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Cave Lion Exploited By Upper Paleolithic Humans

Cave lions are the largest lion species which have ever lived. These doubtfully became extinct some 14,000 years ago. An archaeological research has now found out that the Upper Paleolithic humans may have caused their extinction by hunting these for their fur. Nine fossilised cave lion toe bones belonging the Upper Paleolithic period were collected from the cave site of La Grama, and examined by Marian Cueto and colleagues, Universidad de Cantabria, Spain. Their findings were published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on October 26, 2016.

The archaeological examination says that most of the bones displayed signs of modifications done by humans using stone tools. Further, the claws of the animal stayed attached to the skinned fur. This made the researchers conclude that the cave lions might have been symbolic animals of the humans of this age, and they might have used their fur as a part of their rituals. The study does not give 100% evidence that the Upper Paleolithic humans exploited the cave lions for their fur.  But, this could be one of the reasons why these lions are no more.

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