The function of saber-like canines in carnivorous mammals. American Museum novitates ; no. 1130

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New York City : The American Museum of Natural History
"The sabertooth specialization has arisen independently at least three times among carnivorous mammals. Conflicting theories are that they were used for stabbing, for slicing, or for both, and that they were related to predaceous or to carrion-eating habits. 2. Stabbing with a curved tooth involves rotary motion, the center of which is not normally at an anatomical joint. Contrary to the most recent study, that of Bohlin, the mammalian saberteeth and the associated osteological and myological specializations are perfectly adapted for stabbing. 3. The known saber-like canines are ill-adapted for slicing, but doubtless could be and were used to make a short stabbing slice or gash. This function is considered secondary and the stabbing attack primary. 4. This primary adaptation of the canines and the general bodily structure are more consistent with predaceous habits than with carrion-eating. The various objections to the predaceous-stabbing theory seem all to be based on misapprehensions or to permit equally logical alternative deductions"--P. 11.
12 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 12).