A perfectly preserved left felid hemimandible has been found in fluvial deposits of the Po River near Cremona (Northern Italy). The fossil, found in allochthonous position within an alluvial bar, corresponding in morphology and size at the hemimandible of modern and fossil lions. The bone, in excellent conditions, is characterized by the presence of all the teeth and shows a slight erosion of the condyle and angular process indicating a very limited transport (rafting). Based on the comparison with a large dataset of morphometric measurements of cave lion and fossil leopard hemimandibles, the studied fossil is classified as a subadult female of the chronosubspecies Panthera spelaea intermedia. The mammalian fossil record from Po River consists predominantly of large herbivores Palaeoloxodon antiquus, Stephanorhinus kirchbergensis, Bison priscus, Megaloceros giganteus, Mammuthus primigenius, Alces alces, Cervus elaphus, some carnivores like Panthera cf. pardus, Crocuta crocuta, Ursus arctos, Canis lupus, Vulpes vulpes and primates such as Homo neanderthalensis and H. sapiens. The species composition indicates a mixing of different faunal assemblages from interglacial and glacial periods of the Late Pleistocene.
First fossil record of cave lion (Panthera (Leo) spelaea intermedia) from alluvial deposits of the Po River in northern Italy / Persico, Davide. - In: QUATERNARY INTERNATIONAL. - ISSN 1040-6182. - (2021). [10.1016/j.quaint.2021.02.029]
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