What did the cave bear eat 50,000 years ago?

2019 edition

Iván Ramírez

Feeding habits of the fossil cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) have always been a controversial topic in Paleontology. In this study, we investigate the paleodiet of cave bears from the Toll Cave (Moià, Catalonia, NE Iberian Peninsula) through biochemical composition of bones and microscopic wear on teeth. Both proxies provide data at different times, from the average diet during life to the last days/weeks before death. The knowledge of the dietary habits of this species is essential to understand its biogeographical distribution across Europe and its durability, as well as to go deeper on the factors that led to its extinction at the end of the late Pleistocene.