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Lions, tigers, bears – and rhinos. Prehistoric Britain was home to all kinds of beasts, as the discovery of a 700,000-year-old rhino jawbone in Norfolk has shown.
Growing to 3.5m in length and weighing six tons, the woolly mammoth is probably the largest mammal ever to call Britain home. Its tusks were used for foraging and defence.
Best known for hurling themselves from cliffs, the lemmings of the Arctic, now only found in Russia and Canada, were scampering on British shores until roughly 8,000 BC.
An ancestor of domestic cattle, these big-horned beasts were last recorded in Poland in 1627 − but died out in Britain 2,500 years earlier. Hitler tried to re-breed them.
Despite the name, some believe it is to the modern-day tiger we should look to get the best sense of the cave lion’s appearance. It last prowled British soil in 10,000 BC.
Half-dolphin, half-crocodile, the Dearcmhara shawcrossi patrolled the seas off Scotland 170 million years ago. The 14ft creature was identified from fossils on the Isle of Skye.
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