Hoplophoneus, saber tooth cat skull
Hoplophoneus, saber tooth cat skull
Hoplophoneus, saber tooth cat skull
Hoplophoneus, saber tooth cat skull
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Hoplophoneus, saber tooth cat skull

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Hoplophoneus (pronounced hop-loh-PHONE-ee-us) was a relatively small saber-toothed cat (about 1 1/2 to 2 times the size of a housecat) that lived during the Oligocene period (from about 40 million to 20 million years ago). Fossils have been found in Wyoming, USA. This cat's skull was 6 inches (15 cm) long. This predator had long, saber-like upper canine teeth that fit into a socket in its lower jaw. Hoplophoneus was plantigrade (flat-footed, unlike modern-day cats, which are digitigrade). Its large jaws could open about 90 degrees, allowing it to stab its victims with its incisors. This specimen is cast in solid resin, in the matrix.
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