In Today's Issue: Giant Prehistoric Cats Devoured Rhinos in North America Millions of Years Ago

The following story appeared in the [post_published] issue of The Daily Juice. The text is from the 9th-10th grade version. To access the other grade levels, interactive vocabulary (words in bold), quiz questions, and more, sign up for The Juice.

A newly discovered gigantic saber-tooth cat roamed North America 5-9 million years ago and devoured prey like 6,000-pound rhinos. The prehistoric predator weighed in at around 600 pounds, making it the biggest known cat of its time. It’s also one of the biggest ever found, according to a new study in the Journal of Mammalian Evolution.

Researchers discovered the fossils in northeastern Oregon. The fierce cats had long, razor-sharp teeth protruding from their mouths. With powerful forearms and great body mass, the cats also are believed to have feasted on huge camels and ground sloths, along with other prey that weighed several tons.  

We have known that giant cats prowled Europe, Asia, and Africa 10 million to 10,000 years ago. But the new find also shows they lived in North America during the same period. It remains unclear whether the newly discovered cats evolved independently on different continents.   

The fossil specimens were excavated on the traditional lands of the Cayuse tribe. In honor of the tribe, the researchers named the cat Machairodus lahayishupup. In the Old Cayuse language, Laháyis Húpup means “ancient wild cat.”

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US Politics (Grades 11-12)

Biden Executive Orders Will Reverse Trump Policies

President-elect Joe Biden plans to sign a flurry of executive orders soon after his inauguration tomorrow. He plans to address what he’s calling the four crises facing the country. They are COVID-19, the economic downturn, racial injustice, and climate change.

An executive order is a written directive from the president carrying powers similar to a federal law. Presidents have historically used these orders to push policies forward quickly because they do not require approval from Congress. The downside of executive orders is that they are easily overturned by any new president. That is not true for federal laws.

Among other moves overturning Trump administration policies, Biden’s orders will return the US to the Paris Climate Accord and to the Iran nuclear deal.

Related to the pandemic, Biden will require face masks on federal properties and during interstate travel. Other orders will be aimed at safely reopening schools and businesses.

On immigration, Biden will order agencies to determine how to reunite children separated from their families after crossing the US-Mexico border. Another order will end travel restrictions targeting majority-Muslim countries.

Other orders will address “equity and support communities of color,” criminal justice reform, and access to healthcare.

Photo from Reuters.

Bold words are interactive vocab words in The Juice.

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