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Re: Sabretooth

In a message dated Tue, 28 Nov 2000  2:07:46 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
Chapman.Ralph@NMNH.SI.EDU writes:

> I thought it interesting that they thought they had
> only one chance to do the killing in each body 
> section they thought was a possibility. They did the 
> belly kill attempt first and when it didn't seem to 
> work, gave up. 
I think that it was at this point that Larry Martin said that by positioning 
at this angle of attack, they would have broken the Smilodon's neck.  

Some of this research was presented at SVP in Mexico City, with much more 
technical data than was included on the Discovery program.  Todd Wheeler (the 
paleo-engineer) was the speaker on "Confirmation of Saber-tooth Killing Bite 
Theories by Re-enactment."  He showed slides but not the video, which was 
embargoed because of the broadcast.

> little. I missed if they did any testing of bite 
> force and compared with inferred forces from an 
> actual skeleton. 
This was presented at SVP but not on the program.  Wheeler had configured the 
backhoe/loader so that the bite forces could be varied.  

> I also somehow missed how they manufactured the fake
> sabreteeth and whether these would react to stresses 
> the same way the real teeth would. I don't think they
> mentioned any of it 
Probably thought too boring for viewers.

One of the other talks at SVP (the Sacco/Van Valkenburgh one?) mentioned the 
possibility that the canines served a display function, and that the animal 
with the jaw at full gape could not see what it was biting into--affecting 
the precision bite that would be needed in the above scenario.