Japan-Russia Team Finds Fully Preserved Bodies of Extinct Lion (News)
Tokyo, Nov. 16 (Jiji Press)—A team of Japanese and Russian scientists have announced the discovery of three fully preserved frozen cub bodies of the cave lion, a predator species that became extinct 10,000 years ago.
The team is the first in the world that has found any fully preserved body of the species. Previously, only skeletons and footprints were discovered.
The discovery enables research "as valuable as traveling by time machine to tens of thousands of years ago and studying directly the live animals then," Professor Suzuki Naoki of Jikei University told a press conference Wednesday.
Contents left in the digestive tracts will tell a lot about the diet of the cubs, he further noted.
The team found the frozen remains of a pair of cubs believed to be siblings in permafrost soil in the Sakha Republic in Russia's Far East in summer 2015. An additional, slightly larger specimen 47.5 centimeters in length was discovered this September.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]