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Lot 428

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)

Condition: Nice example of this animal. Had been attacked by something bigger and the skull has punctures from canine teeth that have started to heal showing it survived - see extra images.
Estimate: £15,000 - £25,000
Hammer price: £13,000
Bidding ended. Lot has been sold.

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.

Natural History 


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