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Dylanmacnish

Short face bear v cave bear

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Dylanmacnish

Hello everyone,

I’ve recently purchased what’s said to be a 13 inch cave bear jaw. 

I’ve been doing research and I’m finding it difficult to tell the difference between a cave bear and a short face bear jaw. 

 

Does anyone have any insight, could this jaw be easily misidentified?

 

kind regards 

Dylan

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caldigger

I would think if nothing else, it would depend on where there habitat was.

Is the location your jaw was found even known for having Short Faced Bears?

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Dylanmacnish

I was told it was collected by a German field officer during World War II and he has since passed on. 

 

I was also told its a Romanian cave bear.

 

it sound to me like this fossil has past through a few hands and  I can’t say for sure but it is Romanian. 

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Dylanmacnish

I think if the seller has landed this item he would probably just guess using the most popular location for cave bears for his ad.

 

 

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siteseer
59 minutes ago, caldigger said:

I would think if nothing else, it would depend on where there habitat was.

Is the location your jaw was found even known for having Short Faced Bears?

 

Caldigger,

 

That's the key.  Short-faced bears are known only from North America, including the La Brea tar pits, and I think South America.  Isolated bones are rare finds.  A jaw like that would be super-rare.

 

Jess

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siteseer
51 minutes ago, Dylanmacnish said:

I think if the seller has landed this item he would probably just guess using the most popular location for cave bears for his ad.

 

 

 

Cave bear fossils are known from sites across Europe.  I have a tooth from France and have seen specimens from Germany.  Thirty years ago, almost all the cave bear material on the market was coming from Mixnitz, Austria.  That supply appears to have been exhausted (or collecting became restricted) but then it started coming from Romania maybe 20 years ago.  I've been told the bear stuff from Romania is actually a different species (differences in the skull) but you'd have to look into that.

 

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fossilsonwheels

Range is best way to separate them but I think you can also tell if it is an Arctos sp. by the sizable dent or cavity on the outside of the lower mandible. I do not believe Cave Bears have this feature. Your jaw does not have it. I also believe there is noticeable difference in the size of the canines. @siteseer is correct that they are also really quite rare.

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Dylanmacnish

Thank you very much for all the knowledge. 

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steelhead9

Given the likelihood of ever finding a real short faced bear jaw, you would be very safe in assuming this to be a cavebear specimen.

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Mark Kmiecik

Romania is known for cave bears. Other than that, with no documentation on this specimen, and no provenance other than hearsay, it doesn't matter what you call it if you can't prove it. 

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Abstraktum

These are cave bear skulls found in Romania. They are on display at the Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt / Germany. Unfortunately I wasn't able to take better pictures. 

 

I hope this helps somehow with an identification/ comparison.

 

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20190716_093521-1.thumb.jpg.ffd775b9e0183544b7dec7aaf83368d2.jpg

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LordTrilobite

If there's a location attached it should be fairly easy to identify. Cave bears are from Eurasia. Short faced bears are from the Americas. There are no short faced bears in Eurasia and no cave bears in the Americas.

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