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cave bear skull

Pleistocene Period, Juvenile Cave Bear Skull - SKU0375U

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Availability: In stock


From: Carpanthian Mountains, Romania.

Age: 45,000 years old - Pleistocene period.

This is the skull of an infant Cave Bear.  The pathological damage to the skull was almost certainly caused by the fang tooth of an adult or near adult bear.  A bite which certainly caused its subsequent death.  The pathology of this specimen makes it of particular interest as it allows for a personal story to be attached to this bears short life.

The cave bear was a species of bear which lived in Europe during the Pleistocene and became extinct at the beginning of the Last Glacial Maximum about 27,500 years ago.

The cave bear inhabited low mountainous areas, especially in regions rich in limestone caves. They seemed to avoid open plains, preferring forested or forest-edged terrains.

The cave bear had a very broad, domed skull with a steep forehead. Cave bears of the last ice age lacked the usual 2-3 premolars present in other bears; to compensate, the last molar is very elongated, with supplementary cusps.

Collections of bear bones at several widely dispersed sites suggest that Neanderthals may have worshipped cave bears, especially at Drachenlock, in Switzerland, where a stone chest was discovered with a number of bear skulls stacked upon it.

Recent reassessment of fossils indicate the cave bear probably died out 27,800 years ago. Though the reason is still disputed, the timing supports habitat loss due to climate change as responsible.

This skull is 100% genuine and has not been reconstructed.


14cm across

9cm height (back)

8.5cm height (front)

43cm circumference

23cm front to back