Two lion skulls found during excavations at the Tower of London originated in north-west Africa, genetic research suggests.
The big cats, which were kept by royals during medieval times, have the same genetic make-up as the north African Barbary lion, a DNA study shows.
Experts believe the animals were gifts to English monarchs in the 13th and 14th centuries.
The two well-preserved lion skulls were recovered during excavations of the moat at the Tower of London in 1937. They have been radiocarbon dated to AD 1280-1385 and AD 1420-1480.