The elongated canines of the sabre-tooth cat, Smilodon were between 18-25cm
long. The canines of the other two sabre-tooth cats, Homotherium and Xenosmilus were
approximately 10-12cm in length.
It was originally thought that these large, elongated teeth were razor
sharp and perhaps serrated on one edge. Today, researchers believe the
sabres to be quite blunt.
The remaining teeth were much smaller in both
the upper and lower jaws, interlocking upon closure of the jaw. Due to the
length of these sabres, the mandibular flanges (lower jaw) became reduced or narrowed so that the
canines could protrude beneath the chin when the jaw was closed (Kurten 1980).
The jaw of the sabre-tooth is another characteristic that
separates it from other cats. Unlike other carnivorous mammals, the sabre-
tooth cat could open its jaw quite wide. Researchers have estimated that the jaw
may have opened to a maximum angle of 120º (www.invis.com/catteryrow/extinct.html).