New insights into the life of young sabre tooth tigers.

New research indicates adolescent offspring of the menacing sabre-toothed predator, Smilodon fatalis, were more momma’s cubs than independent warriors.

A new study by scientists at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and University of Toronto, published January 7, 2021 in iScience¸ documents a family group of the sabre-toothed cats whose remains were discovered in present-day Ecuador. By studying the fossils, collected for the ROM in the early 1960s, the scientists were able to show that while the supersized Ice Age cats grew quite quickly, they also appeared to stay with their mother for longer than some other large cats before forging their own path.

“This study started out as a simple description of previously unpublished fossils,” says Ashley Reynolds, a graduate student based at the Royal Ontario Museum who led the study while completing her PhD research in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto. “But when we noticed the two lower jaws we were working on shared a type of tooth only found in about five percent of the Smilodon fatalis population, we knew the work was about to become much more interesting.”

Encouraged by this new discovery, the researchers dug deeper and found that they were likely looking at three related individuals: one adult and two “teenaged” cats. What’s more, they were able to determine that the younger cats were at least two years old at the time of their death, an age at which some living big cats, such as tigers, are already independent.


Two genes may dictate severity of viral infections.
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine used an …
Conversations with Bob Ballard: From discovering the Titanic to changing the definition of life forever.
The oceanographer Bob Ballard has so many accomplishments to his name that …
New research suggests RNA can be converted into DNA.
Cells contain machinery that duplicates DNA into a new set that goes …
Vitamin D deficiency may increase chances of opioid addiction.
Vitamin D deficiency strongly exaggerates the craving for and effects of opioids, …

COPY II


Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: