Saber Tooth Tigers Had Extremely Strong Forelimbs

Long, saberlike teeth could have been a disadvantage for the saber tooth tiger. With a trapped animal struggling with all its strength to escape there is a high probability that the teeth could have been broken. Broken teeth would have significantly reduced the effectiveness of an attack on prey. The tigers would have gone hungry.

Members of the cat family living today have quite short "fangs", too short to break off in a tussle. Fossils show that ancient cats had long canine teeth and very strong forelimbs. The bones of forelimbs were thick. Cross section analysis of their teeth showed they were oval, whereas modern cats are round. Being oval they could More easily snap off. Prey had to be firmly held so they could be dispatched quickly.

The longer the fangs, the sturdier the forelimbs. This is the rule when comparing similar ancient long toothed animals. This highlights convergent evolution, where complimentary traits evolve in different animals filling similar ecological niches.
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