Sri Lanka lion
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|Sri Lankan lion|
Temporal range: Pleistocene
Extinct (c. 37,000 years BC.)
|Subspecies:||†P. l. sinhaleyus|
|Panthera leo sinhaleyus|
The Sri Lankan lion (Panthera leo sinhaleyus), also known as the Ceylon lion, is an extinct prehistoric subspecies of lion, endemic to Sri Lanka. It appears to have become extinct prior to the arrival of culturally modern humans, c. 37,000 years BC. It is thought that the lion lived alongside the humans living there at the time in a peaceful manner.
This lion is only known from two teeth found in deposits at Kuruwita. Based on these teeth, P. Deraniyagala erected this subspecies in 1939. However, there is insufficient information to determine how it might differ from other subspecies of lion. Deraniyagala did not explain explicitly how he diagnosed the holotype of this subspecies as belonging to a lion, though he justified its allocation to a distinct subspecies of lion by its being "narrower and more elongate" than those of recent lions in the British Natural History Museum collection.
- Kelum Manamendra-Arachchi, Rohan Pethiyagoda, Rajith Dissanayake, Madhava Meegaskumbura. 2005. A second extinct big cat from the late Quaternary of Sri Lanka. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. Supplement No. 12: 423–434. National University of Singapore. Online pdf
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