The 'breccia' stratum from Kents (we follow local tradition in using the form 'Kents', without an apostrophe) Cavern, England, has been well known for its rich yield of cave-bear material since excavations began in the mid-19th century. Recent work has established that the bears are of latest MIS 12 or earliest MIS 11 age. A life table based on a collection of 67 molariform teeth is consistent with the use of the cave as a hibernaculum. Univariate and morphological assessment of the teeth shows an unusual range of primitive and more derived characters. Multivariate morphometric analysis of cave-bear teeth from the site demonstrates that these animals, while currently assignable to Ursus deningeri sensu lato, are nevertheless morphologically distinct and not simply late deningeri on a hypothetical chronospecific continuum.

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Keywords Bear, Britain, Cave, Kents cavern, MIS 11, Pleistocene
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/08912963.2010.483730
Journal Historical Biology
Citation
McFarlane, D.A. (Donald A.), Sabol, M. (Martin), & Lundberg, J. (2011). A unique population of cave bears (Carnivora: Ursidae) from the middle Pleistocene of Kents Cavern, England, based on dental morphometrics. Historical Biology, 23(2-3), 131–137. doi:10.1080/08912963.2010.483730