A U.S. paleontologist was doing research on a family of extinct predatory mammals called hyaenadons. He was going through a drawer full of bones at the Nairobi National Museum in Kenya when he saw a huge jawbone that had been previously overlooked. It turned out to be a new species of a predatory carnivores that lived in Kenya about 22 million years ago. They named this new creature Simbakubwa kutokaafrika which means “big lion from Africa in Swahili. However, it wasn’t a lion. It was a Hyaenadon and was bigger than any land carnivore living today. Much bigger than a lion.
African lions weigh up to 550 pounds or 250 kilograms. The largest land carnivore living today on average is the polar bear. The average weight of a mature polar bear male is between 900 and 1,500 pounds. The heaviest recorded polar bear was 2,200 pounds. Simbakubwa kutokaafrika was the same length as a polar bear, 8 feet from snout to rump but outweighed the largest polar bear ever by weighing 3,300 pounds, over a thousand pounds bigger than the biggest polar bear ever recorded.
All of the Hyaenadons went extinct around 5 million years ago but there is a mammal that is a carnivore that is still living today which is not only bigger than the biggest polar bear ever but larger than Simbakubwa kutokaafrika. And that carnivore is the southern elephant seal which can weigh as much as 11,000 pounds and grow to 23 feet in length. Southern elephant seals are mammals and carnivores but not considered land carnivores like lions, polar bears and, of course, Simbakubwa kutokaafrika.
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