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Just a quick bite

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12:57pm, October 3, 2007

Saber-toothed cats living in North America up to 10,000 years ago relied on a strong pounce and a swift bite to kill their prey. Smilodon fatalis, often erroneously called tigers, didn't have jaws strong enough to suffocate their victims as modern big cats do. Instead, says Colin McHenry of the University of Newcastle in Callaghan, Australia, saber-toothed cats probably tackled prey and used their prominent canine teeth to pierce a victim's airway.

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