and has 2 genomes? Check the pond 3