Friday, February 24, 2006

The Behaviour of Sabre-Toothed Cats

Inferred behaviour and ecology of the primitive sabre-toothed cat Paramachairodus ogygia (Felidae, Machairodontinae) from the Late Miocene of Spain. 2006. M. J. Salesa et al. Journal of Zoology Vol268: 243

© Frank Frazetta

From the abstract: The Late Miocene (Late Vallesian, MN 10, about 9 Mya) carnivore trap of Batallones-1 (Madrid, Spain) has yielded a large sample of two species of sabre-toothed cats: the puma-sized Paramachairodus ogygia and the tiger-sized Machairodus aphanistus.

Results suggest that P. ogygia was a solitary felid with a low sexual dimorphism index, which in turn indicates low competition between males for access to females, and some degree of tolerance between adults, so that young adults were allowed to share the territory of their mothers for some time after maturity. The machairodont adaptations of P. ogygia indicate that this species was able to subdue and kill prey in less time than pantherines do, thus minimizing the risk of injury and the energetic costs of this action.