Two ancient cave lion cubs found frozen in Siberia

alibhai/ December 3, 2017/ New Gadgets/ 0 comments

  • Extinct cubs Uyan and Dina were found in near-perfect condition two years ago
  • They had been preserved in the Siberian permafrost since the Ice Age 
  • Scientists have revealed there’s no milk in their stomach, meaning mother fled
  • They also found they were just days old, having died in a potential landslide

Scientists have unlocked a 55,000 year old secret on the tragic fate of two ancient cave lion cubs, while also revealing the species – once the largest big cats on the planet – was surprisingly coloured grey.

The extinct babies called Uyan and Dina were found two years ago in near-perfect condition having been preserved in the Siberian permafrost since the Ice Age.

The cubs were believed to have been a few weeks old when they died, but now experts say the tiny creatures did not have time to be fed by their mother before they perished – no trace of mother’s milk has been found in their stomachs.

They were either abandoned by their mother at birth, or an accident prevented her from caring for her new family in Pleistocene times.

Scroll down for video 

Extinct baby lions called Uyan and Dina (pictured) were found two years ago in near-perfect condition having been preserved in the Siberian permafrost since the Ice Age

Extinct baby lions called Uyan and Dina (pictured) were found two years ago in near-perfect condition having been preserved in the Siberian permafrost since the Ice Age

But scientists have now revealed they were abandoned by their mother and probably died at just a few days old. Previously, knowledge of how the animals looked was mostly from cave drawings (pictured) none of which show a mane - and their bones

But scientists have now revealed they were abandoned by their mother and probably died at just a few days old. Previously, knowledge of how the animals looked was mostly from cave drawings (pictured) none of which show a mane – and their bones

'At first we thought that they were two or three weeks old, but now we are inclined to think that they are only one or two days old - they died soon after birth,' said Dr Albert Protopopov (pictured), head of the department for the study of mammoth fauna of the Yakutian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

‘At first we thought that they were two or three weeks old, but now we are inclined to think that they are only one or two days old – they died soon after birth,’ said Dr Albert Protopopov (pictured), head of the department for the study of mammoth fauna of the Yakutian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

It is also possible that they were buried in a landslide soon after birth since specks of soil were in their food tracts.

‘At first we thought that they were two or three weeks old, but now we are inclined to think that they are only one or two days old – they died soon after birth,’ said Dr Albert Protopopov, head of the department for the study of mammoth fauna of the Yakutian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

‘When the Japanese performed a tomographic scan, it became clear that their stomachs were empty.

‘They did not even have time to try their mother’s milk.’

The cubs (pictured) were believed to have been a few weeks old when they died, but now experts say the tiny creatures did not have time to be fed by their mother before they perished - no trace of mother's milk has been found in their stomachs

The cubs (pictured) were believed to have been a few weeks old when they died, but now experts say the tiny creatures did not have time to be fed by their mother before they perished – no trace of mother’s milk has been found in their stomachs

They were either abandoned by their mother at birth, or an accident prevented her from caring for her new family in Pleistocene times, according to researchers

They were either abandoned by their mother at birth, or an accident prevented her from caring for her new family in Pleistocene times, according to researchers

DNA from these animals may help to revive the lost cave lion species in Jurassic Park-style laboratories, but for now science is gaining valuable new insights into a species known until recently only from skeletal remains and cave drawings by ancient man.

Evidence already gathered from an older cave lion, revealed last month, also buried preserved in Siberia, suggests that the animals were smokey grey in colour, so very different to any modern big cat, according to

‘The latest lion cub is unique in that it has a completely preserved hairline,’ he said.

‘And if the kittens found two years ago were covered in a cub fluff, this new one has a thick and beautiful coat, and there are spinous hairs.

‘We will finally be able to find out what the cave lions really looked like.

‘This opportunity was not previously available, because we had found only skeletal remains.’

The new discoveries could help scientists establish what cub lions actually looked like

The new discoveries could help scientists establish what cub lions actually looked like

Contrary to their name, the lions did not live in caves but roamed in open spaces from Britain to the extreme east of modern Russia, and also inhabited Alaska and northwestern Canada

Contrary to their name, the lions did not live in caves but roamed in open spaces from Britain to the extreme east of modern Russia, and also inhabited Alaska and northwestern Canada

DNA from these animals (pictured) may help to revive the lost cave lion species in Jurassic Park-style laboratories, but for now science is gaining valuable new insights into a species known until recently only from skeletal remains and cave drawings by ancient man

DNA from these animals (pictured) may help to revive the lost cave lion species in Jurassic Park-style laboratories, but for now science is gaining valuable new insights into a species known until recently only from skeletal remains and cave drawings by ancient man

He said: ‘Most likely they were smoky grey.’

Previously, knowledge of the look of the animals was mostly from cave drawings – none of which show a mane – and their bones.

Scientists have speculated that they had much in common with tigers as well as lions.

One Soviet-era expert even called them ‘tigerlions’.

Contrary to their name, they did not live in caves but roamed in open spaces from Britain to the extreme east of modern Russia, and also inhabited Alaska and northwestern Canada. 






Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>
*
*