Why would any felid flaunt what’s obvious?

Prof. Mumblebard claims: “The extinct Smilodon, largest of all sabretooth cats, is particularly well-known because of the unusually large number of skeletons excavated. This genus has repeatedly been depicted  fang-baring in a way similar to the leopard but with the mouth even more widely open. Although some artistic reconstructions of Smilodon may be unrealistic in other respects, a snarling expression in confrontation with other species is in line with all the known facts.”

Robin and the Honey Badger respond: “Fang-baring varies greatly in extant Carnivora. For example, some families, such as the bears, show no fang-baring expressions in interspecific conflict. And even within the family Felidae, certain species fang-bare extremely readily, whereas others of similar body size and canine length fang-bare in interspecific conflict extremely reluctantly if at all. In the case of sabretooth cats in the genus

Please join us here at the Bio-edge with your own comments. In the discussion below we encourage links to any evidence supporting either Prof. Mumblebard or Robin and the Honey Badger. Illustrations are welcome but please cite all sources or we may be forced under copyright to delete your comment.


Featured image: Fossil of a Smilodon populator by JJonahJackalope (CC BY-SA 4.0, Smilodon)