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A very rare Cave Lion (panthera spelaea) skull
Siberia (Russia), Pleistocene radio carbon dated to 48,000 years ago
lacking lower jaw
30cm long by 20cm wide; teeth 4.2 cm (canines)
£18,000 - £25,000
Bidding ended. Lot is unsold.
The extinct Cave Lion (Panthera spelaea) inhabited Europe until around
10,000 years ago. It is very distinct from the modern day lion and differences
in the skull formation are marked, although undoubtedly the two species are
related. The species is scientifically well known, but its fossils are
surprisingly uncommon. Some of these fossils have certainly been found in caves
but perhaps the comparative rarity of the remains indicates that this was not
their regular habitat. Complete skulls are surprisingly rare.