First morphometric data from the metapodial bones of Ursus from Cerè Cave (Venetia Region, North Italy)
Cranium , Volume 22 - Issue 2 p. 13- 25
Numerous metapodial remains of bears from the Cerè Cave (Verona Province, Venetia Region, North Italy), are morphologically and morphometrically analysed here. Three species of Ursus are represented (U. deningeri Von Reichenau, 1904; U. spelaeus Rosenmüller-Heinroth, 1794 and U. arctos Linnaeus, 1758), but in different proportions, with the deningerian and speloid being more numerous than the arctoid forms. Two populations of U. spelaeus of different sizes are shown and this could reflect their different (geological) ages. In particular, the significant presence of deningerian fossils in the Cerè Cave, when compared to data from other caves in the Lombardy and Piedmont regions, could indicate a strong presence of these species solely for the Venetia region with very limited numbers in surrounding areas until we reach Central Italy. Lastly, the fossil findings in the Cerè Cave derive from more than one level of the Pleistocene and the presence of U. deningeri justifies the extension of the lower boundary to the Early Pleistocene.
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