cave bear

cave bear
an extinct bear, Ursus spelaeus, that lived in caves in Europe during the Pleistocene Epoch.

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 extinct (extinction) species of bear, notable for its habit of inhabiting caves, where its remains are frequently preserved; in European cave deposits, the remains of more than 100,000 cave bears have been found. The cave bear is best known from late Pleistocene cave deposits, although it can be traced back to Late Pliocene times (the Pliocene Epoch ended about 1.8 million years ago and was followed by the Pleistocene). Remains have been found in England, Belgium, Germany, Russia, Spain, Italy, and Greece, and it may have reached North Africa. Several local varieties, or races, have been described; dwarf races are known from some regions. Stone Age peoples sometimes hunted the cave bear, but evidence of this hunting is very sporadic; it is highly unlikely that hunting by man caused its extinction. It appears likely that most cave bears died in the severe glacial winters during hibernation; the remains include a large proportion of very young or very old and many specimens showing unmistakable signs of illness or disease. Extinction of the cave bear seems to have been a gradual process that was complete at the close of the last glacial episode. The cave bear was probably as large as the Kodiak bears of Alaska, the largest bears of today. The head was very large, and the jaws bore distinctive teeth. It has been inferred that the animal was largely vegetarian.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cave bear — Cave Cave (k[=a]v), n. [F. cave, L. cavus hollow, whence cavea cavity. Cf. {Cage}.] 1. A hollow place in the earth, either natural or artificial; a subterraneous cavity; a cavern; a den. [1913 Webster] 2. Any hollow place, or part; a cavity. [Obs …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cave-bear — caveˈ bear noun (Ursus spelaeus) a bear of the Pleistocene epoch of which fossil remains have been found in caves • • • Main Entry: ↑cave …   Useful english dictionary

  • Cave bear — Taxobox name = Cave Bear fossil range = Middle to Late Pleistocene image width = 240px image caption = Cave Bear skeleton regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Mammalia ordo = Carnivora familia = Ursidae genus = Ursus species = U.… …   Wikipedia

  • cave bear — noun : a very large extinct bear (Ursus spelaeus) known from remains in caves in Europe and England and believed to be contemporaneous with Paleolithic man * * * an extinct bear, Ursus spelaeus, that lived in caves in Europe during the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • cave bear — noun Date: 1865 a very large extinct bear (Ursus spelaeus) known especially from Pleistocene deposits in European caves …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • cave bear — noun A large extinct species of bear, Ursus spelaeus …   Wiktionary

  • cave bear — keɪv bear which lives in caverns, large animal which lives in caves …   English contemporary dictionary

  • The Clan of the Cave Bear — For the movie, see The Clan of the Cave Bear (film). The Clan of the Cave Bear   …   Wikipedia

  • The Clan of the Cave Bear (film) — Infobox Film name = The Clan of the Cave Bear image size = caption = Theatrical release poster director = Michael Chapman producer = Gerald Isenberg Peter Guber (executive) Jon Peters (executive) Stan Rogow (co producer) writer = Jean M. Auel… …   Wikipedia

  • Florida Cave Bear — Taxobox name = Tremarctos flordianus fossil range = Pleistocene regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Mammalia ordo = Carnivora familia = Ursidae subfamilia = Tremarctinae genus = Tremarctos species = † T. flordianus species authority =… …   Wikipedia

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