A new species of ancient "cats" that were larger than polar bears has been discovered.

In 1981 in southwest Kenya by paleontologistsfossils of various animals were found, including apes and a certain predator, whose species has not been determined. At that time, scientists were interested only in the remains of primates, and the bones of an unknown predator were left in the National Museum of Kenya in Nairobi. Recently, these remains were finally studied by researchers at Ohio University - a previously unknown predator was given the name Simbakubwa kutokaafrika, which translates as "the big lion from Africa."

Among the surviving parts of the animal werejaw with fangs and incisors, as well as humeral, radial, ulnar and calcaneal bones. Judging by them, the predator had a very large size - the mass could vary from 280 to 1554 kilograms. That is, some individuals could resemble modern lions and even reach the size of polar bears. From this it follows that they could hunt large game that other predators of those times could not attack.

A predator who lived 22 million years ago is consideredthe oldest member of the genus of predatory mammals called Hyaenodon - the location of his teeth is similar to that of hyenas. Judging by the shape of the skull, the animal had an elongated face and a rather small jaw. All these features could sharpen his sense of smell, which played a large role in the hunt.

According to the calculations of scientists, predators of the genus Hyaenodonextinct 15-18 million years ago, but the reason for their disappearance is still unknown. Most likely, this happened because of the abrupt climate change - it became more arid, and uninhabitable for many animals. Most likely, the "lions from Africa" ​​were the last representatives of this genus.

Our planet is still full of mysteries - scientists evenmanage to discover new types of ancient people. A recently discovered species was named Homo luzonensis - they looked like “hobbit people” found in an Indonesian cave. Read more about this discovery in our material.

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