Two new species of saber-tooth tiger identified from 5 million years ago in South Africa

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A international research led by the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) has discovered two new species of saber-tooth tiger by examining one of the Pliocene fossil collections at Langebaanweg, north of Cape Town, South Africa, the university’s Scientific Culture Unit has reported.

The results of the study, published in ‘iScience‘, have suggested that the distribution of ancient African sabertooths might have been different than previously assumed.

The University has explained that saber-toothed tigers constitute a diverse group of predators with hyperdeveloped upper canines that began to roam Africa about 7-6 million years ago, around the time hominids, the group that includes modern humans, began to evolve.

Thus, this work has described a total of four species. Two of them, ‘Dinofelis werdellini‘ y ‘Lokotunjailurus chimsamyae‘, were previously unknown.

Research has further detailed that he ‘Dinofelis werdellini‘ is distributed globally and their fossils have been found in Africa, China, Europe, and North America. The researchers hoped to identify a new species of ‘Dinofelis’ on the Langebaanweg based on previous research. However,Lokotunjailurus chimsamyae’ it had only been identified in Kenya and Chad prior to this analysis. This suggests that it was present practically throughout the continent between 7 and 5 million years ago (late Late Miocene and early Pliocene).

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