Morphological responses of cave bears (Ursus spelaeus group) to high-alpine habitats
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A comparison of metrical and morphologi-cal data from more than 30 bear populati-ons belonging to the cave bear group (U.spelaeus and its relatives U. eremus,U. ladi-nicus,U. ingressus as well as their prede-cessor U. deningeri) shows that the differentspecies developed very different adaptationsto the altitude of their habitats. Whereasthere is a reduction of body size in Ursuseremus and U. ladinicus correlated with thealtitude of the habitat (“alpine nanism”) nosuch correlation can be observed in U. in-gressus. In U. ingressus there is a positivecorrelation of the tooth indices and the alti-tude of the habitat, i.e. in the higher sitesthe teeth are more evolved.
Die Höle, Vol. 59 (2008).
Rabede, Gernot; Dabeljak, Irena; Hofreiter, Michael; and Withalm, Gerhard, "Morphological responses of cave bears (Ursus spelaeus group) to high-alpine habitats" (2008). KIP Articles. 3514.