Apr 18, 2019 08:11 PM EDT
The remains of a giant lion with huge fangs were found in Kenya. Researchers believe the great lion roamed Kenyan savannah over 20 million years ago. They consider it as one of the largest carnivorous mammals to have ever lived.
A team of researchers were able to dig up the teeth, lower jaw, and some other bones of a new species. The locals call it as the "Simbakubwa Kutokaafrika." it's the Swahili form for the "Big African Lion."
According to their calculations, the creature would have weighed at least 1,500 kilograms. They also think that these large creatures used to prey upon elephant-like creatures that lived among them during their time.
"When we looked at the massive teeth, Simbakubwa was a special type of hypercarnivore," said Matthew Borths, the researcher who co-led the study. Je is from Duke University and he conducted the study in partnership with researchers from the Ohio University. They termed it as such because its size is much bigger than the lion that people see today. In fact, the size of this creature was compared to that of the polar bear and scientists say it is bigger than that.
The team behind the study published their findings in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. They also said that the Simbakubwa lived in what is now known as Kenya around 23 million years ago. This has been considered as the key period in carnivorous mammals. They also said that this new discover could help shed light on the super sized creatures, particularly predators that lives for millions of years on earth.
Researchers believe that they lived on earth around the Paleogene epoch. This is the period when mammals grew from the small rodents into many bigger, more diverse species.
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