A new species of giant meat-eating mammal has
been identified from fossil fragments found in a drawer of Nairobi National
Museum, Kenya. The gigantic carnivore has been dubbed as Simbakubwa kutokaafrika, meaning “big African Lion” in Swahili. The
findings of the research has been published in the Journal of Vertebrate
to scientists, the creature is one of the biggest ever meat-eating mammals. The
creature has been categorized as part of an extinct group of mammals called hyaenodonts.
The animal lived around 22 million years ago in
the eastern African ecosystems. According to scientist, the creature would have
weighed up to 1,500 kgs and could have preyed upon the elephant-like creatures
that lived there at the time. Scientists further added that Simbakubwa is not
closely related to big cats or any other mammalian carnivore alive today.
The identification of the creature highlights the
significance of museum collections for understanding evolutionary history.