Earliest Saber Teeth Used for Fighting, Not Biting

When I hear the word "sabertooth", my mind immediately jumps to the great sabercats who sliced through throats and bellies with their impressive fangs. But that only represents one lineage and one way to be a sabertooth. Over 265 million years ago, one of the earliest creatures to bear saber fangs was an herbivore that likely used its impressive dentition in competition rather than carnivory.

This dawn sabertooth, named Tiarajudens eccentricus, was named by Juan Carlos Cisneros and coauthors back in 2011. It was a synapsid - a protomammal more closely related to our early ancestors than to reptiles - that more specifically belonged to ...

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