Apr 21, 2017 01:43 AM EDT
Analysis of the Egyptian fossils revealed a new species of an extinct carnivore, hyaenodonts. The new species is named Masrasector nananubis, after the Egyptian god of the underworld.
The fossils were found in the Egyptian deserts Southwest of Cairo and known to be the complete remains of the hyaenodonts. Further analysis indicated that the fossils belong to the same group of extinct carnivore roaming the Earth during the Paleogene period called hyaenodonts. The extinct carnivore once ruled the food chain in Africa more than 40 million years ago. Recently, a fossils analysis has found a new species of the hyaenodonts.
A researcher from the Ohio University, Matthew Borths has identified the newly discovered fossils to be a distinctive species of hyaenodonts. The recent discovery of hyaenodonts fossils is the complete remains of the species to be found according to Phys.org.
Borths and his colleague, Erik Seiffert from the University of Southern California analyzed the fossils and concluded it to be the new species of hyaenodonts. They named the species as Masrasector nananubis, in reference to the Egyptian god of the underworld, whose head resembled a canine. They already published the result in the open access journal, Plos One on April 19, 2017.
The discovery of the fossils has opened a new exploration of the Earth condition after the extinction of dinosaurs. Hyaenodonts are the predecessor of the modern carnivore, and the carnivores also lived in Europe, Asia, and North America. Some of the hyaenodonts are known to be tree dwellers, and some others are terrestrials.
"Hyaenodonts were the the top predators in Africa, "Borths said. "This new species is associated with a dozen specimens, including skulls and arm bones."
Understanding the carnivores that lived around Paleogene period, which also marked the beginning of the Cenozoic period will bring further understanding of the modern carnivore. Hyaenodonts are also known to compete with Smilodons, or known as sabre-tooth tiger, for the territory and their prey. Watch the documentary of the battle between the two prehistoric carnivores below: