This is a cool picture. It shows what palaeontologists believed happened between some rival sabre-toothed cats during the time they inhabited the planet from 40 million to about 11,000 years ago. The large canine tooth of one cat is shown piercing the top of the skull of the other, killing the rival.
The picture is of a created situation because these skulls were not found like this except the lower skull does have a hole in it suggesting that this is how it happened.
The canine teeth of the sabre-toothed cat are so long that palaeontologists believe that they were too fragile to be of great use but they seem to have changed their minds having seen skulls with neat teeth-shaped holes in them.
It seems that this cat’s extraordinarily large canine teeth were an evolutionary adoption to killing large prey but because they were so specialist they were vulnerable to extinction. When large prey became scarce or extinct the sabre-toothed cat followed. They were unable to adapt to smaller prey or eat other sources of food.
It is believed that the large prey hunted by this cat were: elephants, rhinos, huge herbivores. The teeth were able to reach large blood vessels deep in the prey’s body. But as mentioned it is also possible that the teeth were robust enough to puncture a skull.
P.S. The name ‘sabre-toothed tiger‘ is incorrect as this animal is not part of the family of cats which includes the tiger. The word ‘cat’ is also not strictly correct but is used for convenience. It is all a question of how this species of animal is classified (taxonomy).
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