August 10, 2021
During the Ice Age many now extinct animals wandered the Earth; wooly rhinos, mastodons, cave bears, mammoths, ground sloths, dire wolves and cave lions. As the permafrost begins to thaw in places like Siberia researchers are discovering the preserved remains of some of these animals.
Recently people searching for mammoth tusks in Yakutia, Siberia saw something interesting sticking out of the melting permafrost, a mummified cave lion cub. Scientists have examined the remains of this female cub and determined she is probably the most well-preserved Ice Age animals discovered to date. She is so well-preserved that her skin, soft tissue and even whiskers are intact.
The scientists were also able to extract DNA from the cub, and they hope to completely sequence her genetic code, along with the DNA of another cave lion cub that was discovered nearby. Their DNA could reveal some of their genetic features, as well as shed light on the evolutionary history of the cave lion (Panthera spelaea). Given the cave lion is a relative of the modern lion (Panthera leo) and other extant cat species, the DNA of the cave lion could also provide more information about the evolution of the entire cat family.
Source: Live Science
Read more: https://www.livescience.com/mummified-cave-lion-cubs-ice-age-siberia
To read about a preserved cave bear discovered in 2020, click here.