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This is a submission for the Anatomically Correct Series

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The Ammit is a creature of Egyptian mythology being depicted as:

  • being as large as a hippo
  • having a crocodilian like head
  • having a lion like mane and tail
  • being carnivorous and likely being scavengers
  • having scales on their face
  • having claws on it's forelimbs and hippo like hindlimbs (optional)

Given these characteristics, what species could the Ammit have evolved from, and what evolutionary pressures would lead to such a creature?

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    $\begingroup$ One again, asking questions for the sake of asking questions is not always meaningful. Anatomically Correct questions are great when they either (A) pose unique challenges, or (B) provide context for something we all know and often use in worldbuilding, like a dragon. Picking an arbitrary combination of realistic traits "hippo with a crocodile head and long legs" isn't as meaningful to many other users imo, hence the downvotes. If you were using this creature in your own world and presented detailed research and your own ideas, it might be OK. Instead, this seems copy-and-pasted like other Q's $\endgroup$ – Zxyrra Feb 27 at 16:58
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There already was something like this, Andrewsarchus, it is even related to hippo.

large crocodile like head, that is a good a description as any unscientific culture would come up with.

Lion like mane and tail, check on the tail the main is anyones guess so go for it.

being as large as a hippo, damn close

being carnivorous and likely being scavengers, easy check, that is true for basically all predators.

having scales on their face, this is the hard one hair ans scales together is basically impossible unless it is decended from pangolins. But it could be scale like in appearance, scale like lumpy skin has evolved more than once in mammals.

having claws on it's forelimbs and hippo like hindlimbs, check on the claws but for the second this depends on what you mean by hippo-like, the hind legs are shorter. It is closely related to hippo so you have that going for you. There is a lot of different interpretations of what it looked like just because it is so closely related to hippo. Plus they come in several sizes.

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A hippo that evolved to fill the crocodilian ambush predator niche.

If the crocodiles weren’t around and something else had to fill the niche a carnivorous version of a hippo wouldn’t be a bad choice. Large, heavy, deceptively fast. They’re already killing machines in their own right. Of course, carrion on the shore is just food that is t going to fight back, so scavenging is right in.

Longer jaws and forelegs, along with more claw like digits, would help with the ‘grab my prey and drown it’ aspects of the niche, while the mane looks suspiciously like floating weeds if allowed to rest on the surface of the water, giving the ammit a few more meters grace before their prey realised just what was coming...

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Crocodile head is specialized for water, long limbs are bad for swimming....

Best bet would be that it was some type of mammal that was transitioning into aquatic life, then it changed idea and when back to land, this would explain a non aquatic animal with a crocodile like head.

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