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110,000 year old Atlas lion skeleton found in Morocco

Lion de l'Atlas, 1829 by Eugene Delacroix, lithograph [Sepia Times/Universal Images Group via Getty Images]
Lion de l'Atlas, 1829 by Eugene Delacroix, lithograph [Sepia Times/Universal Images Group via Getty Images]

The National Institute of Archaeology and Heritage in Morocco yesterday announced the discovery of skeletal remains of the Atlas lion, also known as the Barbary lion, dating back 110,000 years.

The institute said: "A team of researchers at the institute and researchers from the University of Arizona, USA, and the University of Aix-Marseille, France, were able to find bone remains of the Atlas Lion within archaeological levels dating back between 110,000 and 100,000 years at the Bizmoune site in Essaouira."

For the first time in the history of archaeological research, according to the institute, traces of the Atlas lion, which recently became extinct in Morocco, were found in the west of the kingdom.

In September 2021, scientists and experts from Morocco and the US announced the discovery of 32 pieces of seashells (called Tritia gibbosula) that were used as ornaments and are the oldest of their kind in the world, according to scientists.

Morocco is home to a number of UNESCO world heritage sites, including the ancient cities in Fez, Meknes, Marrakesh and Tetouan.

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