Hominid exploitation of the environment and cave bear populations:the case of Ursus spelaeus Rosenmuller-Heinroth in Amutxate cave (Aralar, Navarra-Spain)

Torres Pérez-Hidalgo, Trinidad José (2007). Hominid exploitation of the environment and cave bear populations:the case of Ursus spelaeus Rosenmuller-Heinroth in Amutxate cave (Aralar, Navarra-Spain). "Journal of human evolution", v. 52 (n. 1); pp. 1-15. ISSN 0047-2484.

Description

Title: Hominid exploitation of the environment and cave bear populations:the case of Ursus spelaeus Rosenmuller-Heinroth in Amutxate cave (Aralar, Navarra-Spain)
Author/s:
  • Torres Pérez-Hidalgo, Trinidad José
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: Journal of human evolution
Date: 2007
ISSN: 0047-2484
Volume: 52
Subjects:
Faculty: E.T.S.I. Minas (UPM)
Department: Ingeniería Geológica [hasta 2014]
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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Abstract

Cave bears (Ursus deningeri and U. spelaeus) and hominids (Homo heidelbergensis, H. neanderthalensis, and H. sapiens) were potential competitors for environmental resources (subterranean and open air). Here, we examined the age at death of cave bear (Ursus spelaeus Rosenmuller-Heinroth) specimens from Amutxate cave in order to shed light on the effect of resource sharing between cave bears and hominids. After studying dental wear of the deciduous and permanent dentitions, the ontogenetic development of mandibles, and incremental layers of cement (annuli), we defined five age groups differentiated by marked development and size gaps. Our findings indicate that after hibernating, bears abandoned the den, thereby leaving the subterranean environment (caves) free for temporary hominid occupation—this would explain the subtle traces of hominid presence in many dens. However, a simple calculation based on age at death of subadult and adult cave bear specimens in Amutxate cave, extrapolated to the whole cave area, showed that the area surrounding this cave hosted bears for at least 9,000 years. This length of habitation, quite similar to the time-span derived from amino acid racemization and electron spin resonance, indicates that bear populations in the Amutxate cave constituted a serious constraint for hominid exploitation of the environment.

More information

Item ID: 3324
DC Identifier: http://oa.upm.es/3324/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:3324
Deposited by: Biblioteca ETSI Minas y Energía
Deposited on: 14 Jun 2010 12:52
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2016 12:53
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