Body mass in large extant and extinct carnivores



Body mass in six species of Plio-Pleistocene carnivores was estimated based on the relationship between mass and cross-sectional geometric properties, distal articular surface area, lengths and circumferences of proximal limb bones (femur and humerus) in 28 species of extant carnivores. All measures, except lengths, were found to give congruent body mass estimates. Two of the extinct carnivores (Smilodon fatalis and Panthera atrox) are estimated to be as much as one and a half times heavier than previously thought. Based on these results inferences are made concerning possible prey species.