The dirk toothed sabre tooths with the long blade like sabres (Smilodon and Megantereon) had shorter limbs, smaller brains and enhanced olefactory lobes. Limb proportions were similar to the modern jaguar suggesting similar closed habitat ambush. The powerful forelimbs suggest grappling and immobilisation of the prey along with a killing bite to the throat. Morphofunctional studies of M.whitei suggest it was incapable of exploiting much of the carcass thereby leaving much for scavengers.

Smilodon skull, British Natural History Museum, London