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The Cave Lion (Panthera spelaea and Panthera fossilis)

Belgium Caveman Offline
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[attachment=1655][attachment=1656][attachment=1657]Hi, any thoughts on this? It was found in a cave in Belgium in 1963. It's 30cm.
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[attachment=1659 Wrote: Caveman pid='65047' dateline='1546387661']Hi, any thoughts on this? It was found in a cave in Belgium in 1963. It's 30cm.


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[attachment=1661 Wrote:Caveman pid='65047' dateline='1546387661']Hi, any thoughts on this? It was found in a cave in Belgium in 1963. It's 30cm.


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(01-02-2019, 05:37 AM)Caveman Wrote: Hi, any thoughts on this? It was found in a cave in Belgium in 1963. It's 30cm.


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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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( This post was last modified: 01-04-2019, 11:05 PM by GrizzlyClaws )

@Caveman your pictures are way too big, which will cost too much data usage for this forum.

Therefore, I will disable your previous posts, then post the resized pics for you.

BTW, a 30 cm skull must belong to an adult lioness.



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*This image is copyright of its original author



*This image is copyright of its original author
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(01-04-2019, 11:04 PM)GrizzlyClaws Wrote: @Caveman your pictures are way too big, which will cost too much data usage for this forum.

Therefore, I will disable your previous posts, then post the resized pics for you.

BTW, a 30 cm skull must belong to an adult lioness.



*This image is copyright of its original author



*This image is copyright of its original author



*This image is copyright of its original author
 Is the adult lioness surely? Hi @GrizzlyClaws , I am late now, happy new year, although we have different opinions with each other, I sincerely give you a good wish
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United States tigerluver Offline
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@Caveman , beautiful specimen, thank you for sharing!

Notably, the specimen has a wide rostrum. The shape and robustness of the rostrum as well as the preservation also matches that of the late form of cave lion, P. spelaea. Based on the dentition and skull sutures, the specimen is an adult. As @GrizzlyClaws stated, based on the size the specimen is likely a female.
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(01-07-2019, 12:05 AM)tigerluver Wrote: @Caveman , beautiful specimen, thank you for sharing!

Notably, the specimen has a wide rostrum. The shape and robustness of the rostrum as well as the preservation also matches that of the late form of cave lion, P. spelaea. Based on the dentition and skull sutures, the specimen is an adult. As @GrizzlyClaws stated, based on the size the specimen is likely a female.

Thank you @tigerluver. I recently obtained it from the family of a amateur archeologist who found it in a vertical shaft in the Goyet cave in Belgium.
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(01-07-2019, 12:05 AM)tigerluver Wrote: @Caveman , beautiful specimen, thank you for sharing!

Notably, the specimen has a wide rostrum. The shape and robustness of the rostrum as well as the preservation also matches that of the late form of cave lion, P. spelaea. Based on the dentition and skull sutures, the specimen is an adult. As @GrizzlyClaws stated, based on the size the specimen is likely a female.

Cave lion = wide rostrum + wide nasal structure

Pleistocene tiger = wide rostrum + narrow nasal structure

Very good technique to distinguish the front profile. Like



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United States tigerluver Offline
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(01-07-2019, 04:38 AM)Caveman Wrote:
(01-07-2019, 12:05 AM)tigerluver Wrote: @Caveman , beautiful specimen, thank you for sharing!

Notably, the specimen has a wide rostrum. The shape and robustness of the rostrum as well as the preservation also matches that of the late form of cave lion, P. spelaea. Based on the dentition and skull sutures, the specimen is an adult. As @GrizzlyClaws stated, based on the size the specimen is likely a female.

Thank you @tigerluver. I recently obtained it from the family of a amateur archeologist who found it in a vertical shaft in the Goyet cave in Belgium.


The information on the locality is a great help in finding the age of the specimen. Based on this study, the fossil should be 41,000 to 32,000 years old. We can summarize the following information for a complete picture of the specimen:

Panthera spelaea
Goyet Cave (from horizon 3, 4, or 5, likely horizon 5), Belgium
32,000-41,000 years of age
Likely female

Thank you again for sharing, I am glad you have such a magnificent and rare piece!
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United Kingdom Ghari Sher Offline
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( This post was last modified: 01-09-2019, 12:19 AM by Ghari Sher )

(11-06-2018, 11:12 AM)Smilodon-Rex Wrote:
(11-05-2018, 11:33 PM)GrizzlyClaws Wrote:
(11-05-2018, 08:55 PM)Smilodon-Rex Wrote:
(11-02-2018, 10:04 PM)tigerluver Wrote:
(11-02-2018, 01:22 PM)Wolverine Wrote:
(11-02-2018, 12:43 PM)Spalea Wrote: Thus I can easily admit that p. Atrox, cave lion and p. leo are different species... different species of lions ? 


They are different species of Panthera's.

Here budy arise the philosophical question what does mean "lion"? Inside the genus Panthera there are/were many different species, all of them are more or less closely related. If you take a bunch of them- P.leo, P.fossilis and P.atrox, separate from other species like Panthera onca (jaguar), Panthera tigris (tiger), Panthera pardus and call them "lions", then you should create a separate taxonomic unit for "lions" inside genus Panthera. But since such a separate taxonomic unit does not exist its not clear what do you call "lions". Before many people called Panthera atrox  a "giant jaguar" and probably they also had some reasons for that.


P. atrox was called the "giant jaguar" at one point because a study (Christiansen and Harris 2009) found that its skull was more similar to that of the jaguar than the lion. Genetic testing shows this similarity is due to convergent evolution rather than a genetic proximity between P. atrox and P. onca.
In my opinion, three prehistoric lions(Panthera fossils, Panthera atrox, Panthera spalea) could also up to over 400kg maximum weight. But Panthera spalea's inner gap as big as tiger


Panthera spelaea up to 400 kg should be the earlier one in between the transitional phase of Panthera spelaea fossilis and Panthera spelaea spelaea.

Panthera spelaea spelaea was the final stabilized form of the Cave lion, and this chronospecies was 350 kg maximum, comparable to the largest Amur tiger in the history.
It's said that in later Pleistocene about  after 70000 years ago, European cave lion's bodysize was smaller and not gigantic expect the South-East European population still retained the gigantic specimen, from then on, more and more gigantic cave lion's population were moved to the East, like some of the huge skull specimens from Ural mountains in Russia, on the other hand, some gigantic cave lion's skulls from North-Eastern Asia like HeiLongJiang province in China may also belonged to the European cave lions which had moved to the East.

*This image is copyright of its original author

@Spalea , is the later Pleistocene cave lion would looks like this? well one of the interesting character is later cave lions would owned the long canines like tiger,their faces also become round and short.
Allow me to weigh in on this........


Meditations on the life appearance of the cave lion (Panthera spelaea)

This is something that I've really ruminated on, especially in the last few months, after having some online discourse with an anonymous friend of mine, when we were working together on making a journal.
SargeantSatan and I wrote a journal on the cave lion (he did most of the actual writing, I helped in regards to the information/argued over the details), and therein you can read most of the stuff I'm about to talk about here on the cave lion's appearance, but I'll paraphrase here:
https://www.deviantart.com/sargeantsatan...-749253167
 
The face

One thing that is interestingly seen in paleolithic art of the lion is the presence of cheetah-like tear markings, which run from the tear duct down towards the bottom of the face, like they do in the cheetah, and, interestingly enough, in the Arabian leopard.

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It seems that the cave lion also had these markings on its face. Their function is not clear, but it has been hypothesised that the cheetah's tear markings are used to help reduce glare from the sun, a possible function which could also be true of the leopard, and for a cat that lived in an environment of clear skies and occassional high-albedo snow, the cave lion. This is just my speculation though.

Mane

OK, so the de facto position is that the cave lion was maneless, but I think it would really depend on the definition you gave of "mane".

While there is no evidence for a large, contrastingly-coloured mane in the cave lion, some long neck fur can be seen in some lion representations, such as at the Chauvet(top right) and La Marche (middle right) paintings shown below

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Additionally, some carvings, such as the lion at the Three Brothers cave, show what appear to be "lamb chops" around the face.

*This image is copyright of its original author

So they had a "mane" of sorts, but one which was greatly reduced in comparison to extant African lions, probably comparable to the manes of Tsavo lions and to some extent Asiatic lions, in terms of the size of the mane, but not in colour, the neck fur in males and females would usually be quite light in colour since there's no evidence for the dark mane seen in modern lions since it isn't demarcated as such, the fur around the neck in modern lions is usually light anyway, and there will be another reason which I will explain in due time.

Ears

In his 2005 book, The Nature of Paleolithic Art, R. Dale Guthrie notes the small ears of lions seen in European cave paintings:

Quote:The ears of lions in paleolithic images are significantly smaller than the ears of living lions, indicating a cold adaptation.
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=3u6J...rs&f=false

While we can't expect Paleolithic images to be 100% accurate in terms of proportion to the real animal, I can see Guthrie's point, in many examples of paleolithic art, the ears of cave lions are shown as being quite small, at least when you compare them to the ears of African lions. It would make a fair amount of sense for a cold-adapted cat to have small ears, so I suppose Guthrie's inference holds merit.
e.g.:

*This image is copyright of its original author

These two lions from Chauvet are far from the only example of small ears in paleolithic lion art, but you get the gist, compared to this Tsavo lion, these cave lions have somewhat reduced ears.
So this is an overall illustration by me, quite rough, on the life appearance of the head+neck area of a cave lion male, taking the facial markings, neck fur and ears into account:

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OK, I think the ears are still too big in this one, so my bad, but I'll show more illustrations in good time.




But now we get to the actual meat that I was wanting to talk about - some details on the cave lion's appearance that have not been widely addressed.

Shoulders

A line is often depicted immediately in front of the shoulders. What this represents is also up for debate. Guthrie (2005) interpreted this as being a sort of stripe immediately in front of the shoulders.

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Alternatively, this has also been interpreted as a break in hue, from the brown body fur at the shoulders to the lighter neck fur (what I mentioned before about the mane, it doesn't seem to be golden like in the modern lion but rather just white/light brown/the colour of regular throat and ventral fur.)
This would be a rather neat explanation, since the fur immediately in front of the shoulders is often quite lightly coloured in lions, so the transition between the light neck and darker shoulders could explain the shoulder line seen in paintings/carvings.

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It could be that this transition was more dramatic in the cave lion.

Also, I suspect that this shoulder transition was variable. Some depictions, such as the La Vache carving (a bovine rib), where lionesses are shown with a "normal" neck transition.

*This image is copyright of its original author

But looking to the ventrum, we see what appears to be an odd marking along the side of the animal.

Side marking?

Similar to the shoulder line, paintings and carvings often depict a line running along the length of the body, between the fore and hindlimbs, separating the torso from the underbelly.
What this is is not exactly clear. It would most intuitively signify the transition from the golden-brown torso to the white underbelly, but it is often quite thick, and very consistently shown across cave art.
Paleoartist Pat Ortega noticed this in one of the books he illustrated, and interpreted it as being a signifier of very long belly fur in the lion, with what I think it a very amusing illustration of a lion with a literal carpet of fur on its underbelly:

*This image is copyright of its original author

(Not my photo, taken by a friend who owns the book)

In his 1990 book Frozen Fauna of the Mammoth Steppe: The Story of Blue Babe, Guthrie (the same guy mentioned above), notes this side marking, and provides two main interpretations for this - some sort of marking, or simply a dramatic break in hue coloration, as mentioned above, and includes a lion illustration suggesting just that.

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However, in his 2005 book, The Nature of Paleolithic Art, he builds upon the idea that the line actually represents some sort of side marking, and includes illustrations suggesting as much.

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And here's an interesting paleoart piece (I don't know who the artist is) which depicts the cave lion like this:

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(Obviously inspired by the Blue Babe find)
No cat that I was aware of possesses such a thing, only ungulates, and I can hardly see a use for a very conspicuous stripe for an open-habitat cat.

However, a friend of mine mentioned in passing that Patagonian pumas possess a "stide-stripe" of sorts, which varies between individuals:

*This image is copyright of its original author

Friends have suggested that since the Puma lives in steppe environments like the lion, the side "stripe" may serve a convergent function. I can't dismiss this possibility, but I'm still skeptical here.
The marking seen in Patagonian pumas is quite something, but in the illustrations by Guthrie (2005),
Looking to modern lions and to the Patagonian cougar, I see a golden brown>saturated brown>white belly transition to be more plausible than the "golden brown>dark brown/black>white belly" color transition shown by Guthrie.
We can see similar puma-like orange side flank fur in some lions, e.g.

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My opinion on what this side-line represents is not exactly clear. At the moment I lean towards a puma-like saturated stripe, e.g. what is seen here to some extent:

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(Ignore the lack of attention to the neck fur and the inaccurate tiger-striping)

A friend of mine, DiloRaptor (Dhruv Franklin: https://www.artstation.com/dhruvfranklin) has made a few reconstructions of the cave lion based on cave art, e.g.:

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(Under the side-stripe interpretation)
In this one, he depicts a mating pair, where he interprets the side marking to be a crease or hue break:

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My exact position on the life appearance of the cave lion is not entirely clear, but that's what we know.
I made a schematic going through the various plausible interpretations of the pelage of the cave lion based on cave art.

*This image is copyright of its original author

(Ignore the anatomy, this pertains only to the pelage pattern)


Thoughts and suggestions on the life appearance of this cat would be more than welcome.
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United Kingdom Ghari Sher Offline
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(12-08-2018, 07:21 AM)Ghari Sher Wrote:
(12-06-2018, 06:23 AM)tigerluver Wrote:
(12-06-2018, 04:19 AM)Ghari Sher Wrote: Just a little query here:

According to some written correspondence by Mauricio Antón and Manuel Salesa, the cave lion had very short distal limb elements and metapodials compared to the African lion. They cite Ballesio (1980), a text which is not accessible to me, to support this claim.

Quote:Here we need to take into account the differences in limb proportions between Pleistocene lions and modern ones: the former are known to have relatively shorter distal segments in their limbs, especially the notoriously short and robust metapodials (Ballesio, 1980).
http://www.academia.edu/16968107/Walking...oichnology

I haven't been able to find any other mention of the cave lion having shorter distal limbs and metapodials than the African lion (though it wouldn't be surprising seeing as the same is seen in the cave hyena as compared to its extant African counterparts), Sabol 2018 doesn't state that the Medvedia lion's metapodials were particulrly short either. Is there any evidence of this being the case?
I know @tigerluver has done some calculations regarding the limb proportions of the European cave lion, maybe that could shed some light on this issue?
From reading that paper you recently linked, it doesn't seem to have had especially distinctive limb proportions, relatively speaking.


I don't think lost in translation would be exactly the right phrase to use, but I believe the issue is caused by the loss of context when describing the bones. Cave lions have "short and stubby" metapodials in the sense that they are very thick for their length so they look "short". The work seems to have missed this contextual point and took the description in a bone to bone context. In proportion to the length of the other long bones, their metapodials are not short in terms of metapodial to long bone length ratios.

Why they have thick metapodials is up in the air. It may be partially to account for their increased robusticity in the rest of their body. Having wide feet would serve as good snow shoes as well.

Hmmm... I see what you mean.
Speaking of wide paws - Protopopov 2016 describe the same condition existing in the cub remainsm their paws are proportionally larger than in African lion cubs. I'm not sure what interpretation can be derived from there.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication...ct_Species

But the robustness of the metapodials really does fit in with what I have kept reading about the cave lion - its robusticity compared to the African lion. Previous publications on P. atrox's morphology have pointed out that its forelimbs were considerably more robust than in an extant lion today, but little is said about the cave lion, which is just subsumed under the "lion" category due to it similar limb proportions proportions far too long.

I recently saw Wheeler & Jefferson (2009)'s paper on P. atrox, and alongside bone measurements he included what he called the "Index of Robustness" or IR, essentially a measure of the robusticity of a longbone which is a function of its length relative to its shaft width. A lower IR=more robust. I decided to calculate that for limb bones in the cave and African lion and see how they (alongside the American one) measured up.
I used some of the cave lion material in Sabol (2018)'s supplementary document that you kindly shared, as well as that of the African lion which, alongside those of the cave lion, I collected from various other works too, including some rather old ones.
Humeri and femora were the available bones to me, and while Wheeler and Jefferson (2009) used the longitudinal width of the femoral shaft of P. atrox in his IR calculations, that measurement was not widely available for the other two cats (particularly the cave lion), and so I re-calculated the IRs of the P. atrox femora using the transverse width (which was also provided by Wheeler & Jefferson (2009) for the femora and was the only shaft width recorded for the humeri).
I didn't separate the groups out to account for sexual dimorphism, though I'm quite certain that there would be some bimodality in the robusticity distributions in each cat, but the cave lion material wasn't at all sexed, and only the P. atrox femora were sexed. But we can talk about that later.

What I found surprised me.

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


(Made using MS excel)
For both the humeri and the femora, P. spelaea and P. atrox surpassed the extant lion in regards to robusticity, but P. spelaea seems to have surpassed even P. atrox, at least in regards to the mean IR (crossed), but overall their mean IRs seem fairly similar. The material available really shows the overlooked morphological distinctions between the cave lion and the African lion, as well as between it and the American cat.
The cave lion seems to have had very thick longbone shafts, at least in regards to the humeri and femora.

Indeed, using these measurements and others, I recently formulated some mass estimates for the European cave lion (the Siberian and Beringian forms seemed to have differed in size so their remains were not included).
I used Christiansen and Harris (2005)'s equations to calculate the weight, and the label of the equation is indicated in the below table.
Now in regards to sex.... some of the longbones were already sexed, mainly those from Diedrich's papers, as well as Sabol's. Others were inferred to be male due to their immense size (e.g. the Mladeč femur), and in regards to sorting out the longbones with measured shaft width (which Diedrich does not measure in his papers), I had to infer male/female identity from their lengths in comparison to longbones of known sex. Perhaps that was a bit iffy of me, you be the judge of that, but the results seem to look OK.

*This image is copyright of its original author

The masses derived from humerus articular width, and the mean masses that include these are highlighted in red, since I'm quite skeptical of the accuracy of those figures, they're far greater than the figures from other measurements, and I'm highly doubtful that any cat bar the very largest Smilodon populator individuals could ever hope to attain a mass of around 453.94kg. Hence, in black at the bottom I include mean masses that do not factor humerus articular width in.  Overall, I got a mean mass of 237.96kg for males and 172.21kg for females.
Without factoring in the width of the femoral and humeral shafts, the mass estimate for both sexes goes down to closer to ~220kg for males and ~165kg for females. The cave lion had some noticeable thick limbs, no doubt.

As for that very last column in the table "Percentage Dimorphism", let me explain.
In the literature and on online forums, there are a number of authors who state that the sexual dimorphism present in the cave lion was greater than that today, namely (and I think firstly) Baryshnikov & Boeskorov (2001), and a number of others after them. They calculated that male cave lions were 21% larger than females, which is apparently higher than in the African lion's size difference of only 15%. This same claim, or something similar, has been repeated by later authors such as Sabol (2018).

There are a number of problems with their claim.

Firstly, Baryshnikov & Boeskorov (2001) worked this "21%" figure from the mass estimates they got for Beringian cave lions based on dental measurements -154kg for females, 194kg for males. Simple math shows that assuming this figure to be true, their 21% figure is refuted, as 194/154=1.2597... essentially the males are 26% larger than females, not 21%. What he means is that females are 21% smaller than males, since 100*(1-(154/194)) = ~21%.
Secondly, Both the 2001 authors and Sabol (2018) cite George Schaller's 1972 book The Serengeti Lion in support of their "male African lions are 15% larger than females" figure. As someone who has a digital copy of that book, I can find no mention whatsoever of this 15% figure. Schaller does, however, mention weights of African lions taken in the field. Using Baryshnikov & Boeskorov (2001)'s definition of this male-female size dimorphism, I get much greater levels of dimorphism than is claimed both for them and their Pleistocene relatives. Also looking at other authors, I see the same pattern.

*This image is copyright of its original author

Except for one. The outlier of 12.2% seems to be attributable to the smaller and thereby more biased sample size of lionesses (n=5), where as a more representative sample of males (n=14) was used. 
Disregarding that, I calculated disparities of 25.8-33.8% (mean 30.55%) for differing samples across Africa using the data from Smuts (1980). Combining Schaller (1972) with Smuts (1980)'s database I get an overall mean of a 29.7% disparity between the sexes. This is greater than the dimorphism calculated by Baryshnikov & Boeskorov (2001) for the Beringian cave lion, particularly when you realise that their mass estimate for male Beringian lions is virtually the same as the mean weight of extant Rhodesian males (tabled), but the corresponding females are much smaller than they would be under the calculated dimorphism of the Beringian lion.

The problem is that African lions are highly dimorphic in terms of mass, much more so than is claimed/realised by the cave lion authors. Females are roughly 0.7 times the mass of males, or, as Baryshnikov & Boeskorov (2001) would unaptly put it, males are 29.7% larger than lionesses.

What was the case for the cave lion?
I'm a bit doubtful that the mass estimates by Baryshnikov & Boeskorov (2001) are accurate, since they only used teeth to estimate mass, so the puported dimorphism may be off, a suspicion which is raised by my mass results.
As you can see/ work out from the tables, in P. spelaea (at least the European ones), lionesses are estimated at about 0.73 times the mass of males, or, as Baryshnikov & Boeskorov (2001) would put it, males are approximately 27.42% larger than females. This size disparity is, of all things, smaller than what is seen in extant P. leo, where lionesses are about 0.7 times the mass of males and males are approximately 29.7% larger than females, but not greatly so, and I can't help but attribute this rather minor difference in size dimorphism simply to imprecisions in my own calculations/ smaller sample sizes available. In all honestly, it appears that sexual dimorphism in P. spelaea was similar to that seen in extant P. leo.

In older forums, such as on Tapatalk, I have heard claims to the effect that European late Pleistocene lionesses were no bigger than those of Africa today, and that it was only the males that exceeded extant African males in size by about 10%.
I find this to be false, cave lionesses seem to have exceeded African lionesses in size by a similar extent to the male cave lions dwarfing the African ones. In this instance, male cave lions seem to have been a whopping ~32.2% larger than extant ones, as were the lionesses, give or take.

Indeed comparing them to extant Bengal tigers, where males average around 208kg and females 135, the former species seems to fall short by a margin, though I'm sure the earlier Holocene/Pleistocene tigers would have reached much more sizeable proportions that today with their better access to prey,etc.
https://www.scribd.com/document/55287778...Tiger-2015
(I hope @GuateGojira doesn't mind me posting links to his stuff here, I can't find any other reliable figures for Bengal tiger mass)

In any case, the cave lion was a massive cat indeed.

Thoughts/feedback would be appreciated.

Just a little update to the mass estimation, I realised that I used the equations for olecranon length by substituting in the "maximal width" of the ulna that Diedrich had listed in his tables.
I had assumed they equalled the olecranon length that is weightable by the equations of Christiansen & Harris (2005). If so, then it gave a severe underprediction of 172kg in males and 116kg in females, though given that cave lions probably did not differ this drastically in terms of their ulna proportions when compared with modern cats, I'm going with the conclusion that "maximal width"=/= "olecranon length". In any case, I excluded the Olecranon length and Humerus articular width rows from the table to give (what I think is) a more accurate mass estimate.

*This image is copyright of its original author

I got an average weight of 247kg in European male cave lions and 181kg for an average lioness. This is absolutely huge, no cat today reaches such average sizes.
By comparison, here's what I was able to get for P. atrox, bone measurements from Wheeler & Jefferson (2009), though I did have to sex a few myself, perhaps that was a bit iffy of me, but in any case, here's what I got using the same equations:

*This image is copyright of its original author

I got a mean weight of 264kg for male and 193kg for female P. atrox. Still bigger on average than European P. spelaea, but the size disparity is much less that I had previously figured, with P. atrox averaging about ~7% larger than European P. spelaea.

However, as you can see from the P. atrox table, the 264kg/193kg weight was averaged from a number of different measurements, not all of whom were available for P. spelaea (and vice versa).
I'm inclined to use these weights as being closer to the real-life weights since they take into account more of the animals' proportions/measurements, but for an oranges-to-oranges comparison I'll use the weights derived from the 6 (widely) available measurements in common between the two cats (Humerus length, Humerus diaphysis LM, Femur length, Femur diaphysis LM, Ulna length, Tibia length), then the mean male mass for P. atrox goes down to 257kg and for P. spelaea it marginally climbs to 249kg, with male P. atrox being ~3% bigger than European P. spelaea.

In any case, it seems that P. atrox was the bigger cat, but not by much; European P. spelaea and P. atrox likely did not differ significantly in size.
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A new study was published recently identifying P. atrox, S. fatalis, and P. spelaea in southern Canada not to far from the US border. While it is expected for P. atrox and S. fatalis to be found this far south, the same cannot be said about P. spelaea. The authors' reasoning was that the ulna was smaller than that of the La Brea tarpit P. atrox and the "posterior edge of the shaft appears to be straighter in lateral view" as compared to P. atrox. The specimen was previously assigned to S. fatalis.


*This image is copyright of its original author


The authors acknowledge the uncertainty but stick to their identification. Personally, P. atrox from other regions have consistently been smaller than the P. atrox of La Brea and I feel the reasoning based on the small size difference is not enough to attribute the bone to P. spelaea. Moreover, ulnae are very diverse both between and within taxa, a straight posterior contour is certainly not anything very telling. Moreover, note how P. atrox has the straighter contour than P. spelaea in this comparison:


*This image is copyright of its original author


What do you think?

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United States smedz Offline
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(01-09-2019, 12:18 AM)Ghari Sher Wrote:
(11-06-2018, 11:12 AM)Smilodon-Rex Wrote:
(11-05-2018, 11:33 PM)GrizzlyClaws Wrote:
(11-05-2018, 08:55 PM)Smilodon-Rex Wrote:
(11-02-2018, 10:04 PM)tigerluver Wrote:
(11-02-2018, 01:22 PM)Wolverine Wrote:
(11-02-2018, 12:43 PM)Spalea Wrote: Thus I can easily admit that p. Atrox, cave lion and p. leo are different species... different species of lions ? 


They are different species of Panthera's.

Here budy arise the philosophical question what does mean "lion"? Inside the genus Panthera there are/were many different species, all of them are more or less closely related. If you take a bunch of them- P.leo, P.fossilis and P.atrox, separate from other species like Panthera onca (jaguar), Panthera tigris (tiger), Panthera pardus and call them "lions", then you should create a separate taxonomic unit for "lions" inside genus Panthera. But since such a separate taxonomic unit does not exist its not clear what do you call "lions". Before many people called Panthera atrox  a "giant jaguar" and probably they also had some reasons for that.


P. atrox was called the "giant jaguar" at one point because a study (Christiansen and Harris 2009) found that its skull was more similar to that of the jaguar than the lion. Genetic testing shows this similarity is due to convergent evolution rather than a genetic proximity between P. atrox and P. onca.
In my opinion, three prehistoric lions(Panthera fossils, Panthera atrox, Panthera spalea) could also up to over 400kg maximum weight. But Panthera spalea's inner gap as big as tiger


Panthera spelaea up to 400 kg should be the earlier one in between the transitional phase of Panthera spelaea fossilis and Panthera spelaea spelaea.

Panthera spelaea spelaea was the final stabilized form of the Cave lion, and this chronospecies was 350 kg maximum, comparable to the largest Amur tiger in the history.
It's said that in later Pleistocene about  after 70000 years ago, European cave lion's bodysize was smaller and not gigantic expect the South-East European population still retained the gigantic specimen, from then on, more and more gigantic cave lion's population were moved to the East, like some of the huge skull specimens from Ural mountains in Russia, on the other hand, some gigantic cave lion's skulls from North-Eastern Asia like HeiLongJiang province in China may also belonged to the European cave lions which had moved to the East.

*This image is copyright of its original author

@Spalea , is the later Pleistocene cave lion would looks like this? well one of the interesting character is later cave lions would owned the long canines like tiger,their faces also become round and short.
Allow me to weigh in on this........


Meditations on the life appearance of the cave lion (Panthera spelaea)

This is something that I've really ruminated on, especially in the last few months, after having some online discourse with an anonymous friend of mine, when we were working together on making a journal.
SargeantSatan and I wrote a journal on the cave lion (he did most of the actual writing, I helped in regards to the information/argued over the details), and therein you can read most of the stuff I'm about to talk about here on the cave lion's appearance, but I'll paraphrase here:
https://www.deviantart.com/sargeantsatan...-749253167
 
The face

One thing that is interestingly seen in paleolithic art of the lion is the presence of cheetah-like tear markings, which run from the tear duct down towards the bottom of the face, like they do in the cheetah, and, interestingly enough, in the Arabian leopard.

*This image is copyright of its original author

It seems that the cave lion also had these markings on its face. Their function is not clear, but it has been hypothesised that the cheetah's tear markings are used to help reduce glare from the sun, a possible function which could also be true of the leopard, and for a cat that lived in an environment of clear skies and occassional high-albedo snow, the cave lion. This is just my speculation though.

Mane

OK, so the de facto position is that the cave lion was maneless, but I think it would really depend on the definition you gave of "mane".

While there is no evidence for a large, contrastingly-coloured mane in the cave lion, some long neck fur can be seen in some lion representations, such as at the Chauvet(top right) and La Marche (middle right) paintings shown below

*This image is copyright of its original author

Additionally, some carvings, such as the lion at the Three Brothers cave, show what appear to be "lamb chops" around the face.

*This image is copyright of its original author

So they had a "mane" of sorts, but one which was greatly reduced in comparison to extant African lions, probably comparable to the manes of Tsavo lions and to some extent Asiatic lions, in terms of the size of the mane, but not in colour, the neck fur in males and females would usually be quite light in colour since there's no evidence for the dark mane seen in modern lions since it isn't demarcated as such, the fur around the neck in modern lions is usually light anyway, and there will be another reason which I will explain in due time.

Ears

In his 2005 book, The Nature of Paleolithic Art, R. Dale Guthrie notes the small ears of lions seen in European cave paintings:

Quote:The ears of lions in paleolithic images are significantly smaller than the ears of living lions, indicating a cold adaptation.
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=3u6J...rs&f=false

While we can't expect Paleolithic images to be 100% accurate in terms of proportion to the real animal, I can see Guthrie's point, in many examples of paleolithic art, the ears of cave lions are shown as being quite small, at least when you compare them to the ears of African lions. It would make a fair amount of sense for a cold-adapted cat to have small ears, so I suppose Guthrie's inference holds merit.
e.g.:

*This image is copyright of its original author

These two lions from Chauvet are far from the only example of small ears in paleolithic lion art, but you get the gist, compared to this Tsavo lion, these cave lions have somewhat reduced ears.
So this is an overall illustration by me, quite rough, on the life appearance of the head+neck area of a cave lion male, taking the facial markings, neck fur and ears into account:

*This image is copyright of its original author

OK, I think the ears are still too big in this one, so my bad, but I'll show more illustrations in good time.




But now we get to the actual meat that I was wanting to talk about - some details on the cave lion's appearance that have not been widely addressed.

Shoulders

A line is often depicted immediately in front of the shoulders. What this represents is also up for debate. Guthrie (2005) interpreted this as being a sort of stripe immediately in front of the shoulders.

*This image is copyright of its original author

Alternatively, this has also been interpreted as a break in hue, from the brown body fur at the shoulders to the lighter neck fur (what I mentioned before about the mane, it doesn't seem to be golden like in the modern lion but rather just white/light brown/the colour of regular throat and ventral fur.)
This would be a rather neat explanation, since the fur immediately in front of the shoulders is often quite lightly coloured in lions, so the transition between the light neck and darker shoulders could explain the shoulder line seen in paintings/carvings.

*This image is copyright of its original author

It could be that this transition was more dramatic in the cave lion.

Also, I suspect that this shoulder transition was variable. Some depictions, such as the La Vache carving (a bovine rib), where lionesses are shown with a "normal" neck transition.

*This image is copyright of its original author

But looking to the ventrum, we see what appears to be an odd marking along the side of the animal.

Side marking?

Similar to the shoulder line, paintings and carvings often depict a line running along the length of the body, between the fore and hindlimbs, separating the torso from the underbelly.
What this is is not exactly clear. It would most intuitively signify the transition from the golden-brown torso to the white underbelly, but it is often quite thick, and very consistently shown across cave art.
Paleoartist Pat Ortega noticed this in one of the books he illustrated, and interpreted it as being a signifier of very long belly fur in the lion, with what I think it a very amusing illustration of a lion with a literal carpet of fur on its underbelly:

*This image is copyright of its original author

(Not my photo, taken by a friend who owns the book)

In his 1990 book Frozen Fauna of the Mammoth Steppe: The Story of Blue Babe, Guthrie (the same guy mentioned above), notes this side marking, and provides two main interpretations for this - some sort of marking, or simply a dramatic break in hue coloration, as mentioned above, and includes a lion illustration suggesting just that.

*This image is copyright of its original author



However, in his 2005 book, The Nature of Paleolithic Art, he builds upon the idea that the line actually represents some sort of side marking, and includes illustrations suggesting as much.

*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author

And here's an interesting paleoart piece (I don't know who the artist is) which depicts the cave lion like this:

*This image is copyright of its original author

(Obviously inspired by the Blue Babe find)
No cat that I was aware of possesses such a thing, only ungulates, and I can hardly see a use for a very conspicuous stripe for an open-habitat cat.

However, a friend of mine mentioned in passing that Patagonian pumas possess a "stide-stripe" of sorts, which varies between individuals:

*This image is copyright of its original author

Friends have suggested that since the Puma lives in steppe environments like the lion, the side "stripe" may serve a convergent function. I can't dismiss this possibility, but I'm still skeptical here.
The marking seen in Patagonian pumas is quite something, but in the illustrations by Guthrie (2005),
Looking to modern lions and to the Patagonian cougar, I see a golden brown>saturated brown>white belly transition to be more plausible than the "golden brown>dark brown/black>white belly" color transition shown by Guthrie.
We can see similar puma-like orange side flank fur in some lions, e.g.

*This image is copyright of its original author

My opinion on what this side-line represents is not exactly clear. At the moment I lean towards a puma-like saturated stripe, e.g. what is seen here to some extent:

*This image is copyright of its original author

(Ignore the lack of attention to the neck fur and the inaccurate tiger-striping)

A friend of mine, DiloRaptor (Dhruv Franklin: https://www.artstation.com/dhruvfranklin) has made a few reconstructions of the cave lion based on cave art, e.g.:

*This image is copyright of its original author

(Under the side-stripe interpretation)
In this one, he depicts a mating pair, where he interprets the side marking to be a crease or hue break:

*This image is copyright of its original author


My exact position on the life appearance of the cave lion is not entirely clear, but that's what we know.
I made a schematic going through the various plausible interpretations of the pelage of the cave lion based on cave art.

*This image is copyright of its original author

(Ignore the anatomy, this pertains only to the pelage pattern)


Thoughts and suggestions on the life appearance of this cat would be more than welcome.
Wow, this is amazing! You know a lot about cave Lions! I was wondering if you can answer this question, do you think these cats were social or solitary?
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United Kingdom Ghari Sher Offline
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(02-10-2019, 07:54 AM)tigerluver Wrote: A new study was published recently identifying P. atrox, S. fatalis, and P. spelaea in southern Canada not to far from the US border. While it is expected for P. atrox and S. fatalis to be found this far south, the same cannot be said about P. spelaea. The authors' reasoning was that the ulna was smaller than that of the La Brea tarpit P. atrox and the "posterior edge of the shaft appears to be straighter in lateral view" as compared to P. atrox. The specimen was previously assigned to S. fatalis.


*This image is copyright of its original author


The authors acknowledge the uncertainty but stick to their identification. Personally, P. atrox from other regions have consistently been smaller than the P. atrox of La Brea and I feel the reasoning based on the small size difference is not enough to attribute the bone to P. spelaea. Moreover, ulnae are very diverse both between and within taxa, a straight posterior contour is certainly not anything very telling. Moreover, note how P. atrox has the straighter contour than P. spelaea in this comparison:


*This image is copyright of its original author


What do you think?

hmmmmm.... are you quite sure that the ulna presented by Harrington (1969) is really a bona fide P. atrox? I'm pretty sure Alaska is P. spelaea territory.
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