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At 05:23 PM 9/5/97 -0700, you wrote:
>The only thing I can think of (which has been mentioned in some areas,
>not mentioned in others) is that the _Smilodon_ would leap onto the back
>of its prey, stab through the fatty tissue covering the back of the
>neck, and break the spine with a decent head shake. 

Current thinking seems to be that this is a most unlikely scenario - an
attack on the spine would probably have shattered the sabres.  More likely
is an attack to the throat, with the sabres used to induce massive
bleeding.  See either David MacDonald's "The Velvet Claw" or Alan turner's
"The Big Cats and their Fossil Relatives" for illustrated discussions of
this subject - the superb illustrations by Maurice Anton in Turner's book
are not to be missed, some of the best restorations ever done IMHO.
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court                 
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2          mailto:ornstn@inforamp.net