Cave Bear

Σπήλαιο Περάματος, Ιωάννινα

Bear Cave - Ursus etruscus. The ancestral forms of the bear first appeared about 20 million years ago (the genus Ursavus), followed by the species Ursus etruscus, which gave the 2 million years main branches: the "bear" branch with the current brown bear (Ursus arctos) and the "cave" branch with Ursus deningeri initially up to 100 thousand years and finally with the bear cave (Ursus spelaeus) up to 10 thousand years, ie until the end of the last glacial period, the date. With its extinction, this branch of evolution ceased and today there is no species of bear that is considered its offspring.

Cave Bear

The cave bear, although it was an animal of greater body mass than today's brown bear, had eating habits with an obvious vegetarian tendency, as shown by the formation of its dentures. Perhaps this difference was decisive for its disappearance.

Finally, perhaps prehistoric man also played an important role in its extinction. A new excavation paleontological research in the cave followed, in 1992-93, the results of which were announced in 1994 at the 5th International Conference (Athens-Crete) on "Development, evolution and Environment of Caves" and were published in the Bulletin of the Hellenic Speleological Society. .

This study, by Professors P. Pavlakis, A. Fistani and N. Symeonidis, provided new data on the paleontology of the cave of Perama. He identified, in addition to the bear cave, the presence of the fox (Vulpes vulpes) and the chamois (Capra ibex).

It is also important that the new bear material differs from what has been studied in the past, because it presents more primitive characters and reveals an archaic Ursus spelaeus, which alternatively, can be considered an advanced Ursus deningeri.

The presence of a bear phylogenetically earlier than the cave, indicates a rich fauna for a long period of time, which may approach the Lower Middle Pleistocene and complements the previous views.

Σπήλαιο Περάματος, Ιωάννινα Σπήλαιο Περάματος, Ιωάννινα