Megistotherium

Name: Megistotherium ‭(‬Greatest beast‭)‬.
Phonetic: Meh-giss-toe-fee-ree-um.
Named By: R.‭ ‬J.‭ ‬G.‭ ‬Savage‭ ‬-‭ ‬1973.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Mammalia,‭ ‬Eutheria,‭ ‬Laurasiatheria,‭ ‬Creodonta,‭ ‬Hyaenodontidae,‭ ‬Hyainailourinae.
Species: M.‭ ‬osteothlastes‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: ‬Largest known skull about‭ ‬66‭ ‬centimetres long.‭ ‬Overall roughly about‭ ‬135‭ ‬centimetres high at the shoulder.
Known locations: Africa,‭ ‬with countries including Egypt,‭ ‬Kenya,‭ ‬Libya,‭ ‬Namibia,‭ ‬Uganda
Time period: Aquitanian through to the Serravalian of the Miocene.
Fossil representation: Skull and postcranial remains.

       A large relative of the more famous Hyaenodon,‭ ‬Megistotherium was clearly one of the main predators of its day.‭ ‬The skull of Megistotherium alone measured up to‭ ‬sixty-six centimetres long,‭ ‬almost as long as the average person’s arm and hand.‭ ‬It is likely that Megistotherium also scavenged carcasses,‭ ‬though in what ratio Megistotherium hunted and scavenged is unknown.‭ ‬In Africa today animals associated with hunting such as lions will scavenge when they can,‭ ‬while animals associated with scavenging such as hyena will also hunt.‭ ‬The bones of mastodons have been found with Megistotherium-like tooth marks upon them,‭ ‬suggesting that Megistotherium at least fed upon them.
       There has been speculation however that Megistotherium may be a synonym of Hyainailouros,‭ ‬a relative creodont also known to have attained large sizes,‭ ‬be similar and be active in some of the same locations at the same time as Megistotherium.‭

Further reading
-‭ ‬Megistotherium,‭ ‬gigantic hyaenodont from Miocene of Gebel Zelten,‭ ‬Libya.‭ ‬Bulletin of the British Museum‭ (‬Natural History‭) ‬Geology‭ ‬22‭ (‬7‭)‬:‭ ‬483‭–‬511.‭ ‬-‭ ‬R.‭ ‬J.‭ ‬G.‭ ‬Savage‭ ‬-‭ ‬1973.
-‭ ‬New specimens of the giant creodont Megistotherium‭ (‬Hyaenodontidae‭) ‬from Moghara,‭ ‬Egypt.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Journal of Mammalogy‭ (‬American Society of Mammalogists‭) ‬70‭ (‬2‭)‬:‭ ‬442‭–‬447‭ ‬-‭ ‬D.‭ ‬Tab Rasmussen,‭ ‬Christopher D.‭ ‬Tilden and Elwyn L.‭ ‬Simons‭ ‬-‭ ‬1989.
-‭ ‬Creodonta and Carnivora from Arrisdrift,‭ ‬early Middle Miocene of southern Namibia‭ ‬-‭ ‬Memoir of the Geological Survey of Namibia‭ ‬01/2003‭; ‬19:177-194.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Jorge Morales,‭ ‬Martin Pickford,‭ ‬Susana Fraile,‭ ‬Manuel J.‭ ‬Salesa‭ & ‬Dolores Soria‭ ‬-‭ ‬2003.
-‭ ‬Carnivores from the Middle Miocene Ngorora Formation‭ (‬13-12‭ ‬Ma‭) ‬Kenya.‭ ‬Estudios Geol.,‭ ‬61,‭ ‬271-284‭ ‬-‭ ‬J.‭ ‬Morales‭ & ‬M.‭ ‬Pickford‭ ‬-‭ ‬2005.
-‭ ‬Creodonta and Carnivora from Wadi Moghra,‭ ‬Egypt.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology‭ ‬27:‭ ‬145‭–‬159‭ ‬-‭ ‬M.‭ ‬Morlo,‭ ‬E.‭ ‬R.‭ ‬Miller‭ & ‬A.‭ ‬N.‭ ‬El-Barkooky‭ ‬-‭ ‬2007.
-‭ ‬Creodonta and Carnivora from the early Miocene of the northern Sperrgebiet,‭ ‬Namibia.‭ ‬Memoir of the Geological Survey of Namibia‭ ‬20:‭ ‬291-310‭ ‬-‭ ‬J.‭ ‬Morales,‭ ‬M.‭ ‬Pickford,‭ ‬M.‭ ‬J.‭ ‬Salesa‭ ‬-‭ ‬2008.
-‭ ‬Creodonts and carnivores from the Middle Miocene Muruyur Formation at Kipsaraman and Cheparawa,‭ ‬Baringo District,‭ ‬Kenya.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Comptes Rendus Palevol‭ ‬7‭ (‬8‭)‬:‭ ‬487-497‭ ‬-‭ ‬J.‭ ‬Morales‭ & ‬M.‭ ‬Pickford‭ ‬-‭ ‬2008.



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