Saber-toothed tiger – prehistoric kosher butcher?

We like to think of the saber-toothed tiger as being a savage killer. We think of those giant teeth combined with powerful jaws and we figure there was nothing more fearsome in the world. Turns out: vicious yes, powerful bite, no. A lion, for example exerts 600 pounds of force in it’s bite. But using a computer model, scientists figured out that the saber-tooth would drive it own tooth through its jaw with that much force – it’s skull simply couldn’t take it. They figure the jaw exerted a maximum of 220 pounds of force ( only a bit more than our own 175 pounds of jaw force, but far less than, say a T-Rex which could manage 3,000 pounds)

Instead of suffocating a kill, as lions like to do, saber-tooths (teeth?) would leap on their prey, push down its head and slice the cartodid artery with its tusks. The prey died much quicker (a lion needs 10 minutes to make its kill), and the saber-tooth had a nice lunch once the blood drianed away and the animal stopped kicking. The method of killing an animal by slicing it’s throat is actually a part of the kosher butchering rules. If the saber tooth had some salt, it totally could have been a shochet.


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