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Cave bears by Dontknowwhattodraw94 Cave bears by Dontknowwhattodraw94
You thought there was only one cave bear species? You were wrong!

First, a big shout-out to :iconanonymousllama428: for helping me with this, giving me all the info to get these bears as accurate as I could, discussing their colouration and even for coming up with common names. Thanks a lot dude!



Bullet; Blue Ursus dolinensis - Trinchera Dolina cave bear

The most basal of all cave bears known from fragmentary remains from Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain. It lived from 900 000 to 780 000 years ago and had a size smaller than a black bear and had a more slender build than later cave bears, being more comparable to brown bears which isn't suprising when you know cave bears and brown bears split from a common ancestor 1.5 to 1 million years ago.


Bullet; Blue Ursus savini nordostensis - Beringian cave bear

A basal cave bear from North Eastern Siberia, making it the most north-eastern cave bear known. It’s older than U. dolinensis, living 1.5 to 0.5 million years ago. The size of this bear was somewhere between that of the modern black bear and the modern brown bear.
U. s. nordostensis wasn’t a direct ancestor to more derived cave bears, but it likely was comparable to them only having less developed traits and being more gracile. Craniodental morphology suggests it was well-adapted to grazing. It also lived in hilly, mosaic landscape.


Bullet; Blue Ursus savini rossicus - Small cave bear

These bears are really small, about as big as a black bear, and are known from the Ural and Altai Mountains. Their remains are carbon dated at 39.1 to 28.9 thousand years ago. First thought to be closely related to Ursus ingrussus  it turned out they actually are a subspecies of Ursus savini. 



Bullet; Blue Ursus deningeri - Deninger's cave bear

Ancestral to all later cave bears is Ursus deningeri. It lived between 1.8 million and 100 000 years ago and was as big as a modern brown bear. The skull was already becoming proportionally larger and steeper, but not as pronounced as in its descendants.

A subspecies of this bear lived in the Caucasus region and Siberia, called U. d. kudarensis. They lived later, 560 000 to 37 000 years ago, and were as large as Ursus spelaeus spelaeus, the animal we all think of with the term “cave bear”.


Bullet; Blue Ursus kavinetz ingressus - Gamssulzen cave bear

DNA evidence suggest U. k. ingressus diverged from U. spelaeus something of 400 000 to 170 000 years ago. These giant bears lived originally in Eastern Europe, remains show, but at about 32 000 B.C. a westward migration happened causing them to enter the parts of Europe where the classical cave bears lived. 23 780 years ago, when the latter went extinct, they were the only remaining cave bears left.
U. k. ingressus were huge! The biggest cave bears actually: at more than 130 cm tall at the shoulders and a weight coming close to 600 kg for the largest males, they're bigger than a Kodiak bear. Just like all later cave bears they were more robustly build than a normal bear, with proportionally bigger, steeper skulls. Special about U. k. ingressus is that isotope analysis from Romanian specimens showed their diet was different from other cave bears, which means they were or more omnivorous or ate a different source of plant food.
First considered to be  a species on its own (Ursus ingressus) a new study suggests it's a junior synonym of U. kavinetz which gave it the current name.


Bullet; Blue Ursus spelaeus spelaeus - Classical cave bear

This is the cave bear you all know and have grown up with. They are your traditional, large headed, huge Ice Age bears. With a shoulder height of about 130 cm and a weight of 400 to 500 kg they are just a tad smaller than U. ingressus, but apart from this and their diet there isn’t much difference.
Like is probably known by most is that U. spelaeus were fully herbivore, rivaling even giant pandas at it. Of course the level of herbivory differed a bit from individual to individual and location. Although it was thought they went extinct about 28 000 years ago and got replaced by U. ingressus, there is fossil evidence from Rochenade, France, that they were still around here until 23 900 years ago. The immigration of U. ingressus and this species replacing them was probably more complicated than first thought.

A subspecies called U. s. eremus, was smaller than the classical cave bear and lived in higher latitudes, namely those of the Austrian Alps, Italian Alps and the Altai Mountains. They coexisted with U. ingressus for about 15 000 years: from 50 000 to 30 000 B.C. We know they aren’t the same species, because no gene flow is recorded between the two. What’s also interesting is that U. ingressus didn’t shrink as much in size up in the Alps in contrary to U. s. eremus, which could be explained by the different diet making U. ingressus more adaptable and eventually replacing all U. spelaeus subspecies at the very end of the Pleistocene.

And finally there was also a subspecies called U. s. ladinicus, the smallest of the trio. Remains of this small bear were found in the Dolomites, Northern Italy. They lived there from 60 000 to 30 000 years ago. How these almost fully herbivores were able to live in this Alpine environment could be explained that the Alps simply were warmer during this part of the Late Pleistocene allowing these animals to survive there. 
The size of U. s. ladinicus and U. s. eremus are a bit iffy, because I had to go from comparing their skulls with that of a subadult U ingressus. I might be a little off here...




A little note about the bears' sizes: The ones drawn are all males. Just like in today's bears they were sexually dimorphic, but the size difference in cave bears was even bigger so females would look quit small if they were in this chart. 

Size comparisons are made with Ursus arctos, the European brown bear, one Homo sapiens with lower quality and my hamster who passed away yesterday.


UPDATE 05-03-18:
U. rossicus turned into U. savini rossicus. I should redraw it because its colouration doesn't really seem to fit anymore looking at its relation to U. s. nordostensis.
U. ingressus is now considered a junior synonym of U. kavinetz which results in U. kavinetz ingressus.

Add a Comment:
 
:iconmynameisnotdave23:
mynameisnotdave23 Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2018  Student Artist
Djungarian hamster?
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Correct!
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:iconlibra1010:
Libra1010 Featured By Owner May 24, 2017
 For some reason I really love the expression of that bear second from the right - more than a hint of that "Wait, what the -" expression so appropriate to someone caught on camera quite unexpectedly.:D (Big Grin)  
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner May 24, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks :D
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:iconanonymousllama428:
AnonymousLlama428 Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I imagine he may have suddenly spotted the assailant:
www.researchgate.net/figure/27…
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I didn't read the whole thing because no paragraphs (way too tiring for my eyes), but damn, we really did hunt those bears?
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:iconanonymousllama428:
AnonymousLlama428 Featured By Owner Edited Jun 14, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, you need only read the captions for the figure, I didn't even read the whole paper yet. :P

Well, sometimes we did hunt them, evidently. This is during the most harsh period of the Pleistocene, the LGM, and in Europe too, so I guess desperation? I need to learn more about European culture during this time.
The youngest U. spelaeus fossil to date (toe bone) has possible cut marks on it, showing that humans may have, at the very least, skinned one of the last surviving individuals, though hunting it is another question.
www.researchgate.net/figure/25…

U. ingressus lasted a bit longer, until 20kya in Eastern Europe, but yeah, the most recent fossil doesn't have evidence of human activity, but hey...
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/artic…

I imagine this playing from the cave bear's perspective during the hunt (i cri evertiem):
www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCkU49…
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Would be quite tragic if we did kill the very last one.

At least the title gave away that my ears could possibly be destroyed.
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:iconanonymousllama428:
AnonymousLlama428 Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, it certainly would..
Glad to help. :P

Alternatively:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mkem7z…
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Better Thumbs Up 
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(1 Reply)
:iconlibra1010:
Libra1010 Featured By Owner May 25, 2017
 The pleasure is mine; in fact you may want to thank that bear for being a natural character actor - also for being a good sport and presumably not ripping your arms out of your sockets after being caught so off-guard!:D (Big Grin) 
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:iconfinrod8sol:
FINROD8SOL Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
magnificent sense of humor and very lovely amazing bears =)
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks :)
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:iconanonymousllama428:
AnonymousLlama428 Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
YAY I GOT A FEATURED COMMENT
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:D
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:icongrisador:
grisador Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2016
Great work as usual ! 

İs Gamssulzen bear was the biggest one ? 
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks :)

Yup, those were the largest.
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:icongrisador:
grisador Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2016
You're very welcome :D


nice
Reply
:iconanonymousllama428:
AnonymousLlama428 Featured By Owner Edited Oct 2, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Funny thing is that I was going to have a little gripe with your reconstruction of the Ramesch cave bear because his lips looked too floppy, but I just read a little somethin' on paleolithic art which stated that Ursus spelaeus paintings from France are distinguished from U. arctos paintings by their enlarged lips (among other features), possibly an adaptation to herbivorous feeding.
(pg 53):
books.google.co.uk/books?id=3u…
So yeah, you were accurate in advance XD.
It seems to me that discussions on the lips of large extinct brown fluffy things with big sharp teeth and claws is never a non-contentious topic XD
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Those lips were actually based on a grizzly picture so they were okay anyway even if cave bear art didn't depict them with longer lips xD
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:iconanonymousllama428:
AnonymousLlama428 Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
OK.
Well, up until ~20,000 years ago, they were more vegetarian than today, as a result of competition from Arctodus.
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah, and in Europe Ursus arctos was more carnivorous so they didn't compete with cave bears. Actually brown bears were such pussies back in the day xD
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:iconanonymousllama428:
AnonymousLlama428 Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Funny to think, in Pleistocene Europe, you'd be in more danger from the modern day bear species rather than the giant prehistoric lion killers.
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Dunno, I bet those reacted quite agressive too when they had cubs. 
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:iconanonymousllama428:
AnonymousLlama428 Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
mhm. If it can kill a lion, then...
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:iconanonymousllama428:
AnonymousLlama428 Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, you've heard the saying "always a bigger fish". Nowadays brown bears bully black bears, but back in the day....
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:iconfejesvalentin:
FejesValentin Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Rest in peace, little hamster!
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:iconjurassiczilla:
Jurassiczilla Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2016  Student Artist
Bears are cute, but deadly.
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:icongwyndor:
Gwyndor Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
First off, great drawing :D The size chart is nicely down and I liked you compared it to the human and to the modern bear! You just get better how huge these critters were with that.
Also the information is nicely written down :)
A really nice and helpful addition to (my) Paleo-Knowledge. (I did not deals with cave bears that much yet, but this chart may be a good start.)

Now I only have left to say, My condolences. Even rodents do not get as old as other pets, they do of course own a place in the heart, just as every other pet. (My rabbit passed away two months ago too, sadly way to early, with only one year in follow of a disease.)
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the feedback!

Yeah, they're quite underrated because of their age. 
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:icongwyndor:
Gwyndor Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No problem.

I still do keep two guinea pigs. They can get quite old, after my experience. A breeder i know, keeps several guinea pigs and her oldest passed away in a age of 17 years.
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow, that's old! My hamster just didn't make it 'till three, but the average is just below two years.
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:icongwyndor:
Gwyndor Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yes, very old indeed.

Ah ok
Reply
:iconkatanarama13:
katanarama13 Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2016
youtu.be/sASfLQm9iCc

oh yeah, extinct bear time!
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:iconanonymousllama428:
AnonymousLlama428 Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
YEAH!!!
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
BEARS!
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:iconzimices:
Zimices Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2016  Hobbyist
Great work, these bears are the kind of extinct animal that you usually only see mentioned in some obscure scientific publication... well, also I don't known about U. rossicus. :)
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you :)
Indeed, it's a shame they don't get much attention.
Reply
:iconanonymousllama428:
AnonymousLlama428 Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Reply
:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That's so long ago I can't even remember this song xD
Reply
:iconanonymousllama428:
AnonymousLlama428 Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
It's the stock chase theme from Prehistoric Park, found in all episodes, save perhaps #5. Of course, it's namesake is the scene when Nigel wakes up the cave bear.
Come to think of it, what species do you think the bear was, knowing what we do now?
Reply
:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, he's at the very end of the Pleistocene in Siberia above the Ural so I guess U. ingressus.
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:iconanonymousllama428:
AnonymousLlama428 Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, 10,000 years ago, the last cave bears had already died out, so there's already a problem there :I
But Nigel did state that he was going "just east of the Urals, in Siberia". U. rossicus was present in the Urals, and some experts believe that the presence of U. d. kudarensis remains in both the Caucasus and Easter Siberia suggests the subspecies spanned across Asia, so either bear would be sufficient, though the latter better fits the size of the bear depicted.
I'm unaware of U. ingressus remains east of the Urals.
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh... than that sounds more likely.
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:iconanonymousllama428:
AnonymousLlama428 Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Still the bear was too big. 13ft tall and weighing up to 3 quarters of a ton, they are probably the size of an extremely large U. ingressus, if not larger. I dunno if they're more muscular than any other bear, but they sure look robust.
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:iconndbag:
ndbag Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2016   Digital Artist
Nice. ^__^
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks :)
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:iconndbag:
ndbag Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2016   Digital Artist
My pleasure. ^__^
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:iconmegabass22:
megabass22 Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Absolutely stunning! It's always interesting to see how much more diverse some families were just a few thousand years ago. Good job on managing to keep the bear colors realistic yet making them all unique!
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