Humans May Have Hunted Cave Lions To Extinction For Their Pelts

Posted: Oct 27 2016, 5:33am CDT | by , Updated: Oct 27 2016, 10:06pm CDT , in Latest Science News


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Humans may have Hunted Cave Lions to Extinction for Their Pelts
Cave lion exploitation by ancient humans might have contributed to their extinction. Credit: Pedro Saura
  • Ancient Humans may have killed Large Lion Species till Extinction Point for their Fur

It appears to be the case that stone age humans may have killed the large lion species to the point of extinction for their fur.

Human beings living in the Upper Paleolithic culture may have hunted lions for their fur. This probably resulted in the extinction of the lions. The pelts that came from the lions were used to make rugs.

These were Eurasian cave lions which became extinct some 14,000 years ago. However, the exact reason behind the disappearance of the lions still remain an enigma.

While ancient humans of this era were known to hunt down all kinds of carnivores, the evidence for their hunting these large cave lions is at best flimsy.

In order to get to the bottom of this mystery, researchers examined the fossilized remains of nine cave lions. Specifically, the toe bones were studied with great interest.

Most of the bones were found to have been changed by humans via stone tools. The skinning of the lions was done with special tools so that the claws remained attached with the fur.

In this, these ancient hunters resembled modern hunters. The hypothesis that has been made is that all the various skins may have been woven into a single pelt that lay on the cave floor.

The cave served as a venue for certain rituals. As for the cave lions, they may have held symbolic value for the ancient human beings who hunted them.

Yet the real question is whether the hunting contributed to the extinction of the cave lions. This still remains pretty much an unanswered question. Yet it may be true.

The factors are too many to take into consideration and come to a definitive conclusion. The query still continues to haunt researchers.

The findings of this study got published in the journal PLOS.

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