Found in Europe and Asia, the woolly rhino is paying homage to greek and Europeon tradition as ceolodonta antiquitatis or “hollow-tooth of antiquity”

Many European cave paintings from the upper paleolithic (Pleistocene) depict woolly rhino. As perhaps the more memorable and favorite Pleistocene megafauna of Europe. Probably due to the red orches, and plants, rock and charcoil combinations that were available some even black. The most famous drawings in one area found are south eastern Czech Republic. An archaeological site known for bone fences and buildings called Dolni Vestonice is believe to have had up to 200 drawings. Some scenes even dipicted two rhinos fighting each other. At another location, in Kapova cave some images even show rhino struck with spears or arrows, vindicating there eventual demise. Font de gauge and Lascaux also had significant woolly rhino drawings in France.

The hollow tooth lived 3 million to 10,000 years ago in and around Europe and Asia. Its size was quite large. Around 2000-3000kg, or 4400 to 6600 lbs. It’s height was about 2 m (6 1⁄2 ft) tall at the shoulder, and up to 4.6 m (15 ft) in total body length. There were some amazing features to minimize heat loss. A longer head and body and shorter legs. Its shoulder, a powerful hump and stored fat cells. It had shorter ears and tail. And, its skin was thicker.
Compared to modern rhinos, there horns were quite large, and faced forward. They were around 1 meter (3.3 feet) to about 1.4 (4.7 feet). There individual weight reached up to 35 lbs. Those were some big horns.

Woolly rhino had been documented as found around the mid 1700s. Scientifically and archaeologically speaking, it was an exciting time. Russians were releasing data, that someone was brave enough to explore the Kapova cave. And, further east Russian scientists were uncovering more neolithic remains in the permafrost.

The big find was in 1907. Russian miners announced they had found a complete frozen skeleton buried in a ozokerite pit.
In the 1910s, 20s and 30s, scientists continued on looking for, and analyzing remains. Many had claimed the woolly rhino had secret powers. They feared it had a similar resemblance to a dragon or mythical creation. By the 1930s numerous specimens were found. Many can now be found at: the Lviv National Museum in Russia, the Natural History Museum in Kraków (Poland), and, Natural History Museum in London.

In the past 20 years, permafrost has continued to melt. An additional 3-5 complete woolly rhinosaurus skeletons have been found. Scientists are already looking at bringing the woolly mammoth back. Maybe one day they will bring the woolly rhino or ceolodonta antiquitatis or ‘hollow tooth of antiquitity’ back.

With its large horns, the ceolodonta antiquitatis would have used them for battle, uncovering food and mammoth steppe, and to attract mates. When they did mate, its believed calves were raised similarly to white and black rhinos. Two titties on the females indicated 2-3 offspring were commonly raised at a time. If similar to modern rhinos the young reached sexual maturity in 5 years, and would go out on there own around 3. Because of there size adults had few predators. Though unless still maturing, it was the young that had to fend off hyenas, cave lions and human predators.
The rhinos liked lowlands, river valleys, and plateaus with dry to arid climates. If necessary they could migrate higher but not if the snow was too deep. In combination, giant deer mammoth, reindeer, saga antelope and bison formed what some scientist now call the mammothus-ceolodonta faunal complex.

Did you know? In Zwolen Poland, and the Yana River devices were made from battered pelvic parts, Half meter spear throwers (atlatls). And spear tips from an assortment of sites were found. These bones were strong.

The woolly rhinos mostly fed on mammoth steppe. A plant vegetation diet was very common: grasses, flowers, forms and mosses. There wide upper lip easily pluck pieces from ground. In the winter, it also ate woody plants, conifers, willows and alder. Because of the low protein calories. They would eat massive amounts of grasses and food.

Around 130,000 years ago it was believed the woolly rhino had the widest range of all rhino species. Though seemingly it did not cross the Bering land bridge (at least in large numbers). It was probably due to low grass density, and having to compete with the larger mammoth, humans and different faunal complexs.

Did you know? Sites in Gudenus cave (Austria), and open air site at Konigsaue, Germany had heavily beaten bones with slash marks. It could have been partially from humans taking the marrow for nutrients and lantern fat. Also, making weapons and tools.

Though it is still widely debated. It is believed depletion of the pleistocene megafauna habitat. The loss of glacier, ice and mammoth steppe eventually contributed to the decline of the woolly rhino. Humans hunting, natural disasters and climate change would also would have contributed to there loss. So, lets hear it for the ceolodonda antiquitatis, or ‘hollow tooth of antiquitity’, bearing resemblance to the fancy European tradition you see today.

Paul Schultz Martin

Paul Schultz Martin (born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, 1928 – died in Tucson, Arizona September 13, 2010 ) was a well known American geoscientist at the University of Arizona. He developed the theory that the worldwide pleistocene extinction was caused by overhunting humans. His work bridged the hardworking fields of ecology, anthropology, geosciences, and paleontology.

In 1953, Martin received his bachelor’s degree in zoology from Cornell university. In 1953 and 1956 he completed his master’s and doctorate programs at the university of Michigan and then proceeded with postdoctoral research at the Yale university and the university of Montreal. Martin’s early interest embraced ornithology (birds) and herpetology (reptiles and amphibians). He conducted extensive fieldwork from 1948 to 1953 in Tamaulipas, Mexico. He is considered a pioneer in these areas.

Paul published biogeographys on the birds of the Sierra de Tamaulipas, and the herpetofauna of the Gómez Farias region of Tamaulipas. Unfortunatley, while doing his under grad work. He contacted a case of polio. It did not hold him back. In 1957, he joined the faculty of the University of Arizona, and worked there until his retirement in 1989.

Overkill hypothesis:
The overkill hypothesis was proposed in 1966. The paper, published in the journal of Nature. Wrote: “The chronology of the extinction — first in Africa, second in America, finally in Madagascar — and the intensity of the extinction — moderate in Africa, heavier in America, and extremely heavy in Madagascar … seems clearly related to the spread of human beings, to their cultural development, and to the vulnerabilities of the faunas they encountered.”
Around 13,000 and 11,000 years ago he theorized newly arriving humans hunted to extinction north America’s ice age large mammals, including ground sloths, camels, mammoths and mastodons, and many other. The theory, was again summarized in: Twilight of the Mammoths: Ice Age Extinctions and the Rewilding of America, 2005. Thus controversial and widely examined in academic papers.
Archaeologists Louis Leakey, Donald Grayson, and geosciencest Russell Graham were early critics of the theory . The former focused on disagreements about human capabilities and expansions out of Africa. In geosciences, the focus was on the scale, speed, ecological effects, and biodiversity consequences of climate change during the pleistocene glacial and interglacial periods. Which was also significant. Prior to Martin’s overkill idea, the mainstream scientific understanding of Pleistocene and Holocene extinction causes was climate change and significant events .
Martin later developed an ancillary hypothesis, or the “blitzkrieg model”. Focusing on the speed of human entry, and saturation of a frontier landscape. Similar to the to the ideas of Russian climatologist Mikhail I. Budyko. It relates the sudden demise of large mammal populations on different continents and at different times to the arrival of humans. Martin proposed that as humans migrated from Africa and Eurasia to Australia, the Americas, and the islands of the Pacific. The new arrivals rapidly hunted to extinction the large animals on each continent. And were also armed with newer, stronger and more lethal lithic projectiles.
Martin faced all kinds of criticism. Mainly, scientists claimed earlier dates for human arrival in the Americas. Or, later dates for certain extinct animals. He held his own, and maintained that such claims were the result of faulty scientific analysis. Pointing out that no such dates had yet been independently verified. Back then, only several pre-clovis sites are accepted by most workers. They were mainly Topper, Monte Verde, Paisley Caves and a few others.

Originator of the concept of pleistocene rewilding. By establishing breeding populations of surviving animals from other continents such as llamas, camels, lions and cheetahs. And, introducing populations of animals analogous to extinct species, i.e., elephants for mammoths. Allow extinct north American pleistocene fauna and environments to be restored. According to Vance Haynes, “unlike so many people who get infatuated with their own theories, Paul S Martin spent his professional career inviting criticism. He put together two critical conferences about Pleistocene extinctions, and the volumes that came out of those were pace-setting.”

-Birds and Biogeography of the Sierra de Tamaulipas, an Isolated Pine-Oak Habitat. The Wilson
Bulletin. Vol. 66, No. 1: 38-57. (1954);
-A Biogeography of Reptiles and Amphibians in the Gómez Farias Region, Tamaulipas, Mexico.
Miscellaneous Publications, Museum of Zoology University of Michigan, No. 101: 1-102. (1958);
-Pleistocene Ecology and Biogeography of North America. pages 375-420: in Carl L. Hubbs
(editor). Zoogeography. Publication No. 52. American Association for the Advancement of
Science, Washington, D.C. x, 509 pp. (1958);
-Prehistoric Overkill. pages 75–120: in Paul S. Martin and H. E. Wright Jr. (editors), Pleistocene
Extinctions: The Search for a Cause. Yale University Press. New Haven, Connecticut. 453 pp.
-Prehistoric Overkill: The Global Model. pages 354-403: in Paul S. Martin and Richard G. Klein
(editors). Quaternary Extinctions: A Prehistoric Revolution. University of Arizona Press.
Tucson, Arizona. 892 pp. (1989) ISBN 0816511004; and
-Twilight of the Mammoths: Ice Age Extinctions and the Rewilding of America. University of
California Press. xv, 250 pp. (2005) ISBN 0-520-23141-4.

Tim Flannery has written more than 27 books including Future eaters & Topics on climate change. He was awarded Australian of the year in 2007.

Titles include: mammalogist, palaeontologist, environmentalist, conservationist, explorer, author, science communicator, activist, and scientist.
Flannery is a supporter of renewable energy, phasing out coal power and rewilding.

He was raised as a regular kid near Melbourne. At a young age he became aware of marine pollution and its effect on the ecosystem. Later he earned a under grad degree, and achieved his masters and phd degrees from Austriaian universities. He also proclaimed a visiting chair at Harvard. Was a director of the south Australian museum. And, has worked with climate risk Austrailia.

Cool fact:
At age 26, he was hired by the mammalogy department of the Australian Museum. He took his first trips to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and elsewhere, later becoming mammal curator at the museum. He took 15 trips in total to New Guinea starting in 1981, and into the 1990s. After one trip, a tapeworm he found was sent to the parasitologist. It was revealed to be a new species, and was later named ‘Burtiela flanneryi’ after him. Working closely with local tribes to undertake fieldwork. Experiences were later recounted in his book: Throwin Way Leg (1998).

Other memberships and publishing:
Flannery has written hundreds of books and articles. Both fiction and non-fiction (mostly). He is a member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, a governor of WWF-Australia. He was for a time director of the Australian Wildlife Conservancy. He has contributed to over 143 scientific papers.
Flannery is a professorial fellow at the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne. Until mid-2013 he was a professor at Macquarie University and held the Panasonic Chair in Environmental Sustainability.

In 1980, Tim discovered an dinosaur fossil on the southern coast of Victoria, called the Allosaurid. It was the first from the family known found in Australia. In 1985, he was apart of the team to discover the first Mesozoic mammal fossil discovered in Australia. During the 1980s, Flannery described most of the known pleistocene megafaunal species in New Guinea as well as the fossil record of the phalangerids, a family of possums. As part of his doctoral studies, he reviewed the evolution of macropodidae (kangeroos/wallabies). He has described at least 29 new fossil species, including 11 new genera, and, 3 new subfamilies.

In the 1990s, Flannery published the Mammals of New Guinea (Cornell press); and, Prehistoric Mammals of Australia and New Guinea (Johns Hopkins press). Both are the most comprehensive reference works on the subjects. The specific name of the greater monkey-faced bat (pteralopex flanneryi), described in 2005, honours Tim for his work.

Climate change communication:
In the 1990s, while doing fieldwork in New Guinea, Flannery observed a change in the elevational range of trees. He realised it’s likely to do with the impacts of climate change. Subsequently he began working on climate change more seriously. Shape shifting to campaigning and publicly communicating about climate change.
This prominence occasionally created hostility from the media. His academic peers were also initially critical of Flannery for speaking outside of his primary area of expertise. When discussing this in 2009, Flannery said that climate change science was a less established field earlier in his career. And that multiple experts from different fields had shifted to respond to the as well. He claimed publicly funded scientists are obliged to communicate their work and be vocal on important issues.
Flannery has frequently discussed the effects of climate change, particularly on Australia, and advocates for mitigation. Regarding links between climate change and the unprecedented recent Austrailian bushfires. He has stated: “I am absolutely certain that [the bushfires are] climate change caused.”

Australian climate commission and climate council:
In 2011, Flannery was appointed to head the Climate Commission, to explain climate change, and the need for a carbon price to the Austraian public. By 2013 (after the next election), Flannery and others launched a new body called the Climate Council. He stated that its goals: “to provide independent information on the science of climate change.

Book highlights:
The Future Eaters: An Ecological History of the Australasian Lands and People, 1994
A bestseller. The book regards three “future eater” waves of Austrian and New Guinea human migration. The first wave migrated from Southeast Asia approximately 40,000 to 60,000 years ago. The second was polynesian migration to New Zealand and surrounding islands 800 to 3,500 years ago. And, the third and final wave was European colonization at the end of the 18th century. Flannery described the evolution of the first wave of future-eaters: “Sixty thousand or more years ago human technology was developing at what we would consider to be an imperceptible pace. Yet it was fast enough to give the first Australasians complete mastery over the ‘new lands’. Freed from the ecological constraints of their homeland and armed with weapons honed in the relentless arms race of Eurasia, the colonisers of the ‘new lands’ were poised to become the world’s first future eaters.” His book was adapted into a series on television.

Weather makers: history and future impact of climate change, 2005
He spent 5 years writing. The book highlights: sea levels rising, larger storms and species extinction. It also deals with mitigation to reducing emissions, and using solar, and wind power. Other points included the global carbon dictatorship; and, Geothermia. Geothermia, is a city taking advantage of gas reserves on the NSW, Queensland and south Austrialian provincial borders due to climate change. It highlights an urgency to reduce climate change, especially for the larger Austrialian cities.

Article from ‘External frontier’ proposal: “Pleistocene rewilding”: restoring the ecosystems that existed in north America before the arrival of the clovis people and the concomitant disappearance of the north American pleistocene megafauna 13,000 years ago.
He was the second major scientist, after Paul S Martin, to recommend restoring ecosystems that existed in north America before the arrival of the clovis people. Its highlights included that in addition to the wolves that have been already re-introduced to Yellowstone national park, ambush predators, such as jaguars and lions should be reintroduced as well. In order to bring the number of elk in control. The closest extant relatives of the species that became extinct around the clovis period could be introduced to North America’s nature reserves as well. For example, he purposed Indian and African elephants could substitute, respectively, for the mammoth and the mastodon. The Chacoan peccary, for its extinct cousin the flat-headed peccary (Platygonus compressus). Llamas and panthers, which still survive outside of the US, should too be brought back to that country.

Did you know?
In July 2018, at the King Solomon islands, he played a role in the Kwaio Reconciliation programme. It brought an end to a 91-year-old cycle of killings that stemmed from the murders, in 1927 of British Colonial officers, Bell and Gillies, by Kwaio leader Basiana and his followers.

Cave of the Trois-Frères is a cave in southwestern France famous for its cave paintings from 13,000 years ago.

Recreation of some of the drawings. At a french museaum

It is located in Montesquieu-Avantès, in the Ariège département. Near the Spanish border. The cave is named for three brothers (French: trois frères), Max, Jacques, and Louis Begouën, who, along with their father Comte Henri Begouën, discovered it and the signigifance in 1914.

Big info:
One of the paintings, known as “The Sorcerer”, is the “most famous and enigmatic human figure” with the features of several different animals. Though given there age, each and exact characteristics remain a matter of debate. Conesyahoo had stated ‘it was an irish elk with a magicians head spitting something’.

Engravings were found in the cave and nearby included what is though to be the earliest representation of an insect. Also appeared were what appear to be several birds, and a cave cricket found on a fragments of a bison bone.
On the other walls are whats believed to be: lions, owls, and bison. A horse overlaid with club-like symbols, and an apparent speared brown bear vomiting blood.
Aside from the “Sorcerer”, other human-like figures can be seen at Trois-Frères, such as the man-bison, and a character known as the “small sorcerer” who appears to be playing a nose-flute.

The Trois-Freres cave is part of a single cave-complex formed by the Volp River. The complex is divided into three caves; the central Trois-Freres, Enlène to the east, and the Tuc d’Audoubert to the west. The river flows through some of the lower sections. With different galleries sectioned on each level and room.

Did you know: One area, the ‘salle des bisons’ contains two masterfully modeled bison, which were sculpted in clay with a stone spatula-like tool and the artist’s fingers. It is believed the pair are among the largest and finest surviving prehistoric sculptures.

Kapova Cave, known as Shul’gan’tash. A limestone karst cave in the southern Urnal mountains. It’s known for 16,000 year cave drawings.

Kapova cave (Капова пещера), Shul’gan-Tash ( капающая вода), dripping water, or Шүлгәнташ in Bashkir. It is a limestone karst cave in the Burzyansky District of Bashkortostan. About 200 km (120 mi) south-east of the city of Ufa, above Kazakhstan. It is in the southern Ural mountains.

In Bashkir tradition. Shulgan was mostly negatively attributed. To the owner of the underworld, or underwater king. Given the history and geology, both the lake and cave also bear part of his name. Bearing a significant part of Russian and the areas folklore and tradition.

Kapova cave entrance:
Today, this area of wild dense forest, and high white rocks has changed. It is the habitat of deer, bear, and bashkort bee. Around 10-20 thousand years ago the climate and the landscape was different. Summer was short, while winter months were very long and cold. Much of the landscape was Tundra. In the clefts and caves among the rocks humans huddled together to keep warm.
The entrance to the cave is situated on the southern slope of the Sarykuskan mountain. It forms a huge arch of 30 m (98 ft) height. To the left of the entrance to the cave is a lake from which the river Shul’gan originates. Inside the cave flows the underground Shul’gan river. That created the cave. This three-storey cave system is huge. Its about 3 km (1.9 mi) long, with a vertical amplitude of 165 m (541 ft) including siphon underwater cavities, large halls, galleries, underground lakes and the river.

The portal:
The mouth of the ‘Shulgantash cave’ is now called the portal. Deep in the portal the Shulgan stream comes up through the earth forming a pool named Blue lake. Its believed the lake is bottomless. Below 33 Meters (108ft) in depth it joins a gigantic underground water cavity.
A passageway leads from the portal to the succession of the ground level halls, and galleries. Some are as high and wide as 20-30 meters. The halls and galleries are connected by tunnels of various lengths and shapes. Some of the walls too are covered with calcite sinter. Which is quite deep and intricately shaped.
According to scientist P.I. Rychkov, Bashkirs (Bashkorts) usually hid here their famiIies, and horses during wars, and their uprisings. The cattle naturally stayed in the lower floor of the cave, while women, children and old men went upstairs. Food was always stored here.

Cave drawings:
These Russian cave drawings, discovered in the late 1950s were the first of there age, beyond France and Spain. And, unrivaled versus anywhere else on earth. For many centuries all the thousands of year old cave drawings here had been covered with a semi-transparent calcite crust. In 1976, a known archaeologist O.N. Bader was asked to begin cleaning some of the pictures off. Traces of primitive, human life, spread, red paint, as well as, ornament of geometrical figures. Neolithic signs (and, older) of human life are in the large cave system. Two-coloured pictures of long-haired horses, beside them a trapezium like geometrical figure, and a little further, a group of geometrical signs. There is a picture of an anthropoid creature, the only one in Shulgantash cave. Ancient people, various animals: horses, rhinos, bulls, bisons, and mammoths. Geometrical signs and figures. In all, there are many drawings in ‘Kapova, Shul’gan-Tash, dripping water or Шүлгәнташ cave’. Still being analyzed daily. Size varies from 44 to 112 centimeters. Uranium-thorium dating showed that the oldest drawings in the Kapova cave were made 36,400 years ago. That’s amazing.

Underground lake in the cave:
In one of the halls you can see the river Shulgan in its underground flow. A scuba diver traveled almost 330 meters (1082 feet or 1/3km) into a siphon inside the cave having finding no end to it. Due to the geology of the gave. Silvery fringe of calcite icicles hang from some of the ceilings. And, among the sublime decorations of the cave are “milky rivers” composed of there crystals. Fragile and crisp. They haven`t become solid like pearls yet. Adding discrepant beauty to the somewhat dark underworld place.
On some of the walls are crusts of marble onyx, in some places half a metre deep.

Did you know? Marble onyx has only been found in caves.

Discovery, excavation:
It had long been said, locals were afraid to visit or document about the cave. The first written information was in 1760. Initial Russian academy of sciences member, P.I. Rychkov gave a detailed description of the cave ground level in his article: “Description of a cave located in the Orenburg province near the Belaya River, which of all the caves in Bashkiria are the most glorious and revered”. From then on, other scientists, foresters and locals begain documenting and taking explorations into the cave. Even offering tours for explorers and those so inclined.
Beginning around the 1960s, employees of Bashkir state university begin compiling a real map of the cave. A number of years later, when some of the scientists died, and they decided to close the cave in 1979.
When re-opened in the 1980s, dating technology had also increased. Scientists were able to analyze the drawings greater. And, in addition, find a clay fat lamp; stone, mostly flint tools; pieces of ocher, jewelry in the form of beads; and, pendants made of stone and small shells of fossil mollusks. Bones of animals of the pleistocene: mammoth, cave bear, fox, hare, marmot were also found. Even pikas, and jerboa. Many large archaeologists agree Shulgan-Tash cave was a sanctuary and one of the most significant pieces of history in Russia. Check it out today.

No wonder everyone wanted a woolly mammoth

From 40,000 years ago, as vindicated in numerous caves, the woolly mammoths were one of the most popular subjects of neolithic artists. Its tusks were 15 feet long, and some were as large as 7 tonnes. On top of this, their long, shaggy coats, and famous tusks. Woolly mammoths were able to ward off hungry saber-tooth tigers, human hunters, predators and last tens of thousands of years.
Despite a kill ensuring homo sapiens, and there families survival. Mammoths were capable reproducers, and hunters earning the international acclimation and research we give them today. For humans, hunting one meant years they could eat, make a warm house, create fur pelts and so on. As massive as they were, numerous feet, and many tons—woolly mammoths figured on the lunch menu of early homo sapiens. When humans did have enough courage to hunt one, we converted there bodies for their warm pelts, as well as their tasty, fatty meat and bones for tools and shelter.

Hunting one:
After a lucky neolithic hunting session, some human groups in central and eastern Europe used the conveniently big bones to build themselves huts. The Mezinian culture, found in present-day Ukraine, used mammoth bones arranged geometrically to build the outer walls of their dwellings. In the nearby Danube corridor, there are mammoth bone accumulations that were probably started by giant hunting, fishing and game parties. The key point has been made in developing civilizations; that having the patience, planning, skills, and cooperation to down a woolly mammoth was paramount.

Cave drawings and different types:

From 30,000 to 10,000 years ago, and before the great event, woolly mammoths were one of the most popular subjects of neolithic artists. But what we call the woolly mammoth was actually a species of genus Mammuthus. Mammuthus primigenius to be exact. It was not the only woolly prehistoric mammal as well, the woolly rhino, aka Coelodonta, also roamed the plains of Pleistocene Eurasia, Because of its one-ton size many found it easier to handle. A dozen other larger mammoth species existed in North America and Eurasia during the Pleistocene, some as big as 10-15 tonnes.

Biology: skin and fur

Woolly mammoths did share some solid characteristics with other warmed blooded hairy Pleistocene critters. They had four inches of solid fat underneath their skin, an added layer of insulation that helped to keep them toasty in the severest climatic conditions. Based on what scientists have learned from well-preserved individuals, woolly mammoth fur ranged in color from blond to dark brown, much like human hair.

Habitat, prey and predators:
The woolly mammothʼs habitat, is sometime called mammoth steppe. However between 42,000 and 6,000 years ago, a staggering 90% of areas suitable to mammoths disappeared. It consisted of the arid steppe-tundras. At one time spanning from north Canada, across Alaska and Siberia, to the west of Europe, and as far south as Spain. Mammoths were specialized foragers who stuck to their own ecological niche eating plants killed off by the winter frost, which they uncovered from beneath the snow and ice by using their tusks or by trampling. Sharing the broader prehistoric landscape with these mammoths were other herbivores such as bison, aurochs, and the deer family. Some of the local predators that were around at the time were prehistoric wolves, as well as hulking cave bears and cave lions, alongside their non-cave counterparts.

Extinction and Siberias Wrangel Island
Not built to handle changing earth conditions. Pretty much all the worldʼs mammoths were gone by the end of the last Ice Age, about 10,000 years ago. The exception was a small population of woolly mammoths that lived on Wrangel Island, off the coast of Siberia, until 1700 BCE. Since they subsisted on limited resources, Wrangel Island mammoths were much smaller than their woolly relatives and are often referred to as dwarf elephants.

Who would have thought something so popular, for thousands of millennia, became estranged so long.

Giant short faced bear: arctodus simus

La brea short face bear

Does something standing 12 feet tall, weighing 1500lbs, and that can travel 40 miles per hour entice you. How about limb crushing, vice like teeth designed for shearing? Would you be afraid?

The Fastest Running Bear That Ever Lived
In quaternary North America, the late pleistocene represents the peak of ursid diversity. The giant short-faced bear (arctodus simus), or ‘bulldog bear’ was very different than what we have today. Its extended legs and toes directed straight forward compared to today’s bears. They allowed it to travel, larger, faster and with crushing dimensions.

Where was it located?
The bulldog, or giant short faced bear, was mostly located west of Mississippi; up, down and around the Rocky Mountains. It was also known in other areas across the continent, including Mexico and Alaska. However, around 11 or 12 thousand years ago, something strange happened. Climate change, loss of diet habitat; combinations of other late pleistocene factors; including possibly the competition with humans and herbivores, extinct the giant short faced bear.

Domination: food, and origin(s)

The giant short faced bears scientific name arctodus, actually came from Greek, and means “bear tooth”. Eating up to an estimated 30-40lb every day, it was once the most common bear in North America. Its fossils were discovered, in northern California, at the potter creek cave in late 1800. A long time since the late pleistocene, we had only recently been discovering about its dominative force.

Bear enticement nowadays comes in the forms of black, brown, grizzly and polar. Thoughtfully 10,000 years ago, during neolithic times, the arctodus simius, or ‘bulldog bear’, setted president for fear factor, and fear fighting for survival.

figuratively speaking

American lion bones have been found in the trash heaps of paleolithic native Americans, suggesting that human predation contributed to its extinction.

In this vast land, competing for food and territory. Cave lions never have it easy. panthera atrox means “cruel” or “fearsome panther” in latin. These critters were 125% the size of modern lions, making them one of the largest and most competitive of the known felids.    They differ from european cave lions, being discovered later, lasting longer and that the proposed subspecies scientist included are different. Would you mess with a 900lb cat?

Natchez, Mississippi origins

The first samples of the “cruel or fearsome panther” collected, were announced by the American philosophical society and William Henry Huntingtion Esquire. Although only manible and few molars,  on April 1, 1836. They were placed with Huntington’s collection in the academy of natural sciences in Philadelphia.   

Would you have come forward?

No major discoveries were published until 1853. When using samples from Livermore, California, Joseph Leidy was able to identify a greater skeleton. Ongoing, in 1907, more than 100 years after finding while mining, the American museum of Natural History and College announced they had found skeletons in Kotzebue, Alaska. Further south, in Rancho La Brea, California, a large ‘cruel or fearsome panther” skull was excavated and later described around 1909. So began the rush for pathera atrox, acl, or cruel fearsome panthers.

At least 80 ACL’s were pulled from La Brea tar pits

Throughout the early to mid 1900s, dozens of fossils of panthera atrox or “cruel fearsome panthers” were excavated at La Brea, including many post cranial elements. In 1932, these fossils were described by Merriam & Stock in detail, who completed many previously named taxa. A number of associated skeletons were also reviewed giving a comprehensive view of the taxon. Check out more blog entries here: smiloden, giant short faced bear.


Like modern lions, the ‘cruel fearsome pather or acl’ inhabited savannas and grasslands. In different circumstances American lions could have lived under cold climatic conditions. Especially those with shelters or caves, like where there was protection from the seasonalities: rain, snow, wind and cold conditions. It did not like forests like jaguars though. Scientists have imagined, given its size, it would have lined its den with sticks leaves and branches like some modern cats.


Lifespan was 340-11 thousand years ago. From nose to tail, the ‘acl or cruel fearsome panther’ were around 7 feet length, and 48 inches shoulder height. Smaller than smilodon (sabre tooth cat), and much smaller than the flat nose or bulldog bear. Most were around 550lbs, though some were 800, or even one specimen was recorded at 930lbs.

Though many pictures include orange, white, black, yellow, and brown. Skin from Argentine Patagonia indicate that the animal was reddish in color. Cave paintings from El Ceibo in Argentina seem to confirm this, and reduce greater confusion with jaguars. No matter the case, these critters are tough, and it appears humans eventually contributed to there decline. Though the end of the pleisocene epoch and beginning of the holocene was expected as the eventual contributor, 11,700 years ago to its decline. Witnessing mountain towns, it’s vindicated that modern mountain cats are still fearsome, many times stalking pedestrians and pets then disappearing altogether.


American lions were big and hungry. It was likely they preyed mostly on mammoths, bison, deer, horses, camels, tapirs, and smaller mammals. They were opportunistic, warm blooded killers. Defending themselves, for food and territory, American cave lions did whatever it took. They may have even attacked each other. No one ever said life was going to be easy.

American cave skeleton from La Brea tar pits 1111