Chapter 2: The Lion
Together with the frozen remains of the woolly mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, steppe-bison, wild horse, saiga antelope, and the camel, they have also found the bones of the lion in the Far North. – In what kind of a climate has this cat lived up there? On what kind of a plant-cover has it hunted? – Some supporters of the modern ice-age hypothesis claim that the lion was adapted to severe arctic cold. It has been then much colder up there, than it is now in northeastern Siberia, they say. – Is that true? – How large was this cat? What did it eat? How much did it eat? How much large-mammal biomass did the lion need up there. How much grass and browse had to grow up there, so that those herds of hoofed animals found enough to eat? How much must it have rained per year, so that enough grass and browse could have grown? What have scientists found out now about this?
Professor Bjørn Kurtén and Elaine Anderson report about the lion of the mammoth fauna: "The American lion is characterized by its enormous size, rivaled only by the Eurasian cave lions Panthera leo fossilis (Reichenau), of the middle Pleistocene, and Panthera leo spelaea (Goldfuss), of the late Pleistocene. ... Late Pleistocene lions are known from Siberia and ranged east as far as the Kolyma River, and so it seems that a continuous population extended across Beringia during glacial phases.
"The modern lion, unlike the other great cats, is gregarious and hunts in groups. Whether this was so in the case of the American form cannot be directly determined, but according to Hemmer (personal communication), the high degree of cephalization [large brain] makes this possible. The American lion had a larger brain, relative to body size, than any of the Pleistocene or living lions of the Old World.
"No evolutionary change has been observed in the American lion during its span of existence; the earliest finds indicate animals of the same average size as those found later. In Europe, a gradual reduction in size occurred after the Cromian. ... A radiocarbon date on Panthera leo from Alaska is 22,680 ± 300 years B.P., which indicates that the lion was present in Beringia during the height of the Wisconsinian glaciation. It persisted in Beringia to the end of the Pleistocene, as indicated by a date of 10,370 ± 160 years B.P. from Lost Chicken Creek." - Kurtén, B. and Anderson, E. (1980: 191, 192).
Professor N. K. Vereshchagin and G. F. Baryshnikov, at the Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, in St. Petersburg, state about the Cave Lion (Panthera spelea Goldfuss): "Bone remains of these lions have been found in much of northern Eurasia and North America. In Eurasia, they appear in Eopleistocene beds and disappear at the end of the late Pleistocene during Würm III... Cave lion remains are known from deposits of Illinoian and Wisconsin age.
"Cave lions were large, relatively long-legged cats similar in form to hybrids of tiger and lion. ... Prey, judging from the associated fauna, probably consisted of horses, donkeys, giant red deer, reindeer, bison, aurochs, yak, musk oxen, sheep, goats, and saiga. Young mammoths and rhinoceroses were probably also attacked. Reproductive patterns are unknown, but probably were similar to those of the other large cats, which produce two to four young per litter. ... the cold steppe-tundra, forest-steppe, and gallery forests of river valleys would have been the usual habitat of cave lions. They ascended to altitudes of more than 2000 m and used caves as shelters." - Vereshchagin, N. K. and G. F. Baryshnikov (1982:273, 274).
C. R. Harington, National Museums of Canada, in Ottawa, states about the American lion: "From about 300,000 to 10,000 years ago, cave lions (Panthera leo spelaea) lived in steppe-like and parkland regions in the north and semidesert areas in the south of Eurasia. Evidently they were not adapted to dense forests or deep snow. Fossils have been found as far west as England and as far east as the Alazeya River in Siberia- some 1,600 km west of the nearest known specimen of the American lion (Kaolak River, northern Alaska). That distance is of little significance considering the wide-ranging habits of those lions, their adaptability to cool climate and the fact that they were able to pursue bison, horse and mammoth herds spreading across the grassy Bering Isthmus which existed during late Pleistocene glaciations.
"Therefore the cave lion stock that gave rise to American lions probably entered Alaska from Siberia during the second-last (Illinoian or early last (Sangamon) interglacial time. As ice of the last (Wisconsin) glaciation (about 80,000 to 10,000 years ago) spread, American lions were isolated in unglaciated parts of the northwest (Eastern Beringia) and south. Toward the end of the last glaciation, lions ranged southeast to Florida and as far south as Mexico and Peru.
"In Canada, most American lion remains have been found in Yukon deposits of last glacial age. The best of the fossils is a virtually complete skull from the Dawson City area. Other Yukon fossils are from Old Crow Basin and Bluefish Caves (north of the Arctic Circle), Sixty Mile, Dublin Gulch and Big Creek. Lions seem to have been more common and widespread in the Yukon than other large predators of the time, such as the short-faced bear and the scimitar cat (Homotherium serum – a relative of the sabretooth).
"Presumably American lions were gregarious and hunted in groups like African lions. They may have sheltered in caves, rock fissures and canyons, lining their dens with grass or dried leaves like the Amur tiger – large cats that have adapted likewise to cold climates. ... According to their anatomical structure, American lions were at least as fleet as African lions, which are able to reach speeds of 48 km per hour in bursts when hunting. They have been best adapted to feeding on bison. ... Probably they also hunted small horses and rarely young mammoths." - Harington, C. R. (1990:2).
Map: Late Pleistocene range of the Eurasian cave-lion (Panthera leo spelaea). From: R.-D. Kahlke (1994) Fig. 11. – Eurasian cave-lion. From N. K. Vereshchagin (1971). The lion – during the time of the woolly mammoth -, has lived in Northeast Siberia up to the shores of the Arctic sea, up to about 76 ° North. The lion is only able to live, where it finds enough to eat, where enough hoofed mammals are grazing. This prey biomass is only able to grow in a mild, temperate climate, not in an arctic climate.
“Frieze of lions”. Engraving on a rib from the Cave of La Vache, Ariège, France, Late Magdalenian. Radiocarbon date c. 10 900 years old. Length of central lion 10 cm. Note tuft on end of tail (tail of first lion). From: B. Reinhardt and K. Wehrburger, Der Löwenmensch (1994:60). The European cave lion did not have a mane like the living African lion.
Nairobi Park and Serengeti: Prey Biomass
What is the lowest prey biomass in Nairobi Park and Serengeti, at which the lion is still able to survive? – A.R.E. Sinclair and M. Norton-Griffiths have found this out:
"In the lowest year of prey observed, all indications were that lions were able to obtain near maximal food intake. The density of wildebeest was 2/km², zebra 4/km². Thus, the lions saw a combined density of these preferred prey of 6/km². Therefore, ... near maximal consumption is obtained when combined wildebeest-zebra densities are as small as 6/km². The actual prey density is only important, when prey density is low. The lowest prey density ... is 100,000 wildebeest for the Serengeti, which is about 15/km² on the plains –far above the density at which we suspect food might become scarce for lions." (1979:296).
How much prey biomass is that per kg/km²? – The wildebeest weighs 123 kg, the zebra 200 kg.
246 kg wildebeest = 2 wildebeest/km²
800 kg zebra = 4 zebras/km²
1046 kg total biomass/km² in Nairobi Park
15/km² wildebeest in Serengeti = 1845 kg/km²
When the residential lion is raising cubs: How much large mammal prey biomass must its home range have then? In other words: At which level of prey biomass will many cubs be able to survive and to grow up? And at which level of prey biomass will the cubs starve to death?
A.R. E. Sinclair and M. Norton-Griffiths: "To simulate the increase of lions on the plains (of the Serengeti, East Africa), as the prey numbers increased from 1969 to 1976, we used a linear relation of cub survival to food availability. We assumed that when food availability was low (1000 kg/km²) cub mortality was high (15 percent per month); and when food availability was high (10,000 kg/km²) cub mortality was low (5 percent per month)." (1979:298).
15% cubs dead per month at low prey biomass of 1,000 kg/km²
10% cubs dead per month at average prey biomass of 5,000 kg/km²
5% of cubs dead per month at high prey biomass of 10,000 kg/km²
This means: At a low prey biomass of 1,000 kg/km², 15% of the lion’s cubs will starve to death per month. In 3 months, 45% of the cubs will then be dead. In 6 months, 90% of the cubs will have starved to death. And in 7 months, all the cubs will be dead. Only very few of the small cubs will then have a chance to grow up.
The normal rate of survival is: Within 6 months, about 50% of the lion’s cubs will be dead. That are then 8.333% dead cubs per months. 8.333% of the cubs will be dead, when there is a large mammal prey biomass of 6 641 kg/km².
When 8.359% of the cubs die per month: in 3 months 25% of the cubs will be dead. In 6 months 50% of the cubs will have starved to death. And in 12 months 100% of the cubs will be dead: all of them. Nevertheless, a few of these cubs will be able to grow up, because fewer of them will die, when they are more than half a year old.
East African Lion: Cub Survival
How much large mammal prey biomass must there be at least, so that the residential lion will be able, to raise its cubs? What is the smallest amount of prey biomass, so that the residential lion will be able, to live there all the time, and to raise its cubs?
K. G. Van Orsdol, Uganda, Institute of Ecology and Dept. of Applied Biology, Cambridge, U.K.; Jeanette P. Hanby, Tanzania National Parks, Arusha, Tanzania; and J. D. Bygott, Zoology Department, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, have investigated this. They report:
"Cub survival at 12 months correlated with mean biomass and lean biomass (Table I), indicating that cub survival is dependent on an abundance of food during the period of prey scarcity. Within habitats, an increase in lean season biomass results in an increase in cub survival (Fig. 4). Because they require a higher level of food intake per unit body weight than adults, due to the energetic requirements of growth, cubs are the first to experience nutritional stress during periods of food scarcity. ... Bertram (1973) found that significantly more cubs in the Serengeti died during the period when no large prey were available. Similarly, data from Queen Elizabeth National Park indicated that significantly more cubs died during the season of low food intake." (1985:105,106).
At which lean season prey biomass will the cubs of the African lion survive their first 12 months? The following values are based on the table of K. G. van Orsdal et al. (1985:105). It gives the lean season biomass per square kilometer and the percentage of cubs surviving to 12 months.
At a lean season prey biomass of only 2,000 kg/km², only 37.5% of the cubs of the African lion will survive the first 12 months. Or the other way around: 62.5% of the cubs will have starved to death by the end of their first year.
At a lean season prey biomass of 6,000 kg/km², 46% of the cubs will survive the first 12 months. Or: 54% of them will be dead by the end of the first year. About half of the cubs of the lion will be dead after their first 6 months. This is their normal rate of survival. Thus, the "nursery range" of the lioness, raising her small cubs, must have a lean season large mammal prey biomass of about 6,000 kg/km².
At a lean season prey biomass of 10,000 kg/km², 55% of the cubs will survive the first 12 months. And 44.5% of them will be dead by the end of the year. – This shows me: The normal "nursery range" of the residential lion must have a lean season prey biomass of 6,000 to 10,000 kg/km². At a lean season prey biomass of 14,000 kg/km², 92.5% of the cubs will survive the first 12 months. And only 7.5% will have starved to death by the end of the year.
The nomadic lion is able to get along on less prey. He has no own home range and does not raise any cubs. He is not bound to his home range and is able to follow the large migrating herds of hoofed animals. The nomadic, non-reproducing adult lion will be able to live on a lean season prey biomass of 1,000 kg/km².
East African lioness hunting on grassland. From: .G. B. Schaller (1972). The residential lioness, raising cubs, needs a prey biomass of hoofed animals of at least 3145 kg/km² during the lean season of the year. This prey biomass is only able to grow in a mild temperate climate, not in an arctic climate.
The Residential Lion: Its Prey Biomass
Where is the residential lion, raising cubs, able to survive now? How much must this wild cat at least eat, when living out in the wild? How much ungulate prey biomass must there be at least during the leanest months of the year on its home range, when raising cubs?
The wildlife biologist Karl G. Orsdol has also studied the "feeding behavior and food intake of lions in Rwenzori National Park, Uganda". For 32 months he studied there 3 African lion prides. One of them is living in the Mweya area. The lion is just able to live there, because he does not find there much to eat. – How much did the average adult lioness eat there per day during the wet and the dry season? The lion is hunting there the buffalo, bushbuck, Uganda kob, warthog, and waterbuck. This 22.1 km² area has a prey density of 3,100 kg/km². One adult lioness in the Mweya area ate the following amount of food during one day:
Wet season 5.4 kg
Dry season 4.3 kg
Average 5.0 kg
George B. Schaller
The American wildlife biologist George B. Schaller states in his book The Serengeti Lion (1972): The average adult lioness weighs about 120 kg, and the male lion about 170 kg. The adult lioness needs 5 kg food per day, and the male 7 kg. 33% of the average carcass, devoured by the lion, is not eaten, like large bones, stomach contents. A moderately active lioness needs about 5 kg/day, a male 7 kg.
The average adult male lion, weighing 170 kg, needs 2,555 kg meat/year. 33% of the prey is inedible. So he must kill 3,813 kg ungulate prey/year. The average lioness, weighing 120 kg, needs 5 kg meat/day, and 1,825 kg/meat/year. She must kill 7.463 kg prey/day, and 2,723 kg/year. The terms, used in the following text, mean: kg BW/day = kilogram body weight per day. - % BW/day = percent body weight per day.
African male lion with a large mane. After: G. B. Schaller (1972)
Residential Lioness raising Cubs
The residential lion is living in a pride. This pride is made up of the ruling male lion and of several adult lionesses and their cubs. They are living on their home range, defended by the male lion. The young male lions, when mature, must leave their pride and their home range. They become nomads. The nomadic lion will only become a resident, raising cubs, when he has found a place, where enough hoofed animals are living. That is, where the prey biomass is large enough. – How large?
We shall be able to answer these questions, if we do treat now the residential lion like the residential tiger. Each residential tigress has her own home range. And the ruling male tiger controls two, three or more tigresses and their home ranges. This means: The home range of the residential male tiger overlaps with those of his females. Hence, I do assume now, that also the residential lion is controlling the separate home ranges of 3 lionesses. From each one of these 3 female home ranges, the male lion is taking 1/3 of his food. How much ungulate prey biomass will the residential lioness then need, when raising 2 cubs? How much must they eat, when these cubs are 6 months, 1 year, and 1.5 years of age? I do assume here that her home range is 18 km².
Lioness with 2 cubs, 6 months old
Male lion, 170 kg BW, free ranging. He needs 7 kg meat/day = 4.118% BW/day. That is 2,555 kg ungulate biomass/year (wet weight). He is eating 67% of his prey. He must kill then 6.145% BW/day ungulate prey = 10.446 kg/day and 3,813 kg/year live prey. One third of this prey he is taking from the home range of this lioness: 1,271 kg/year.
Lioness, 120 kg BW, non-reproducing. She must eat 5 kg meat, organs/day (wet wt), 4.167% BW/day. That is 1,825 kg/year. She must kill 7.463 kg ungulate prey/day: 6.219% BW/day. That is 2,724 kg/year (with 33% waste).
One 6-month-old male cub, 20 kg BW. It needs 5.312% BW/day meat:1.062 kg/day. It needs then 7.928% BW/day live prey: 1.586 kg/day and 579 kg/year live prey.
One 6-month-old female cub, 20 kg BW. It needs 4.780% BW/day meat: 0.956 kg/day, and 7.134% BW/day live prey: 1.427 kg/day, and 521 kg/year.
The whole lion family must kill at least 5,095 kg ungulate prey in one year. It is taking about 9% of the total prey biomass per year. This means: There has to be then a prey biomass of hoofed animals of 56,611 kg on their 18 km² home range. That is a prey biomass of hoofed animals of 3,145 kg/km². This lion family must kill at least 47 wildebeest (weighing 108 kg each) in one year, or 31 zebras (weighing 164 kg each), or 12 buffaloes (420 kg each). The individual body weights of these prey animals are ¾ of the average female. From G. B. Schaller (1972).
Lioness with 2 cubs, 1 year old
Male lion, 170 kg BW, taking 1/3 of his prey from the female’s 18-km² home range: 1,271 kg/year live prey.
Lioness, 120 kg BW. She must kill at least 2,724 kg ungulate biomass/year, when non-reproducing.
One 1-year-old male cub, 88 kg BW. It needs 5.075% BW/day ungulate biomass (wet wt): 4.466 kg/day and 7.575% BW/day live prey: 6.666 kg/day (with 33% waste). That is 2,433 kg/year live prey.
One 1-year-old female cub, 79 kg BW. It needs 4.869% BW/day meat: 3.846 kg/day (wet wt). That is 7.267% BW/day live prey, 5.741 kg/day, and 2,095 kg/year live ungulate prey.
The whole lion family, with its two 1-year-old cubs, must kill now in one year at least 8,523 kg hoofed animals. That is about 9% of the total prey biomass of 94,700 kg/18 km², or 5,261 kg/km². This means. The residential lion is only able to raise its 1-year-old cubs on its 18-km² home range, if there is an ungulate prey biomass of at least 5,261 kg/km². This lion family must kill then in one year at least 79 wildebeest (108 kg each), or 52 zebras (164 kg each), or 20 buffaloes (420 kg each).
Lioness with 2 cubs, 1.5 years old
Male lion, 170 kg BW. He is taking 1/3 of his prey from the female’s 18-km² home range: 1,271 kg/year live prey.
Lioness, 120 kg BW. She needs 2,724 kg/year live prey, when non-reproducing.
One 1.5-year-old male cub, 124 kg BW. He needs 4.476% BW/day meat: 5.550 kg/day. And he needs 6.680% BW/day live prey (with 33% waste): 8.283 kg/day, and 3,023 kg/year live prey.
One 1.5-year-old female cub, 95 kg BW. It must eat 4.270% BW/day meat, 4.056 kg/day. And it needs 6.373% BW/day live prey: 6.054 kg/day, and 2,210 kg/year live ungulate prey.
The whole lion family must kill then in one year at least 9,228 kg hoofed animals. That is about 9 percent of the total prey biomass on their home range: 102,533 kg/18 km², or 5,696 kg/km². The lions must kill then at least 85 wildebeest (108 kg each) or 56 zebras (164 kg each), or 22 buffaloes (420 kg each).
This means: The residential lion will only be able to raise its two 1.5-year-old cubs on its 18-km² home range, if there is a prey biomass of hoofed animals of at least 5,696 kg/km². That is, why the lion will only set up its home range, where there are many hoofed animals. Important to the residential lion is here only the prey biomass during the leanest month of the year. Any surplus during the rest of the year is irrelevant.
Northern-most modern Lion
Where has the Eurasian lion lived in historical times? Where has it lived in the former Soviet Union? How far north?
Professor V. G. Heptner et al. (1980:80-83) report: "The original range in the USSR is very small. It contains only the eastern part of Transcaucasia. There, the lion has been known since the Holocene. And not till the 10th century has it disappeared there. In Transcaucasia, it was no accidental appearance (like a rare nomad, coming in from outside). But it was forming an organic element of the fauna. This is also proved by the area, wherein this animal has lived in the past in the regions, bordering onto the south of Transcaucasia. They are essentially one faunal complex. Transcaucasia is forming here only it northern limit.
"Obviously, already since the first centuries of our Common Era, the range and density of this kind of animal in Transcaucasia have slowly decreased. During the Middle Ages, the lion has obviously been there still quite common. And the Shahs of Shirwan have hunted it. Completely disappeared it has within the borders of the USSR during the 10th century.
"Its range in Persia ran close to the border of Turkmenia. It has obviously also been at home in Afghanistan. The natural conditions in these regions during the beginning of the 20th century were favorable for the life of large carnivores (tiger, gepard, wolf, hyena, and leopard). In the past – especially in the distant one – the large forests at the river banks, the savannas, covered with pistachios, the reed-thickets, and so one, and the richness of kulans (= Asian wild ass), goiter-gazelle, wild boar, wild sheep, and deer still provided immensely richer living conditions.
"The lions have lived in historical times in the south of the Balkan Peninsula, northwards at least up to Thracia and Macedonia, and might have reached the Danube. In Greece, they disappeared during the 1st century C.E. In Asia Minor this kind was very common. It was obviously only missing in its northern parts, which was occupied by the Pontian Mountain Range (Hemmer 1967). From the western parts of the land, it seems to have disappeared already a very long time ago. In the eastern regions, however, connected more or less with Mesopotamia and Syria, it has survived until the 19th century. And it has not disappeared there till the middle of the 19th century. At the beginning of the 1870ies, it was still found at the upper course of the Euphrates, but already at the end of the18th century it had completely disappeared.
"In Mesopotamia and Arabia there have then still been lions. In the 50ies of the past century, they still appeared at the upper course of the Tigris (Mosul), and have been ‘in the reed-thickets very numerous’ at the banks of the lower course of the Euphrates and Tigris (Blanford, 1876). Lions have also lived in Kurdestan and in Armenia – in the eastern parts of present-day Turkey, and in the western parts of Iran. In Iran they have been very common – the Transcaucasian range was mainly connected with the Iranian one. In very early times, they seem to have occupied quite a large part of the country, if not most of it. Northwards they went up to Teheran, occupying also the Persian High Plateau.
"During the 70ies of the last century, the animals were also found in the south, on the western slopes of the Zagros Range, at the side, facing towards Mesopotamia (eastward of the Tigris Valley), and in the forest-regions south and southeast of Shiras (Blandford, 1876). In southern Iran, around 1900, in some places, the lion was still normally represented, but rare (Coast of Mekran). In Iran, the last lion has been killed in 1930 (Haltenorth and Trense 1956). There is every reason to assume that this kind has also lived in Afghanistan, at least in its southwestern and southern part.
"The land was thinly settled, or not at all, and was little cultivated during the Middle Ages. At the same time, the number of domestic animals in Transcaucasia has already been then very large. At many places (Gir, some parts of Africa), the lion still depends on it. There have also been then many wild hoofed animals. Not only the large rivers, like the Kura and Araks, but also smaller streams were then surrounded by lush lowland-forests. And on the flood plains of the Murgan steppe and at other places of the low plains, there were immense reed-thickets. On the hills of the foothills, pistachio- and juniper-forests were growing. And there were lush meadows. All this enabled the many deer, roe deer, and wild boars to live there, while in the steppe the goiter-gazelle was very numerous, and kulans (= Asian wild asses) were grazing there.
"The huge populations of hoofed animals were large enough, to feed the lion (and the gepard). The disappearing of P. leo was, of course, caused mainly by the increase of the human population and the changing of the natural conditions, connected with it. This caused the number of hoofed animals to decrease. So, during the 13th century, the kulans of Transcaucasia disappeared." - Heptner, V. G. et al. (1980:85).
Representation of wild bull, Asian wild ass, lion, wild sheep, and wild goat on a silver vessel from Maikop hill, Caucasia. From: N. K. Vereshchagin (1967:330). During the last 1000 years, the lion was living there near the northern-most part of its range. It shows the animals, which the lion has hunted there. The male of these lions had a mane, like the African and Indian lion of today.
Large Mammal Biomass
How large has been the large mammal biomass in the southwestern part of the former Soviet Union, where the lion still has lived in historical times? How much wild hoofed-mammal biomass would the lion (and the tiger) have found in southern Russia and western Siberia in the desert, semi-desert, and in the forests and reed-thickets along the rivers?
Andrej G. Bannikov, Professor of Zoology, in Moscow, reports (1967:255): In the national parks of the former Soviet Union, the average biomass of wild ungulates in the deserts is 2200 kg/km². Gazella subgutturosa, Equus heminous, Saiga tatarica, and Ovis ammon are living there. The semi-deserts have an average biomass of wild ungulates of 5200 kg/km². (1967:259).
Eurasian Lion: Northern Limit
How far north has the Eurasian lion lived in historical times? In which climate, at the northern-most limit of its range, is the residential lion still able, to raise its cubs? – In historical times, the northern limit of the range of the residential lion has lain in SE Greece; in Turkey, near 40°N; in Transcaucasia, north of the Caucasus, near 42°N, and in Iran, south of the Caspian Sea, it went up to about 35°N.
Turkey, 40°N. 16°C mean ann. air temp. No permafrost. 270 days above 5°C. 60 kal cm² net radiation at earth’s surface. 1250 mm P.E. 4000° 10°C.ts. 20°C mean July temperature.
Transcaucasia, up to 42°N. 15-16°C mean ann. air temp. 270 days above 5°C. 180 days above 10°C. 50 kcal cm² net radiation at earth’s surface per year. 1250 mm P.E. 4000° 10°C.ts. 16-24°C mean July temp. No permafrost.
Iran, up to 35°N. 24-28°C mean ann. temp. No permafrost. 240-270 days above 5°C. 60 kcal cm² net radiation at earth’s surface. 1500-1750 mm P.E. 6000° 10°C.ts. 32°C mean July temperature.
This is the climate at the northern-most part of the Eurasian lion Panthera leo. It is marginal lion habitat. The area, where the lion was normally living, was still warmer and milder. This clearly shows me, in what kind of a climate the cave lion has lived in northern Siberia and Yukon/Alaska during the time of the woolly mammoth. Only in such a mild, temperate time, the large herds of hoofed animals can have lived. The residential lion is not able to live in an arctic climate. There is too little to eat. The assumed adaptation of the cave lion to severe arctic cold is not based on scientific facts, only on science fiction.