Researchers discover ancient giant 'lion' Simbakubwa

Researchers discover ancient giant 'lion' Simbakubwa

Researchers discover ancient giant 'lion' Simbakubwa

Bigger than any carnivorous land mammal alive today - even a polar bear - Simbakubwa's skull was the size of a rhino's, its 20-centimetre canine teeth as large as bananas.

Known as "Simbakubwa kutokaafrika", the "big African lion" was likely at the top of the food chain in Africa, researchers said in a statement. The team were able to examine portions of the creature's skull, its jaw and parts of its skeleton and discovered it is the oldest specimen of a group of mammals known as hyaenodonts.

"Opening a museum drawer, we saw a row of big meat-eating teeth, clearly belonging to a species new to science", says study lead author Borths.

According to the research published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, the fossils were excavated around 1980 in western Kenya and never closely examined. The 22-million-year-old fossils were unearthed in Kenya decades ago as researchers canvassed the region searching for evidence of ancient apes.

Year Old Journalist Shot Dead During Violence In Derry
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton confirmed the woman's death, saying it had followed shots being fired. She added: "Those who brought guns onto our streets in the 70s, 80s and 90s were wrong".

A Simbakubwa kutokaafrika, a very big mammalian carnivore that lived 22 million years ago in Africa and was larger than a polar bear. "I imagine something like the "wargs" from Lord of the Rings", said Borths, a Duke Lemur Center paleontologist, referring to fictional monstrous wolves. At the same time, the ancient relatives of modern day cats, hyenas and dogs began to filter south.

Simbakubwa kutokaafrika, a enormous carnivore known from most of its jaw, portions of its skull, and parts of its skeleton, was a hyaenodont that was larger than a polar bear. "Like a saber-toothed cat, Simbakubwa was a hypercarnivore, but cats only have one set of specialized, meat-slicing teeth on each side of the jaw". When Africa connected with Eurasia the continents changed ocean currents and global climate patterns, the uplift of the East African Rift changed precipitation patterns, and closed forest habitats started to become more open and grassy. "Simbakubwa is a window into a bygone era". But, they say, they still have much to learn about why these giant meat eaters went extinct-and what they can teach us about the risks to modern carnivores. "As ecosystems shifted, a key predator disappeared, heralding Cenozoic faunal transitions that eventually led to the evolution of the modern African fauna".

"This discovery underscores both the importance of supporting innovative uses of fossil collections, as well as the importance of supporting the research and professional development of talented young postdoctoral scientists like Dr. Borths", said Daniel Marenda, a program director at the National Science Foundation, which funded this research.

Recommended News

  • Who will the Golden State Warriors be playing in the first round?

    Who will the Golden State Warriors be playing in the first round?

    However, it will be a tough road for the No. 1 seed because of all the depth the Eastern Conference possesses in terms of talent. There isn't much to discuss in this series, except to see how Stephen Curry's new contacts continue to improve his shooting.
    Joko Widodo likely victor  of Indonesian elections but Prabowo won't go easy

    Joko Widodo likely victor of Indonesian elections but Prabowo won't go easy

    The president had appealed to people on Wednesday to wait until the General Elections Commission announced the result. Election workers dressed in superhero costumes register voters at a polling station on Wednesday.
    BBM to shut down May

    BBM to shut down May

    Now, in a bit of surprising news, Emtek has announced their decision to end service of BBM for consumers on May 31, 2019. The enterprise-grade messaging platform with end-to-end encryption will be available for free for the first year.
  • SOFIA detects the first type of molecule ever formed in the universe

    SOFIA detects the first type of molecule ever formed in the universe

    Helium atoms combined with these protons into the helium hydride ion HeH+, the universe's first molecular bond. Physicists believe that this molecule's formation helped the young universe cool down, allowing stars to form.
    BHP cuts iron ore forecasts after Australia cyclone

    BHP cuts iron ore forecasts after Australia cyclone

    Inventory of imported iron ore at Chinese ports stood at 148.9 million tonnes as of April 12, data compiled by SteelHome showed. However, the miner maintained annual production guidance for copper at 1.65 million tonnes to 1.74 million tonnes.
    Pinterest shares jump 30pc as investors rush into $12.7bn IPO

    Pinterest shares jump 30pc as investors rush into $12.7bn IPO

    The market action comes amid an expect wave of "unicorns", or startups valued at over $1 billion, hitting the public markets. It earns money through advertisements, which are placed among the " pins " or posts that users upload on the site.
  • China growth beats forecasts as econ shows stability signs

    China growth beats forecasts as econ shows stability signs

    The reading easily beat analysts' estimates of 5.9 per cent and the 5.3 per cent seen in the first two months of the year. The nation's retail sales rose 8.7%, driven by strong demand for home appliances, furniture and building materials.
    Mueller report: Things we only just learned

    Mueller report: Things we only just learned

    The special counsel's office looked to whether members of the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian election interference. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Thursday that she takes "no pleasure in discussions of impeachment".
    Stats, Facts & Team for Delhi Capitals v Mumbai Indians — TFG Fantasy Sports

    Stats, Facts & Team for Delhi Capitals v Mumbai Indians — TFG Fantasy Sports

    Hardik managed one more six in the final over off Rabada, before mistiming an attempted bellicose stroke and departing. Wicket-keeping: Both Rishabh Pant and Quinton de Kock have been in great form this season.
  • Justice Dept. to end 'catch and release' detention for migrants

    Justice Dept. to end 'catch and release' detention for migrants

    Asylum seekers who presented themselves at legal ports of entry were already unable to be released on bond by immigration courts. Sessions resigned from his position in November, leaving the case to Barr to decide.

    Dingo drags toddler away from campervan on Australia's Fraser Island

    At least two wild dogs are understood to have entered the caravan on Fraser Island in the early hours of Friday morning. Paramedics were called, arriving via helicopter to the island , which is situated about 250km north of Brisbane .
    Post launch Status Briefing for Northrup Grumman Mission to Space Station

    Post launch Status Briefing for Northrup Grumman Mission to Space Station

    However, the first group of long-term residents on board the space station did not arrive until two years later in November 2000. The ISS - a rare area of cooperation between Moscow and Washington - has been orbiting the Earth since 1998.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.