A few years ago, some investigators discovered a pair of small animals in Russia’s Sakha Republic.

Initially, the investigators were slightly befuddled as to what kind of creature they had come across, however, after taking a closer look; they found out that they were actually cave lion cubs.

What’s even more interesting about this find is that these cave lion cubs belonged to a species that has been extinct for more than 12,000 years.

The investigators claimed that the extinct cubs were perfectly preserved. When they found them, their paws were over their head as if they were resting.

The investigators were quite surprised to see how perfectly preserved these cubs were, as if someone had took the time to place them like a preserved animal inside a museum.

After performing some tests on these small creatures, the scientists found out that the age of these cubs was not more than eight to ten weeks. What they were not able to figure out however was – how they died.

This was particularly interesting as the area where they discovered the extinct cubs was frozen permanently and its conditions actually helped to prevent the creature’s body from decaying.

Named Dina and Uyan, these extinct cubs have undergone a plethora of examinations and tests from renowned scientists, who claim that there is much more to come.

What The Scientists Are Planning

Several scientists have expressed their interest in attempting to bring this species back.

It is unclear if their purpose to bring it back is only to prove that cloning is successful or something else. Suffice to say, we are living in extremely interesting times.

If you have seen a few films from the science fiction genre, you will instantly be able to tell how so many of the things predicted in them are actually closer to reality than we would have imagined.

From the video games predicted in children sci-fi cartoon The Jetsons to the flat screen televisions that almost every science fiction movie in the 80s and 90s predicted, it has all come true.

What has not come true so far is – bringing a species of extinct animals to life as Jurassic Park predicted.

However, with the rapidly evolving science and technology, you can expect extinct species cloning to become successful in the near future too. Maybe these extinct cave lions will be the first cloning success story.



How Did Their Bodies Stay Intact?

As we discussed earlier, the permafrost temperatures of Siberia played a key part in making sure that the animals remained in excellent research condition. When the scientists discovered them, they had a solid mass or ice over their bodies.

When they began to chip away they ice, they noticed some hair and afterwards – a face that had closed resemblance to a feline creature.

Chipping away the ice completely made them realize that they got a pair of cubs in their hands. They did not know however (at that time) that these cubs had been extinct since the ice age.

This is the main reason why so many people were confused as to how the bodies stayed intact. Other than the permafrost temperature, the rest remains a mystery.

Albert Protopopov, a doctor and a researcher at Yakutian Academy of Science claimed that a landslide covered these cubs after their parent left them inside the cave and went hunting.

What the scientists have been able to clear however is – that cave lions are perhaps the most unscathed remains ever discovered from the ice age.

They were able to come to this conclusion because other extinct cave lion remains were also found later on.

The whiskers, soft tissue, ears, and fur of these species is quite easy to identify.

Extinct Cave Lions – A Brief History

The cave lions discovered recently are referred to as the Panthera Spelaea. These lions are the subspecies of modern day lions, but with far more intrigue.

The Panthera thrived mostly on the Eurasian plateau, however, after some time it became extinct for unknown reasons.

Considered to be a strong ruler of the Eurasian steppe, these cave lions wandered various territories ranging from East of Russia and Spain.

Some people even discovered their bones and fossils from Alaska. Researchers claim that these lions were perhaps the largest subspecies that ever existed on this planet. They also believe that these cave lions were far bigger than the modern day lions.

Speaking of size, scientists predict that the length of an adult lion from the species would have been around eight feet or slightly higher.

Their expected weight falls between seven to eight hundred pounds. Suffice to say, the creature would have stood toe to toe with an elephant and perhaps succeeded in overpowering it.

According to some cave painting depictions, the limbs of these cave lions were really powerful. Plus, they also had huge manes and stripes.

Other Discoveries

As mentioned earlier, Dina and Uyan were not the only animals discovered from Siberia’s wasteland. A pair of investigators also discovered a woolly baby mammoth in 2013.

After some research, they depicted that it was close to 40,000 years old. Just like there are talks to clone the cubs – scientists are planning to clone this one as well.

Another discovery was made on the Yakutia Abisky district’s Tiretykh River where a baby cave lion rested on its paws. Experts stated that this cub was preserved in pristine condition – even more so than Dina and Uyan.

There was no damage whatsoever on their skin, and there were no problems in recognizing their face either. The experts also depicted that this cub was more than 50,000 years old.

What Does The Future Hold?

According to the plans so far, the scientists plan to dedicate one cub for cloning.

The other cub will go to a museum. In the meantime, researchers are making more efforts to search for other extinct cub species and taking them to labs for testing.

From the way things are going, you can expect their searches and efforts to become successful in the time to come.

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