Name: Afrosmilus ‭(‬African knife‭)‬.
Phonetic: Af-roe-smy-lus.
Named By: Miklós Kretzoi‭ ‬-‭ ‬1929.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Mammalia,‭ ‬Carnivora,‭ ‬Feliformia,‭ ‬Barbourofelidae.
Species: A.‭ ‬africanus,‭ ‬A.‭ ‬hispanicus,‭ ‬A.‭ ‬turkanae.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: Unavailable.
Known locations: Kenya.
Time period: Burdigalian Miocene.
Fossil representation: Few specimens.

       Although Afrosmilus superficially looks like an African big cat,‭ ‬it is actually a barbourfelid,‭ ‬a group of mammals that appeared before the big cats of the Felidae.‭ ‬However‭ ‬exactly how close barbourofelids are to true cats is actually a matter of debate amongst palaeontologists with some claiming that they are not related at all to some that have even made the suggestion that they be included with the Felidae.‭ ‬As a barbourofelid Afrosmilus would obviously have been a predator of other animals that may have even included early primates such as Proconsul.

Further reading
- A new tribe, new genus and two new species of Barbourofelinae (Felidae, Carnivora, Mammalia) from the Early Miocene of East Africa and Spain. - Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 92(01):97 - 102. - Jorge Morales, Manuel J. Salesa, M. Pickford & D. Soria - 2001.


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