A large collection of giant cave lion bones and fragments were found deep in the Imani caves in Northern Russia.
The cave lion is sometimes considered a species in its own right, under the name Panthera spelaea, and at least one authority, basing his conclusion on a comparison of skull shapes, considers the cave lion to be more closely related to the tiger, which would result in the formal name Panthera tigris spelaea.
However, recent genetic research shows that among extant felids it was most closely related to the modern lion and that it formed a single population with the Beringian cave lion, which has been sometimes considered to represent a distinct form.
Therefore, the cave lion ranged from Europe to Alaska over the Bering land bridge until the late Pleistocene. However, it is still not clear whether it should be considered a subspecies of the lion or rather a closely related species.