A new species of ancient cats that were bigger than polar bears

In 1981, in South-Western Kenya, paleontologists had found fossils of various animals, including great apes and certain predator that has not been defined. At the time, scientists interested in the remains of the primates, and the bones of the unknown predator was left in the National Museum of Kenya in Nairobi. Recently, these remains were finally studied by researchers at Ohio state University — a previously unknown predator gave the name Simbakubwa kutokaafrika, which translates as “great lion of Africa.”

Simbakubwa kutokaafrik

Among the preserved parts of the animal turned out to be a jaw with fangs and incisors, as well as the brachial, radial, ulnar, and calcaneal bones. According to them, the predator had a very large size, the mass could range from 280 to 1554 kilograms. That is, some individuals could resemble modern lions and even reach the size of polar bears. This implies that they could hunt big game that could not attack other predators of the time.

The predator, who lived 22 million years ago, is the oldest representative of the genus of carnivorous mammals called Hyaenodon is the location of its teeth similar to the teeth of hyenas. Judging by the shape of the skull, the animal had an elongated snout and a rather small jaw. All of these features could exacerbate his sense of smell that played a big role in hunting.

According to scientists, predators of the genus Hyaenodon extinct 15-18 million years ago, but the reason for their disappearance is still unknown. Most likely, this happened due to abrupt climate change — he became more arid, and uninhabitable for many animals. Most likely, the “lions of Africa” became the last representatives of this genus.

Our planet is still full of mysteries — scientists even manage to discover new species of ancient people. The newly discovered species has been called Homo luzonensis — they were like “people-hobbits” discovered in an Indonesian cave. Read more about this discovery, read our material.

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