21" Fossil Cave Bear (Ursus spelaeus) Skull - Extremely Large!

This impressive specimen is a cave bear skull of the species Ursus spelaeus. It is in outstanding condition with minimal repair and restoration. The skull comes from a cave in Romania where cave bear material was excavated in the 70's but is no longer accessible for collecting. Because of this, Romania cave bear material is becoming increasingly more difficult to obtain.

The skull measures in at a whopping 21" long (longest measurement), with the zygomatic arches spanning 10.8" across. On the accompanied display stand, this specimen stands 20.5" tall.

The mandible and upper skull have been composited together and are connected at the posterior end of the mandible. There is some restoration to the coronoid processes and to the anterior end of the mandible and maxilla. The maxilla and mandible's incisors are likely composites as well and have been glued into place. There was some breakage to the nasal bone which required crack repair and minor gap fill restoration. Some minor repair and restoration can also be found just superior to the eyes along the frontal bone and at the posterior end of the sagittal crest.

The genus Ursus is represented today by four species: the grizzly or brown bear, American black bear, Asian black bear, and the polar bear. The cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) is believed to be a relative to today's brown bear, but was significantly larger and arguably more impressive in its own ways. Standing upright, these gargantuan beasts could reach upwards of 10 feet tall and weighed approximately half a ton as an adult.

They lived in Europe during the height of the last Ice Age, using alpine caves as shelter to escape the worst of the winter weather during periods of hibernation. Unlike modern-day bears and other bears of their time that would use caves primarily for hibernation, Ursus spelaeus likely spent an excessive amount of time in their caves. In fact, it is not uncommon to find several generations of cave bears in the same cave deposits, as was the case with the caves of Romania.

Despite their size and menacing appearance, their diet was likely mainly herbivorous.
Ursus spelaeus
21" long, 10.8" wide, 10" tall
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