Sparta and Boris are two puppies, some tens of thousands of years old, of the extinct cave lions (Panthera spelaea). The Ice Age animals were found by researchers in Siberia, Russia, and are extremely well preserved.
The pussies were between 1 and 2 months old, according to a study published on Wednesday (4) in the Quaternary magazine. Today the female Sparta is more than 15 a thousand years old and the male Boris is more than 27 a thousand years old, according to the researchers’ analyses.
Boris was found in 2017 on the Semyuelyakh River, by Boris Berezhnev, a resident of the region and an authorized collector of mammoth tusks. the little lion.
J in 2018, just 15 meters from the place where Boris had been found , Sparta was found. On social media, the Paleogenetics Center, which one of the research authors associated with, claimed that Sparta is possibly the best preserved Ice Age animal ever found. The little mummy even has a preserved coat and tail. The chick’s tail has, at its tip, a darker color, having almost a brush-like appearance.
The authors point out that Sparta was lying on the right side with the skull slightly deformed, the eyes closed and mouth open.
Boris also had his skull a little deformed and turned to the right. The animal’s limbs were stretched out and, according to the researchers, appear to have been frozen in motion, “which may suggest that the Boris pup was trying to break free or find its way to the surface.”
“Perhaps the chicks were buried after a landslide and their bodies were deformed by land mass and permafrost, quickly freezing to become mummy,” the authors state.
Cave lions can be seen in the paintings, over 30 thousand years old, in the cave of Chauvet, France. Filmmaker Werner Herzog filmed the interior of the cave, work that resulted in the work “The Cave of Forgotten Dreams”.
“The discovery of frozen cave lion cubs offers an interesting opportunity for research on the bodies of lions adapted to cold climates,” the authors state. “This adds valuable physical reconstitution data to what is currently known based on Paleolithic French cave art.”