Newly identified saber-toothed American cat was bigger than a tiger and hunted rhinos
Researchers discovered a single saber-toothed cat bone that belonged to an animal weighing up to 900 pounds.
Scientists say the fossil, part of the saber elbow bone, did not match other similar big cat bones, making it a find of a new species, Phys.org reported.
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The researchers visited numerous museums in the United States, Canada and France, and they used software to compare lions, pumas, panthers, jaguars and tigers to their saber-toothed cat to confirm that ‘these were entirely new fossils and not a previously identified extinct large cat.
The new species of saber-toothed cat averaged 600 pounds. But they could weigh up to 900 pounds, making them one of the largest cats known in history. He lived 5-9 million years ago, and scientists found that with his huge forearms, he could take down prey up to 6,000 pounds. But they believe it often hunted prey weighing between 1,000 and 2,000 pounds.
“We believe these were animals that routinely slaughtered bison-sized animals,” said Jonathan Calede, assistant professor of evolution, ecology and organism biology at Ohio State’s Marion Campus. University, co-author of the study. “It was by far the largest living cat at the time.”
Other animals likely to be on a cat menu include rhinos, giant camels, and giant land sloths.
John Orcutt, assistant professor of biology at Gonzaga University and the other study author that initiated the project, said the cat’s arm bone signals that it is the ancestor of an ancient cat toothed saber called Smilodon which went extinct 10,000 years ago. .
“We know there were giant cats in Europe, Asia, and Africa, and now we have our own giant saber-toothed cat in North America during that time as well,” Calede said. “There is a very interesting pattern of independent evolution repeated across all continents of this giant body size in what remains a pretty hyperspecialized way of hunting, where we have this giant saber-toothed ancestral cat that has scattered around. on all these continents. “
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