Extinct South American Sabertooth Animal Had Strong Neck Muscles

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Researchers studying an ancient extinct marsupial animal that lived in South America some 3 and a half million years ago have found that the neck muscles were a crucial part of how they would kill prey.

Researchers studying an ancient extinct marsupial animal that lived in South America some 3 and a half million years ago have found that the neck muscles were a crucial part of how they would kill prey.
The animals, known as Thylacosmilus atrox, were one of the sabretooth species because of their large canine teeth, which were the largest of any animal for its size.

University of New South Wales researchers in Australia took CT scans of fossils to make 3 dimensional models of the sabretooth animals, and compare them with modern leopards.

The models were then used to make simulations of how researchers think they would hunt and kill prey.

The animal’s weak jaw muscles made their bite less powerful than a domesticated cat, but this weakness was made up for with a very strong neck.

Doctor Stephen Wroe who led the study said: “The bottom line is that the huge sabres of Thylacosmilus were driven home by the neck muscles…Because the teeth were actually quite fragile, this must have been achieved with surprising precision."

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