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:3/22/2017)... Calif. , March 21, 2017 ... analytics company serving law enforcement agencies, announced today the ... as director of public safety business development. ... diversified law enforcement experience, including a focus on the ... In his most recent position, Mr. Sheridan served as ...
(Date:3/13/2017)... HAMBURG, Germany , March 13, 2017 Future of ... ... DERMALOGs Face Matching enables to match ... characteristics forms the basis to identify individuals. (PRNewsFoto/Dermalog Identification Systems) ... DERMALOG,s "Face Matching" is the fastest software for ...
(Date:3/7/2017)... CITY , March 7, 2017   HireVue ... help top global companies identify the best talent, faster, ... as Chief Sales Officer (CSO) and Diana Kucer ... appointments round out a seasoned executive team poised to drive ... beyond, building on a year of record bookings in ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... 27, 2017 , ... Volunteers supported by SPIE, the ... industry professionals in visiting U.S. Congressional offices in Washington, D.C., yesterday to urge ... industry. , This year, National Photonics Initiative (NPI) Congressional Visits Day ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... ... with NASA to showcase the future of deep space exploration and inspire space ... and Orion spacecraft and includes a guest appearance by former Shuttle Astronaut Don ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... As the ... among healthcare industry stakeholders, the discussion surrounding the topic will continue at WEDI ... 2017 in Los Angeles, Calif. Hosted by the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... 25, 2017 Providence ... its novel immune-modulating technology to an undisclosed global pharmaceutical ... Tregitopes, pronounced T·rej·itopes, are a set ... EpiVax CEO Annie De Groot and ... G, an autoimmune disease therapy, Tregitopes are capable ...
Breaking Biology Technology: