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Out of a drawer and into your nightmares comes a vicious ancient beast

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When Ohio University integrative biologist Nancy Stevens peered into a drawer in the wooden cabinets on the top floor of a Nairobi museum in 2010, she saw a chunk of rock containing massive teeth and knew she had come across something important.

The overlooked fossils stored at the National Museums of Kenya belonged to one of the largest meat-eating mammals ever to walk the Earth, a beast called Simbakubwa kutokaafrika that stalked Africa 22 million years ago, according to research by Stevens and co-author Matthew Borths published on Thursday.

Bigger than any carnivorous land mammal alive today – even a polar bear – Simbakubwa’s skull was the size of a rhino’s, its eight-inch (20-cm) canine teeth as large as bananas. It weighed about a tonne and was 8 feet long (2-1/2 meters) snout to rump.Read More

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