Prehistoric cave bears, video


This 11 November 2018 video says about itself:

The cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) was a species of bear that lived in Europe and Asia during the Pleistocene and became extinct about 24,000 years ago during the Last Glacial Maximum.

Both the word “cave” and the scientific name spelaeus are used because fossils of this species were mostly found in caves. The cave bear‘s range stretched across Europe; from Spain and Great Britain in the west, Italy, parts of Germany, Poland, the Balkans, Romania and parts of Russia, including the Caucasus; and northern Iran. This reflects the views of experts that cave bears may have spent more time in caves than the brown bear, which uses caves only for hibernation.

Cave bear skeletons were first described in 1774. Many caves in Central Europe have skeletons of cave bears inside, for example the Heinrichshöhle in Hemer, the Dechenhöhle in Iserlohn, Germany. A complete skeleton, five complete skulls, and 18 other bones were found inside Jaskinia Niedźwiedzia in 1966 in Poland.

In Romania, in a cave called Bears’ Cave, 140 cave bear skeletons were discovered in 1983. Both the cave bear and the brown bear are thought to be descended from the Plio-Pleistocene Etruscan bear (Ursus etruscus) that lived about 5.3 Mya to 100,000 years ago.

Cave bears were comparable in size to the largest modern-day bears. The average weight for males was 350 to 600 kg (770 to 1,320 lb), with an exceptional specimen weighing 817 kg (1,800 lb) or more, while females weighed 225 to 250 kg (495 to 550 lb).

Their teeth were very large and show greater wear than most modern bear species, suggesting a diet of tough materials with evidence pointing to omnivorous diets.

Death during hibernation was a common end for cave bears, mainly befalling specimens that failed ecologically during the summer season through inexperience, sickness or old age. The presence of fully articulated adult cave lion skeletons, deep in cave bear dens, indicates the lions may have occasionally entered dens to prey on hibernating cave bears, with some dying in the attempt.

2 thoughts on “Prehistoric cave bears, video

  1. Pingback: Mammoths made apples big and tasty | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Denisovan hominins and Ice Age predators | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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