The cubs died only a few weeks after their birth, their eyes still not fully open.The scientists speculate that they died in a hole following a landslide.The den was sealed off from the outside, thus contributing to the exquisite preservation.
Looking ahead, the researchers are planning to perform a genetic analysis, radiocarbon dating, and an MRI scan to learn more about the cave lion species, which went extinct some 12,000 years ago.
It’s quite possible that the lions are older than the initial estimate.
The paleontologists quickly dismissed the idea that the DNA extracted from the cubs might be used for cloning, adding that such speculation was grossly premature.
The cubs were placed on giant slabs of ice to ensure their preservational integrity.
Russian paleontologists found the cubs in Siberia’s Abyisky district on the banks of the Uyandina River, hence the names Uyan and Dina.
This a very cold and northerly region located just below the Arctic Circle.
The cubs were discovered by an astute scientist who noticed something embedded within a crack that had opened up due to the summer rise in river level.
Russian scientists have displayed the remains of two ancient cave lion cubs found preserved in permafrost.
Dubbed Uyan and Dina, the unfortunate pair died just a few weeks after birth.