Ancient Cave Bear tooth Ursus Spelaeus
Age: 50,000 Yr BP
Size: 1 1/2 inches long 1/2" wide
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The Cave Bear lived mostly in Europe 2.5 million to 50.000 years ago during the Pleistocene and became excinct about 27,500 years ago. The name "Cave Bear" came from the fact that fossils of this animal were mostly found in caves, indicating that they spent more time in caves than other bears and over the course of time, whole layers of bones, skeletons,skulls and teeth were found in many caves.Cave bears are thought to be descended from the Plio-Pleistocene Etruscan bear that lived 5 million years ago.Cave bears had a vegetarian diet mostly of tough vegetation allowing the cave bear to gain more energy for hibernation while eating less than its ancestors however its skull and tooth shapes indicate that meat was also on the diet.The cave bear had a very broad, domed skull with a steep forehead. Its stout body had long thighs, massive shins and in-turning feet, making it similar in skeletal structure to the brown bear. Cave bears were comparable in size to the largest modern day bears. The average weight for males was 400–500 kilograms (880–1102 pounds), while females weighed 225–250 kg (496–551 lbs).Of cave bear skeletons in museums, 90% are male due to a misconception that the female skeletons were merely "dwarfs".