Cave bears ( Ursus spelaeus ) from the Peştera cu Oase (Banat, Romania): Paleobiology and taphonomy

Jérôme QUILÈS, Catalin PETREA, Oana Teodora MOLDOVAN, João ZILHÃO, Ricardo RODRIGO, Hélène ROUGIER, Silviu CONSTANTIN, Stefan MILOTA, Mircea GHERASE, Laurenţiu SARCINĂ & Erik TRINKAUS

en Comptes Rendus Palevol 5 (8) - Pages 927-934

Published on 31 December 2006

The 2002 discovery of the earliest European modern humans in the Peştera cu Oase (Romania) has led to systematic excavations of a bone bed (two levels), containing principally the remains of cave bears (ca. 5000 bones) and dated between 50 and 40 ka cal BP. The thanatocenosis corresponds mainly to a subadult and adult male utilization of the cavity. Levels 1 and 2 are distinguishable by different conservation processes demonstrating respectively low- and high-energy hydraulic transports. The heavy component of cannibalism may indicate bone processing for trace elements and/or a more omnivorous diet than is usually ascribed to cave bears.


Cave bear, Romania, Taphonomy, Palaeobiology, Humans

Download full article in PDF format Order a reprint