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May 20, 2011

Cave Lion: one of the largest lions ever (extinct 2,000 years ago)

The cave lion, also known as the European or Eurasian cave lion, is an extinct subspecies of lion known from fossils and a wide variety of prehistoric art. This subspecies was one of the largest lions. An adult male, which was found in 1985 near Siegsdorf (Germany), had a shoulder height of around 1.2 m and a length of 2.1 m without a tail, which is about the same size as a very big modern lion. This male was even exceeded by other specimens of this subspecies. Therefore this cat may have been around 5-10% bigger than modern lions. It apparently went extinct about 10,000 years ago, during the Würm glaciation, though there are some indications it may have existed as recently as 2,000 years ago, in the Balkans. 


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