Could we see long extinct cave lions roaming the earth once again? The answer is yes if Foundation of Molecular Palaeontology gets their way.
Last year Russian researchers announced the discovery of a cache of fossils inside a cave in Yakutia, Russia that seem to have belonged to an ancient species of cave lions. The fossils, including at least two cubs, are believed to be more than 10,000 years old and are among the best preserved of any cave lion remains found until now. Now Korean scientists want to clone a long extinct cave lion using DNA from the frozen remains of ice age cubs.
Cave lions were actually very similar to their modern counterparts, and despite the name, likely did not live in caves. Scientists originally gave the subspecies the name of cave lions because the fossils were primarily found hidden away in rocky niches, where they were protected from the elements. There is also evidence that the large cats invaded bear dens and attacked them for food. The average cave lion is believed to be slightly larger than a modern African lion, and they generally hunted larger prey such as bison, reindeer, and even smaller wholly mammoths.
One of the scientists from the project is also working on cloning the extinct wooly mammoth using the same process.