A minimum of four adult cave lions (Panthera spelaea) from the late Pleistocene (MIS 3) are reported from Medvedia Cave in the Západné Tatry Mountains, the mountainous region of northern Slovakia in central Europe. A well-preserved fully adult male skeleton is the altitudinally highest recorded skeleton of this species and belongs to one of the largest reported cave lions. This specimen and a previous reported cave lion female from the same site exemplify the evident sexual dimorphism in this species. The fossils document a cave lion range extension into mountain areas during the Last Glacial, most likely in search of hibernating cave bear prey. Although it is generally assumed that the social behavior pattern of cave lions was similar to that of extant lions, we hypothesize that, at least in mountain environments, a solitary or paired existence was more likely for these large extinct felids.
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Vol. 38 • No. 3