According to researchers, one of the largest ever meat-eating mammals was a giant lion with enormous teeth that inhabited Kenya’s savannah more than 20 million years ago.
Simbakubwa kutokaafrika, a new species found by scientists in Tanzania, means “big African lion” in Swahili. The lower jaw, teeth, and other bones of this species were discovered.
According to the researchers, this lion was up to 1,500 kg in weight and may have hunted on the elephant-like creatures that inhabited there at the time.
Simbakubwa was a super-carnivorous cat that was perhaps larger than a polar bear and considerably bigger than the modern lion, according to research co-led by Matthew Borths from Duke University and Ohio University.
A sketch of the monster depicts a huge big-cat-like hunter with striped fur and enormous teeth.
Simbakubwa lived in modern-day Kenya some 23 million years ago, according to the researchers behind the study, which was published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. Simbakubwa emerged around this time and was a “key period” in the evolution of carnivorous animals, according to the team.
Scientists said the find might help them understand how supersized predators and prey developed over millions of years during the end of the Paleogene period, when mammals evolved from tiny rodents into many different species.