n the “Lord of the Rings” series, author J.R.R. Tolkien invented the fantastical “warg,” a wolf-like beast with sharp teeth that lived in the Misty Mountains. Little did Tolkien know that such a creature, perhaps one even more terrifying than a warg, actually existed.
This newly discovered but now extinct carnivore lived about 22 million years ago in what is now Kenya. It was larger than a polar bear, the largest land-based carnivore alive today; it weighed up to 3,300 lbs. (1,500 kilograms), measured 8 feet (2.4 meters) long from snout to rump and stood 4 feet (1.2 m) tall at its shoulders.[…]