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The Cave Lion (Panthera spelaea and Panthera fossilis)

United States tigerluver Offline
Prehistoric Feline Expert
( This post was last modified: 02-17-2019, 08:10 AM by tigerluver )

(02-17-2019, 07:09 AM)Ghari Sher Wrote:
(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.

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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.

Thanks for the reminder, I took a look at Barnett et al. (2009) and did notice that that work only finds the Alaskan lion to be P. spelaea so Harington's ulna would be reclassified to P. spelaea by this regard. Nonetheless, that goes back to the point that an ulna (an incomplete one at that) has too much variation to distinguish between relatively near identical species. The Barnett et al. (2009) also did not find any P. spelaea that close to the US-Canada border. It does have to be acknowledged that the sample size of Alaskan and southern Canadian fossils from the study is quite small, so the allopatry found by the study may not necessarily be reality. For instance, we know now S. fatalis existed deep in S. populator territory.
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Canada Wolverine Offline
Regular Member
( This post was last modified: 02-18-2019, 12:06 PM by Wolverine )

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Discoveries of huge cave lions in cave Imanai (Ural) inspired Russian paleo-painter Velizar Simeonovski to create painting "Short Triumph". He describes the scene: "Early evening in March. Small group of hunters, late neandertals just killed small cave bear (Ursus rossicus), it was easy victim since the bear was exsausted by long hibernation":

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