Cedars-Sinai Blog

Orthopaedist Is Hip to the Ways of Saber-Toothed Cats

The fossilized remains of a smilodon, or saber-toothed cat, excavated from La Brea Tar Pits, undergoing a CT Scan at Cedars-Sinai.

If hips don't lie, Dr. Robert Klapper, orthopaedic surgeon and co-director of the Cedars-Sinai Joint Replacement Program, may have the answer to a long-debated question among paleontologists: Twelve thousand years ago, when the smilodon, or saber-toothed cat, roamed what is now Wilshire Boulevard, did the predator hunt alone or in packs?

"The most modern technology allowed these bones to speak to us, and they had a lot to say."

A closer look

"If it's a fact that this is how this animal was born, then it's a fact that someone else had to feed it."

Dr. Robert Klapper, co-director of the Joint Replacement Program, examines results of a CT scan of a saber-toothed cat bone found near the La Brea Tar Pits.

Historical curiosity

Research like this could help create prostheses in new in-between sizes to help a wider variety of patients.

Dr. Klapper and his team examined bones like this fossilized saber-toothed cat pelvis from the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum.

The future of prostheses