Ancient predator's jaws were too weak to support its fangs

07/3/2013 | Christian Science Monitor, The

Scientists have found that an ancient saber-toothed mammal called Thylacosmilus atrox lacked the jaw strength to utilize its two large protruding fangs during a hunt, and instead relied on brute strength to capture prey before delivering a deadly bite. A study using 3D models found the now-extinct animal's bite was similar to that of a modern domestic cat. "Frankly, the jaw muscles of Thylacosmilus were embarrassing," said research team leader and paleontologist Stephen Wroe.

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