Pathologies in the extinct Pleistocene Eurasian steppe lion Panthera leo spelaea ()—Results of fights with hyenas, bears and lions and other ecological stresses
Late Pleistocene Eurasian steppe lions Panthera leo spelaea (Goldfuss, 1810) frequently (3 of 13) have skull damage attributable to bites. Such evidence is found only in lions from hyena or cave bear dens. Wounds on frontal and parietal bones appear to be the result of battles during cave bear hunts, by antagonistic conflicts with hyenas, and less often from fights with conspecifics. Skull bite damage is extremely rare in modern lions, suggesting that this Eurasian lion pathology is the result of inter-specific (with cave bears) rather than intra-specific conflicts. The sex specificity of maxillary porosity (found only in lions among modern felidae) is also documented in its close genetic relation, P. l. spelaea. The pattern of skeletal exostotic reaction reveals them to have been pursuit rather than ambush predators. âº Pathologies in Pleistocene lion Panthera leo spelaea result of intraspecies fights. âº Skull traumatic damages appeared of fights with cave bears in caves. âº Postcranial traumatic exostotic reaction reveals them to have been pursuit predators. âº Non-traumatic pathologies are rare.