Pneumothorax as a predatory goal for the sabertooth cat (Smilodon fatalis)

Ted Wilson, Dirk E. Wilson, Jill M. Zimanske
2013 Open Journal of Animal Sciences  
Smilodon fatalis was a large extinct felid distinguished by their two impressive maxillary canines and surprisingly low canine fracture rates. Previous theories regarding their attack strategy have suggested delivering damage by a bite with their maxillary canines. It has also been previously suggested that the canines could have been used to deliver a non-biting stab with an open jaw. It has been generally hypothesized that the attack was delivered to the neck of their large herbivore prey.
more » ... herbivore prey. Smilodon fatalis could have used their canines in a non-biting stab delivered with a closed jaw for the sole purpose of creating a pneumothorax. Creation of a pneumothorax would maximize immediate attack lethality, and minimize exposure of its canines to fracture. [10] Biknevicius, A.R., Van Valkenburgh, B. and Walker J. (1996) Incisor size and shape: Implications for feeding behaviors in saber-toothed "cats". Journal of Vertebrate
doi:10.4236/ojas.2013.31006 fatcat:tficapnxond3ndbrioymcd4gvm