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TechnologyHeavier than a polar bear with teeth 'like a serrated banana,' massive lion-like fossil found in museum drawer

18:30  18 april  2019
18:30  18 april  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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The fossil of a massive , meat-eating mammal had been sitting in a museum drawer for decades, not known that it belonged to a new species – until now. Named Simbakubwa kutokaafrika, the colossal carnivore is larger than any big cat on Earth today, heavier than a polar bear and with a head as

Polar bear are found in cold areas and come under carnivorous mammal which is native to Arctic Like a bear This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Heavier than a polar bear with teeth ' like a 'Giant lion ' fossil found in Kenya museum drawer - BBC News. "Based on its massive teeth

Heavier than a polar bear with teeth 'like a serrated banana,' massive lion-like fossil found in museum drawer© Provided by USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc.

The fossil of a massive, meat-eating mammal had been sitting in a museum drawer for decades, not known that it belonged to a new species – until now.

Named Simbakubwa kutokaafrika, the colossal carnivore is larger than any big cat on Earth today, heavier than a polar bear and with a head as large as rhinoceros', researchers say.

Simbakubwa is Swahili for "big lion" and kutokaafrika means "coming from Africa."

The 22-million-year-old fossils had originally been discovered nearly 40 years ago by a team studying ape evolution and stored in the National Museums of Kenya, the team said.

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Heavier than a polar bear : Teeth ' like a serrated banana ,' massive lion - like fossil found in museum drawer . For years, the leg bones gathered dust sitting next to eagles' bones until a graduate student realized they belonged to a completely different bird, National Geographic reported.

This new species of ancient carnivore was bigger than a polar bear . The handful of mysterious fossils sat unstudied for decades, tucked safely in a drawer at the Nairobi National The discovery helps connect some of the evolutionary dots for this group of massive meat-eaters, which were near

"I was shocked. I wasn't expected to see anything like this creature," one of the study's authors Matthew Borths wrote in an email to USA TODAY.

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Borths said the fossils were stored in a separate place from many of its relatives because there wasn't space, but it was kept in top shape before the researchers who had the expertise could identify it.

"Were it not for the expert efforts of the National Museums of Kenya curators and staff in conserving scientific information, important fossils like this one would be lost," added Nancy Stevens, another author of the study, in an email to USA TODAY.

The team published their findings Wednesday in the peer-reviewed Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

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More: Heavier than a polar bear with teeth ' like a serrated banana ,' massive lionlike fossil found in museum drawer . "This discovery, from the mid-Cretaceous, illustrates that there are still surprising discoveries of more recent, weird organisms waiting to be found , especially in the tropics," Luque said.

"Based on its massive teeth , Simbakubwa was a specialised hyper-carnivore that was significantly larger than the modern lion and possibly larger than a In 2013 he was doing research at the Nairobi National Museum when he asked to look at the contents of a collection labelled "hyenas", National

Although it is like modern lions in that it was probably atop the food chain in Africa, the mammal is not closely related to any of the big cats around today, but rather a member of the extinct group of mammals hyaenodonts.

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According to the scientists, the creature weighed more than 2,200 pounds, though it was hard to get an exact weight because none of its close relatives are still living.

"I knew that hyaenodonts could be big, but it's one thing to read measurements and another to be staring at a canine that looks like a serrated banana. It is just a beautiful specimen," Borths wrote.

Borths said the longest tooth, a canine, was about 4 inches long and still sharp when they discovered it.

Hyaenodonts were apex predators in Africa for about 45 million years after dinosaurs went extinct and were the first mammalian carnivores on the continent, researchers say.

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Unlike the massive Cthulhu of fiction, the creature unveiled by scientists this week was quite tiny His dread became too much to bear . One night, while watching TV with his mother, Michele, he Museum Collections. Discover works of art at one of the largest and most renowned museums in the country.

Heavier than a polar bear with teeth ' like a serrated banana ,' massive lion - like fossil found in museum drawer . All his teeth were removed, he had cryotherapy, and h e was on interferon therapy. a couple days ago, my vet did a recheck because his eye has been swelling badly.

As continents began to shift, plants and animals that had been isolated for millions of years started to interact. "It was a very chaotic time," Borths wrote. "Simbakubwa tells us what hyaenodonts looked like at the start of that chaotic interval."

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The team believes the creature was the oldest of the hyaenodonts and shows that the group originated in Africa before moving north.

While the hyaenodonts survived for millions of years after, they eventually went extinct about 9 million years ago, Borths said. While it's not known exactly what killed off the hyaenodonts, the climate was becoming drier at the time.

"This animal becomes one more important data point in a larger collaborative effort to understand how carnivores adapt to environmental change, and what ultimately drives them to extinction," Borths added.

Follow USA TODAY's Ryan Miller on Twitter @RyanW_Miller

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Heavier than a polar bear with teeth 'like a serrated banana,' massive lion-like fossil found in museum drawer

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