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Cave Bear

Cave Bear
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Carnivora
Family:Ursidae
Genus:Ursus[?]
Species:spelaeus
Binomial name
Ursus spelaeus (extinct)
The Cave Bear (Ursus spelaeus) was a species of bear which lived in Europe during the Pleistocene and became extinct at the end of the last ice age about 10,000 years ago.

Both the name Cave Bear and the scientific name spelaeus derive from the fact that fossils of this species were mostly found in caves, indicating that this species spent more time in caves then the Brown Bear which only uses caves for hibernation. Many caves in Europe have skeletons of cave bears on display, for example the Heinrichshöhle in Hemer or the Dechenhöhle in Iserlohn, Germany.

Being about 30% bigger than the Brown Bear, the most notable difference between the two species is the steeper forehead of the cave bear. It was a herbivore, eating herbs, grass, berries, but also honey and occasionally small animals.

The change of climate at the end of the Würm ice age changed the flora significantly, however far from the first time an ice age had ended and a human role in the extinction is possible.

See: List of extinct animals



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