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Panthera leo spelaea

Cave lion as reconstructed in "Walking with Beasts".

The European cave lion (Panthera leo spelaea) is a close relative to the African lion. They were however a bit larger, standing about 1,5 meters at the shoulder. This was probably due to the larger size of herbivores like the European Bison that roamed the European and Asian steppes. It is believed that they had survived up to about 10 000 years ago and probably became extinct due to changes in habitat. Fossils have been found all over Europe and the cave lion also features in Paleolithic cave paintings as well as carvings and clay figures. (40)