Gorgonopsid Gnashers — the Gorgon's Sabre-Toothed Bite
A hungry pack of Scylacops ('puppy face'! skull 21cm) demonstrate the gorgonopsid's nip-and- swallow technique. The gorgonopsids didn't chew like a mammal. Instead, they gulped
down the largest gobbet of meat manageable. Then, gorgonopsids staggered away for a snooze while their digestive juices started the lengthy process of breaking down their largely unmasticated
Modern meat-eating reptiles use simple feeding techniques, simply biting, then tearing along the dotted line. But, because of those huge canine teeth, the gorgonopsids needed to be
capable of biting in two totally different ways. For a killing bite, sabre-like canine teeth were slammed home creating deep wounds. (To deal with damage from hitting bone, canines were
Gorgonopsid feeding bites used only the small front teeth. These teeth did not simply puncture while feeding. Instead, the animal shifted its entire lower jaw forward while biting. The upper
and lower front teeth 'interdigitated' – sliding between one another, their serrated edges scissoring long, continuous slashes in meat and hide (or scraping the final
remnents of meat from the bone).