Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/87

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THE BRITISH LION.

able to master the hippopotamus, the lion, the slender-nosed rhinoceros, or the straight-tusked elephant, and to carry their bones to their den, where they were found by Dr. Buckland. The hyenas also inhabiting "the Dukeries" dragged back to the dens fragments of lion. Here, too, our researches at Creswell revealed the presence of man. In the lower deposits in the caves were the characteristic implements of the river-drift hunter, while in the upper were the more highly finished stone weapons of the cave-man, along with articles made of bone and antler, such as a needle, and the earliest trace of artistic design in the figure of a horse incised on a polished fragment of bone. Here the wild animals were for the most part of the same species as those living in the area of London, and the same remark holds good of those found in the hyena-dens in the vale of Clwyd or on the banks of the Wye. The headquarters, however, of the lion in Britain were the Mendip Hills in Somersetshire, which overlooked the fertile tract which then extended from their foot under the present estuary of the Severn, and joined the great prairie sweeping up the English Channel, and far to the west of Ireland, and as far south as the mouth of the Garonne. Over this vast feeding-ground the lions followed the migrating herbivores, and Banwell, Bleadon, and Weston-super-Mare were their favorite haunts. They lay in wait in the passes of Cheddar and Burrington, and from time to time were surprised and overmastered by the hyaenas on the banks of the Axe as it flowed through the picturesque ravine of Wookey.

On the Continent the lion ranged over France, Belgium, and Germany along with the above-described animals, and having the river drift man first of all, and then the cave-man for its rivals. Evidence of this rivalry we have in a remarkable necklace found in the cave of Duruthy, in the district of the Adour in the western Pyrenees, consisting of forty canine teeth of bear and three of lion, adorned with incised figures—a harpoon, glove, fish, or seal. It is a magnificent trophy of the chase, buried along with the hunter in the floor of his dwelling, which proves that human art was more than a master for the claws and teeth of the most formidable beasts of prey—the lion and the cave-bear—then living in the southwest of France. The broken and burned bones on the floor point to the fact that reindeer, horses, bisons, and stags were then abundant in the neighborhood.

The fossil remains of the lion are found also in Italy along with the remains of living and extinct animals, such as the stag, Irish elk, and mammoth in strata of the Pleistocene age. Nor is the range of the lion confined merely to Europe at this time. An accumulation of fossil remains was discovered many years ago in the United States, in the valley of the Ohio, a few miles southwest of Cincinnati, in Boone County, Kentucky, so great that it is known as Big Bone Lick. The animals to which they belonged had been attracted to the morass in which they perished by a deposit of salt, and present the same asso-