facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Saber-toothed cats practiced equality

Nov. 6, 2009 at 10:46 AM   |   Comments

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Despite their long fangs, male saber-toothed tigers may have been less aggressive than other big cats of their time, researchers in California said.

The saber-toothed tiger, Smilodon fatalis, inhabited North and South America from about 1.6 million to 10,000 years ago, sharing its roaming grounds with a prehistoric cat called the American lion.

Remains of 19 saber-toothed cats and 13 American lions from the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles were studied by Wendy Binder, a biologist at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and Julie Meachen-Samuels, a biologist at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, Durham, N.C.

The male American lions were found to be significantly larger than the females, while male and female saber-toothed cats were indistinguishable in size, Meachen-Samuels said in a release Friday.

Size differences between the sexes tend to be most significant in species where male aggression is more intense, the researchers said.

The size differences found in the La Brea cats suggests a male American lion may have monopolized a harem of females while saber-toothed cats might have been more equal, with multiple males and females living together.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Android phones to join iPhone in saying no to the police Android phones to join iPhone in saying no to the police
2
Perth's first iPhone buyer immediately drops brand new phone on live TV Perth's first iPhone buyer immediately drops brand new phone on live TV
3
Report: Facebook Messenger app is loaded with spyware Report: Facebook Messenger app is loaded with spyware
4
Next-generation space suits will be like second skin Next-generation space suits will be like second skin
5
Ship sunk off coast of Texas to create artificial reef Ship sunk off coast of Texas to create artificial reef
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback