Cave lion skull found in Yakutia

Fragments of a cave lion skull have been found in the Ust-Buotama wood buffalo conservancy area in Yakutia, chief research worker of the Diamond and Precious Metal Geology Institute of the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences Gennady Boeskorov told Interfax on Monday.

Source: Lori / Legion Media

Fragments of a cave lion skull have been found in the Ust-Buotama wood buffalo conservancy area in Yakutia, chief research worker of the Diamond and Precious Metal Geology Institute of the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences Gennady Boeskorov told Interfax on Monday.

"This is a rather rare discovery. The skull fragments preserved a canine tooth, two molars and a part of the upper jaw. The skull was tentatively identified as that of an adult female who lived approximately 20,000-30,000 years ago," Boeskorov said.

More detailed information about the life time, age and size of the animal will be obtained in research. The remains will be compared with fossil fragments of other animals found earlier.

"Cave lions lived in the Ice Age. They were large predators, at least the size of the contemporary Amur tiger. Lions co-existed with mammoths and woolly rhinoceros, i.e. were a part of the Ice Age mammoth fauna," he said.

Cave lion (Panthera leo spelaea) was a big Ice Age predator with a habitat in Europe and North Asia.

Cave lion bones were found earlier in over ten spots of northern and central Yakutia.

Read more: Link between Native Americans and Siberia encoded in DNA history

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