Navigation Links
Saber-toothed cats in California were not driven to extinction by lack of food
Date:12/26/2012

When prey is scarce, large carnivores may gnaw prey to the bone, wearing their teeth down in the process. A new analysis of the teeth of saber-toothed cats and American lions reveals that they did not resort to this behavior just before extinction, suggesting that lack of prey was probably not the main reason these large cats became extinct. The results, published December 26 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Larisa DeSantis of Vanderbilt University and colleagues, compares tooth wear patterns from the fossil cats that roamed California 12,000 to 30,000 years ago.

The saber-toothed cat and American lion were among the largest terrestrial carnivores that lived during their time, and went extinct along with other large animals approximately 12,000 years ago. Previous studies have suggested many reasons for this extinction, including a changing climate, human activity and competition from humans and other animals for food, which may have grown scarce as a result of these changes. In the current study, the authors found that saber-toothed cats likely consumed carcass bones regularly, but found no differences in bone consumption between older fossils and more recent ones. Based on this, they suggest that the cats' diet did not change significantly near the time they became extinct. In contrast, American lions did not consume much bone even near extinction, and had tooth-wear patterns similar to cheetahs, who actively avoid bone in their prey.

"Tooth wear patterns suggest that these cats were not desperately consuming entire carcasses, as was expected, and instead seemed to be living the 'good life' during the late Pleistocene, at least up until the very end," says DeSantis.

The study reveals previously unknown differences in the food habits of saber-toothed cats and American lions, and also suggests that though the case of their extinction is still unknown, a lack of food was probably not the main reason.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jyoti Madhusoodanan
jmadhusoodanan@plos.org
415-568-4545
Public Library of Science
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Medbox, Inc. Featured in Multiple Media Stories in Massachusetts and California
2. California is home to extreme weather, too
3. Turfgrass and Landscape Research Field Day to be held in California, Sept. 13
4. Californias stem cell agency boosts heart disease research at Sanford-Burnham
5. Partnership enhances biology teaching at California community colleges
6. UC Riverside developing biofuel formulations for California
7. Are brown widows displacing black widow spiders around southern California homes?
8. UCSB scientists compile first study of potential for tsunamis in northwestern California
9. Restoring streamside forests helps songbirds survive the winter in Californias Central Valley
10. Beetle-fungus disease threatens crops and landscape trees in Southern California
11. Scientists core into Californias Clear Lake to explore past climate change
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Saber-toothed cats in California were not driven to extinction by lack of food
(Date:3/31/2016)... PROVIDENCE, R.I. , March 31, 2016  Genomics ... leadership of founding CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., ... addition, members of the original technical leadership team, including ... Vice President of Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice ... have returned to the company. Dr. Bready ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... , March 22, 2016 ... research report "Electronic Sensors Market for Consumer Industry by ... & Others), Application (Communication & IT, Entertainment, ... - Global Forecast to 2022", published by ... is expected to reach USD 26.76 Billion ...
(Date:3/18/2016)... --> --> Competitive Landscape ... Vehicles, Physical infrastructure and Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems ... market and the continuing migration crisis in the ... has led visiongain to publish this unique report, which is ... & security companies in the border security market and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... a newly re-branded identity. The new Media Cybernetics corporate branding reflects a results-driven ... of imaging and image analysis. The re-branding components include a crisp, refreshed logo ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... Oxitec CEO Hadyn Parry will testify ... before the United States House Committee on Science, Space and ... controlling the spread of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, ... (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150630/227348 ) Oxitec has pioneered ... in Brazil , Panama ...
(Date:5/22/2016)... ... May 22, 2016 , ... Doctors in Rome say micronutrients found ... cancer, malignant mesothelioma. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted an article on the new research. ... Rome’s Department of Clinical Sciences and Translational Medicine evaluated more than 150 studies on ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... May 20, 2016 , ... The recent recall by Costco and Trader Joes ... News on May 12, 2016(1), demonstrates the need for faster and more cost effective ... firm, PathSensors, Inc. , PathSensor’s latest solution uses a biosensor technology ...
Breaking Biology Technology: