How did the saber-toothed tiger get its saber teeth?

How did the saber-toothed tiger get its saber teeth?

picture: Wikimedia Commons

Long upper canines, known as saber teeth, appear throughout evolutionary history in two families. the Nimravidae It is now extinct, however Felidae You will still come across. On your street, for example, because the house cat is part of that family.

Of course, your house cat doesn’t have saber teeth, but other family members did in the past. Researchers from the University of Liège led one of them to this development. To do this, they analyzed 3D scans of the skulls and mandibles of living and extinct cats. The result showed the evolution of the sword tooth over time and space.

The researchers discovered that there are not simply two different types of skulls, as described in textbooks – those of saber-toothed cats and those of small-tusked cats. In fact, there is a full evolutionary range of skull types, with small differences and smooth transitions. “Morphologically, the skull of a small domestic cat is as strange and modified as that of a large saber-toothed cat,” researcher Margot Michaud summarizes in a press release.

They also found two factors that contributed to the evolution of saber teeth, both in… Nimravidae as Felidae. For example, saber-toothed cats had a deformed skull that could have adapted throughout evolution. Furthermore, they have evolved at a faster rate than cats with smaller fangs. In a press release, researcher Nariman Chattar described it as “a common recipe for evolution into a saber-toothed feline predator.”

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