Epic pics show 28,000-yr-old lion perfectly preserved after being found in ice

Scientists have unveiled for the first time a Siberian Ice Age lion frozen in Arctic mud for 28,000 years.

The lion cub, named Sparta, still has her entire fur and body intact and simply looks like she's had a nice long nap for almost 30 millennia.

Journalist Marc Bennetts, who previewed the display which includes other Ice Age creatures in Moscow, said her milk teeth, organs, skeleton and even whiskers are in perfect shape.

He wrote in The Sunday Times: "The small, one-floor lab is full of ancient bones and other Ice Age specimens from Yakutia’s permafrost.

"A freezer room contains a baby mammoth and prehistoric rhino among other wonders.

"Boris and Sparta were both named after the locals who discovered them, although Sparta’s name had to be changed from Spartak after tests revealed that she was female."

The cubs were found 15 metres apart and were not not only from different litters but were also born thousands of years apart. Boris, a male cub, lived about 43,448 years ago, according to a study published in the Quaternary journal.

The two cubs aged one to two months were found by mammoth tusk collectors. Two other lion cubs named Uyan and Dina have also been found in the region in recent years.

Ivory dug up by curious Siberian searchers can be sold to Chinese buyers for huge sums.

Digging for the tusks of rhinos and sabre-tooth tigers is easier than ever due to climate change, which has melted ice in previously untouched glaciers.

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Bennetts reported Sparta's medical check by local scientists came back clean.

The world's oldest mother's milk was found in a 12,000-year-old lion cub nearby five years ago.

And in 2018 scientists revealed plans to clone the DNA of 43.5k-year-old cub dug out of the Siberian ice.

A study into the amazing creatures was recently published in the London-based Journal of Quaternary Science.

The lab display is at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Yakutsk, near where Sparta was found.

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