Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian

Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian

July 30, 2018

Scientists have found that the diet of the Deninger bear, who lived in Europe millions of years ago, consisted mainly of plants - as was the diet of his descendants, who died of cave bears only 15 thousand years ago.

At the end of the Pleistocene epoch (125–12 thousand years ago) there were two species of bears in Europe: the omnivorous brown Ursus arctos and the cave bears Ursus spelaeus that did not live to this day. The latter, in contrast to the omnivorous brown, fed mainly on plant food, but scientists still poorly represented, then led to their vegetarianism; This was difficult to judge because of the rarity of the remains of the ancestors of these bears, such as the Ursus deningeri (Deninger Bear).

This week an article on the deninger bear diet has been published in Historical Biology; A group of researchers from Germany and Spain studied the structure of the jaws and teeth of U. deningeri and established that these fossil bears, as well as their descendants, cave bears, ate mostly plants. Computer scan of the remains of U.deningeri allowed to virtually clean the jaws and teeth from dirt without damaging the fossils, and compare their shape with the shape of the jaws and teeth of cave and modern bears.

Reconstruction of the full skull of the fossil bear Ursus deningeri.

The U. deningeri bears appeared at least 500 million years before the cave bears, which means that the division into herbivores and omnivores among European members of the bear family also appeared five hundred million years earlier.

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  • Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian

    Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian

    Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian

    Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian

    Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian

    Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian

    Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian

    Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian

    Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian

    Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian

    Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian Fossil bear turned out to be a vegetarian