Ursus priscus (Ursus priscus (GOLDFUSS, 1818))
Ursus arctos priscus
Pleistocene brown bear
Steppe brown bear
Dimensions: length - 2,9 m, height - 140-160 сm, weight - 300-1000 kg
Temporal range:the Late Pleistocene - Holocene of Europe
From the beginning of the first scientific explorations of caves, the Zoolithenhöhle in Franconia, Germany, was famous for its rich fossil content. In addition to the numerous remains of cave bears and other animals, a skull of a clearly distinct kind of bear was found, originally called Ursus priscus GOLDFUSS, 1818. Three years later, the term Ursus fossilis was introduced along with a published description of the skull, which led to confusion about the adequate designation of the new species. U. priscus was regarded as a contemporary of the cave bear, i.e. Late Pleistocene in age, but the geological age of the find is still unclear even today, and from the overall state of preservation it could be even of Holocene age. The specimen probably represents a female individual. A revised study of the skull demonstrates that it is identical to modern U. arctos.On the basis of this evidence, U. priscus, U. fossilis and its synonyms are invalid terms. The nature of Late Pleistocene brown bears is still not well known.
Сave lion (Panthera spelaea Goldfuss, 1810)
Time period: late Pleistocene of Eurasia (340 000 – 12 000 years ago)
Size: 2.2 m in length, 120 cm in height, 160-300 kg of weight.
The cave lion (Panthera (Leo) Spelaea) was one of the biggest cats of all ages. Reaching 120 cm at the withers, with the length of 210 cm without the tail, it averaged 5-10% higher than today's lions, but did not reach an enormous size similar to the American lion. Today, this type of lion is regarded as a subspecies which clearly distinguishes modern lions. It distributed across northern Eurasia, and even during the glacial periods, it penetrated deeply to the north. In the north-east of Eurasia formed a separate subspecies, the so-called East Siberian cave lion (Panthera spelaea vereshchagini), which existed across the Bering land bridge then reached the American continent, where it developed into the American lion (Panthera atrox). Probably the cave lion, and like today's lions, it was a social cat, living in prides..The cave lion is known from Paleolithic cave paintings, ivory carvings, and clay figurines.