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Gigantic lion, Panthera leo, from the Pleistocene of Natodomeri, eastern Africa
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9586-4017
2017 (English)In: Journal of Paleontology, ISSN 0022-3360, E-ISSN 1937-2337Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The partial skull of a lion from Natodomeri, northwest Kenya is described. The Natodomeri sites are correlated with Member I of the Kibish Formation, dated to between 195 ka and ca. 205 ka. The skull is remarkable for its very great size, equivalent to the largest cave lions (Panthera spelaea  [Goldfuss, 1810]) of Pleistocene Eurasia and much larger than any previously known lion from Africa, living or fossil. We hypothesize that this individual represents a previously unknown population or subspecies of lion present in the late Middle and Late Pleistocene of eastern Africa rather than being an indication of climate-driven size increase in lions of that time. This raises questions regarding the extent of our understanding of the pattern and causes of lion evolution in the Late Pleistocene.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
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Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-2501DOI: 10.1017/jpa.2017.68OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-2501DiVA: diva2:1155994
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Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2017-11-10 Created: 2017-11-10 Last updated: 2017-11-10

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