MUSEO ARGENTINO DE CIENCIAS NATURALES "BERNARDINO RIVADAVIA"
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Evidence of intraspecific agonistic interactions in Smilodon populator (Carnivora, Felidae)
AGNOLIN, FEDERICO L.; BUIDE, VIVIANA; SOIBELZON, LEOPOLDO; CHIMENTO, NICOLÁS R.; OCHOA, JAVIER G.
COMPTES RENDUS PALEVOL
ELSEVIER FRANCE-EDITIONS SCIENTIFIQUES MEDICALES ELSEVIER
Año: 2019 vol. 18 p. 449 - 449
The saber-toothed cat Smilodon is a characteristic genus of the Pleistocene faunas of theAmerican continent. Smilodon belongs to an extinct clade of felids that had hypertrophiedblade-like upper canines. Because the length of the canines is so extreme, the killing bite ofSmilodon is a hotly debated topic in vertebrate paleontology. Some authors have proposedthat saber-toothed cats had a weak bite and their canines were fragile, not useful for attacking prey or penetrating bones. The aim of the present contribution is to describe two newspecimens of Smilodon populator that have injuries on their skulls. Although it cannot beruled out that the injuries were caused by a potential prey kicking the skull, the size, shapeand general features of the injuries suggest that they were inflicted by the upper caninesof another Smilodon individual during agonistic interactions.