Muscle maps for selected hind limb bones of a saber-tooth tiger
This study concentrates on deriving muscle maps of an extinct species by comparing the bones of the species to muscle maps of extant species. The extant species used for this study were a domestic cat (Felis catus) and a clouded leopard (Neofelis neulosa), which is an endangered species. The muscle maps created for these species were compared to the bones of an extinct saber-tooth tiger (Smilodon), in hopes to make comparisons between the species. It was found from the completed muscle maps and documented research that there seemed to be closer similarities between the clouded leopard and Smilodon. The muscles, although not differing by much from the cats, had subtle differences present in both the clouded leopard and Smilodon. It was also found that clouded leopards contain features that only seem to be present in extinct saber-tooth cats, thus making them appear to be a more closely related species. This study overall is important for learning how extinct species were able to live, as well as give an understanding on how the species were made up and able to move providing us with information on behavior and place in the ecosystem of the species. This, in turn, allows us to see how species were able to evolve over time.