Thursday, December 13, 2007

Prehistoric bear bones discovered in Pella

More than 15,000 bones of fossilized cave bears have been found on the Iridaias mountain, in northern Greece’s Pella area, as experts uncover evidence of large bear populations existing in the area some 40,000 years ago.

The bones belong to the Ursus ingressus cave bear that is believed to have headed down to Greece from Northern Europe in search of warmer weather and food.

In digs that have been carried out since the early 1990s, experts have uncovered the bones believed to be the “first cousin” of the brown bear currently found in the region. Findings from the examination of the bones is expected to be formally made next year.

“By finding out what caused the disappearance of the Ursus ingressus, we can find out what may also have caused the extinction of other (animal) types today,” said paleontologist Evangelia Tsoukala.

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