25 September 2008 IVPP, Beijing.
I saw the first complete skeleton of the giant hyena Dinocrocuta gigantea this morning.
The head-body length of this individual is over 6 feet long (1.9 meters), the skull itself is 17 inches long (43 centimeters).
This skeleton is just one of the new discoveries coming out of Hezheng, the little town in southern Gansu Province that has produced the most spectacular late Miocene hyaenid specimens in China over the past 15 years.
The skeleton is to be studied by IVPP scientists and photos could be released after consultation.
This is a lion-sized hyena in an extinct fauna that did not contain large cats...it is very likely that the lion's present day reign in Africa was not supreme throughout the Old World.
I am awestruck.
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