blaire van valkenburgh

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Blaire Van Valkenburgh in The New York Times: How a Saber-Tooth Marsupial Blinded Us With Its Bite

With swordlike canines, the saber-tooth cat is widely thought to have waited in silence before lunging and dealing devastating wounds to the soft throats of the large animals that it preyed upon. But paleontologists have long believed that this super-ambush predator was not alone in its way of life.  A predatory marsupial known as Thylacosmilus also had long blades projecting from its mouth.  “I am willing to entertain the notion that Thylacosmilus was a scavenger, but calling it a specialist organ feeder may be going a bit far,” said Blaire Van Valkenburgh, a paleontologist at the University of California, Los Angeles.”