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Cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) from Chamber B of the Goyet Cave in Belgium
Baryshnikov G.F., Germonpré M., Baryshnikova S.V.
P. 93-104
The morphometric characteristic of skulls and cheek teeth is given for the cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) from the Late Pleistocene cave locality Goyet (Chamber B) in Belgium. The sexual distribution of the adult skulls shows them to belong to females; at the same time, data on the upper canines demonstrates approximately equal number of males and females. The gender analysis of the lower canines reveals almost double predominance of females against males. The study of the canine dimensions indicates that males were nearly 30% as large as females, which markedly exceeds the difference in size between genders in the brown bear (U. arctos). The mortality profile demonstrates prevalence of young and old individuals. Measurements of cheek teeth in the young and subadult bears exceed, on the average, those in adults, suggesting that predominantly males died in the younger age groups. The analysis of cheek teeth from the Goyet Cave reveals peculiarity of the sample in upper teeth P4 and M2, which resemble in the parameters those of the dentally less specialized ancestral species U. deningeri. This peculiarity may be explained by the diet of U. spelaeus in this region situated near the Pleistocene Ice Sheet, where poor vegetation provoked more consumption of animal food, probably shortly before entering hibernation.


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