Animal Mummy
Biographical Information
Clas Unknown
Species Cave Lion
Age new born
Sex f
Length 16 in long
Culture Unknown
Date(s) 28,000 ya
Site Siberia
Current Location
Catalog #
Spartak was a new born cave lion discovered in Yakutia, Siberia in 2018. She was dated to c. 28,000 years ago.

“First, the lion cubs were named Boris and Spartak after their discoverers”, said Valery Plotnikov, senior researcher at the Mammoth Fauna Research Department of the Sakha Academy of Sciences (Yakutia). “However, now we have received new research data...that suggests that Spartak is a girl.... Now we are trying to figure out what to call the lion cub. Probably the name could be Spartakiada."

Spartak’s organs were  preserved in their original form without the flattening of so many preserved animal mummies. She is about 40 centimeters (16 inches) long and weighed about 800 grams (1.8 pounds). Scientists believe the cub died shortly after birth. 

The preserved coat is spotted. Ancient cave drawings depict some lions with spots, anthropologists speculated that was simply artistic license but appears to be a factual depiction.

Spartak was found some 15 metres away from another cub, Boris, at first thought to be a sibling, but proved to be 18,000 years older. 

Both had been preserved superbly in the Siberian permafrost,


Scientist now think that the cub may have starved to death. Tomography of her internal organs showed there was no fat, and that she was at the most extreme stage of starvation when she died, her gastrointestinal tract was completely empty.


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