Ursus spelaeus, Cave Bear Tooth (Canine)

Ursus spelaeus, Cave Bear Tooth (Canine)

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U. spelaeus possessed a well evolved dental battery. Behind a row of 6 incisors protruded two very large and robust canines. From there the gum was void of teeth back to the most rearward premolar. The molars, however, were substantial. Longer and wider than those of any of the cave bear�s predecessors, the molars had large grinding surfaces which were employed in grinding plants.

The chewing muscles must have been exceptionally large judging from the dimensions of the skull. The top of the skull terminates in a pronounced sagittal crest�a bony ridge along the top of the skull to which the temporal (crushing) muscle attached. Large, stout bone arches under the eyes formed struts to which the respectably sized grinding muscle was fixed. These sizeable muscles provided impressive power. The Temporal muscle in particular exerted tremendous upwards pressure on the jaw bone which passed serious crushing power to the teeth.

Specs: Ursus spelaeus.
Late Pleistocene (10,000 to 300,000 years ago). Germany.

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