11:05 AM PDT, August 13, 2021
Before humans called them “The King of the Jungle,” relatives of the mighty lion roamed the earth.
And now scientists in Russia have found what is believed to be the best-preserved specimen of a 43,000-year-old cave lion cub.
They call the cub Boris and estimate he was about one month old. If he’d lived to be full-grown, Boris would have been larger than a modern-day lion.
“This lion cub is unique because its skin, skeleton, wool, and organs are well preserved,” Valery Plotinov, lead researcher at the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Sakha, said.
“We hope we’ll also find some of its mother’s milk to better understand her diet.”
Another prehistoric month-old lion cub was recently found in Eastern Russia. This one was nicknamed Sparta.
Russia’s frozen terrain has kept much of this primordial animal life intact. But climate change and warming temperatures are exposing more of the past.