Middle Pleistocene Ursus deningeri from Grotte de la Carrière (Réseau Lachambre, Têt Valley, Eastern Pyrenees)

Abstract

Grotte de la Carrière is one of the secondary caves with paleontological record within the Réseau Lachambre karstic complex, an important network located in the Têt Valley at Villefranche-de-Conflent (Occitaine, France). After the discovery of dozens of cave bear remains in 2012, four systematical excavations in different parts of the cave allowed to recover a noteworthy Pleistocene mammal assemblage. Here we describe the dentognathic specimens of ursids coming from the lower layers of the first performed sondage. Based on morphological and morphometric comparisons with other late Early to Late Pleistocene European fossil material, the studied specimens were referred to the Middle Pleistocene species Ursus deningeri. Due to the scantiness of well-preserved and chronologically well-constrained U. deningeri remains, this study represents an important contribution to acquire knowledge on this Middle Pleistocene bear.

Resumen

La Grotte de la Carrière es una de las cuevas secundarias con registro fósil dentro del complejo cárstico del Réseau Lachambre, una importante red de cuevas localizadas en el valle del río Têt en Villefranche-de-Conflent (Occitaine, France). Después del descubrimiento de decenas de restos fósiles en la cueva en 2012, cuatro excavaciones sistemáticas han tenido lugar en diferentes sondeos permitiendo el descubrimiento de un importante yacimiento Pleistoceno. Aquí se describen los restos dentognáticos de úrsidos que provienen de los niveles inferiores del sondeo número 1. En base a comparaciones morfológicas y biométricas con otros especímenes fósiles del Pleistoceno, referimos el material estudiado a la especie del Pleistoceno medio Ursus deningeri. Debido a la escasez de restos bien preservados y datados de la anterior especie, este estudio representa una importante contribución al estudio de este oso del Pleistoceno medio.

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Fig. 1

Taken from Madurell-Malapeira and Llenas (2018)

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Abbreviations

ICP:

Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont

S1:

Sondage 1

SH:

Sima de los Huesos

CDA:

Caune de l’ Arago

IR:

Santa Isabel de Ranero

CT:

Cova del Toll

CE:

Cova Eirós

AR:

Cova de l’ Arbreda

SV:

Saint Vallier

VAL:

Upper Valdarno

OL:

Olivola

PO:

Grotte du Portel

TR:

Grotte Tournal

OR:

Avenc d’ Orgnac III

CRO:

Trou de la Crouzade

HO:

Grotte d’ Hortus

BA:

Grotta della Basura

GDC:

Grotte de la Carrière

MZB:

Museu Zoològic de Barcelona

M/m:

Molars, uppercase indicate upper molars and lowercase lower ones

P4/p4:

Fourth upper and lower premolar, respectively

Pad:

Paraconid

Prd:

Protoconid

Med:

Metaconid

Mtsd:

Metastylid

Ed:

Entoconid

Hyd:

Hypoconid

Hld:

Hypoconulid

EHyd:

Enthypoconid

Cd:

Centrolophid

Pa:

Paracone

Past:

Parastyle

Me:

Metacone

Mtst:

Metastyle

De:

Deuterocone

Pr:

Protocone

Ms:

Mesocone

Hy:

Hypocone

Tf:

Talonfield

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Acknowledgements

We thank Marina Rull and Júlia Jiskoot and the other preparators from Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP) for the excellent preparation of the specimens. The collaboration of Jean-Louis Pérez from Conflent Spéléo Club, Philippe Galant, Véronique Lallemand and Caroline Guerineau from the Direction Régionale des Affaires Culturelles (DRAC) Occitaine of the Ministère de la Culture French Government for their assistance and help is also acknowledged such as the assistance of Javier Quesada and Vicent Vicedo, curators of vertebrate and paleontology collections from Museu Zoològic de Barcelona (MZB) and Museu Martorell (MGB) respectively. We also acknowledge funding from DRAC Occitaine and the Spanish Agencia Estatal de Investigación/European Regional Development Fund of the European Union (CGL2017-82654-P, AEI/FEDER EU). Comments by Jan Wagner, Marco Cherin and an anonymous reviewer helped to significantly improve the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Joan Madurell-Malapeira.

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Prat-Vericat, M., Rufí, I., Llenas, M. et al. Middle Pleistocene Ursus deningeri from Grotte de la Carrière (Réseau Lachambre, Têt Valley, Eastern Pyrenees). J Iber Geol 46, 163–175 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41513-020-00124-1

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Keywords

  • Pleistocene
  • Ursidae
  • Cave bear
  • Têt Valley
  • Pyrenees

Palabras clave

  • Pleistoceno
  • Ursidae
  • Oso de las cavernas
  • Valle del Têt
  • Pirineos