Scientists find perfectly frozen, 10,000-year-old cave lions
Wednesday, November 4, 2015, 9:06 AM - The perfectly frozen bodies of two, extinct cave lion cubs have been discovered in the Ice Age permafrost of Yakutia, Siberia, Russian researchers recently announced.
Reports refer to the cubs as the “best preserved ever unearthed in the world,” The Siberian Times notes. After being frozen for at least 10,000 years, their fur is still intact.
The discovery marks a first in the ancient cave lion’s fossil record – until this discovery, only bones and tracks were found.
The pair belong to the Panthera spelaean (Goldfuss) species, also known as the Eurasian cave lion, which were among the largest species of lion to exist. In addition to the two cubs, paleontologists will also showcase other Pleistocene animals preserved in the ice of the Russian Federation’s largest and coldest region, The Siberian Times reports.
The Pleistocene epoch began approximately 2.5 million years ago, lasting until 11,700 BC. After their discovery this summer, the cubs have since undergone a preliminary study. Their final presentation is set to take place in November.
Thumbnail image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.