The mammalian fauna of Barová Cave (Moravian Karst, the Czech Republic)

Stránky 515-532
DOI 10.2478/if-2017-0027
Klíčová slova Quaternary palaeontology, Late Pleistocene, Moravian Karst, Barová Cave, animal assemblage, Ursus ex gr. spelaeus, wintering site, gnawing marks, hunting and scavenging, seasonality, dental age
Citace ROBLÍČKOVÁ, Martina, KÁŇA, Vlastislav a FIŠÁKOVÁ, Miriam Nývltová. The mammalian fauna of Barová Cave (Moravian Karst, the Czech Republic). Fossil Imprint / Acta Musei Nationalis Pragae, Series B – Historia Naturalis. Prague: National Museum, 2017, 73(3-4), 515-532. DOI: ISSN 2533-4050 (tisk), 2533-4069 (online). Also available from:
Fossil Imprint / Acta Musei Nationalis Pragae, Series B – Historia Naturalis | 2017/73/3-4

Barová Cave is located in the central part of the Moravian Karst (the Czech Republic), on the right slope of Josefovské Valley; it is the outflow part of Rudické propadání (Rudice Sink) – Býčí skála (Bull Rock) cave system. Even since its discovery by A. Sobol in 1947, Barová Cave has been known as important palaeontological site, with well-preserved fauna of the Late Pleistocene. In the summer of 2011, a landslide of sediments revealed yet unexamined fossiliferous positions, and started the current research activity. There were discovered skeletal remains of these 21 taxa of vertebrates between 2011 – 2017 in Barová Cave: bear from the cave bear group (Ursus ex gr. spelaeus), cave lion (Panthera spelaea), wolf (Canis lupus), cave hyena (Crocuta crocuta spelaea), brown bear (Ursus arctos), lynx (Lynx lynx), wolverine (Gulo gulo), fox, probably red (Vulpes cf. vulpes), marten (Martes cf. martes), alpine ibex (Capra ibex), chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra), aurochs or bison (Bos primigenius/Bison priscus), reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), red deer (Cervus elaphus), horse (Equus sp.), woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis), hare (Lepus sp.), lemming (Dicrostonyx sp.), bank vole (Myodes sp.), jackdaw (Corvus monedula) and probably northern pintail (Anas aff. acuta). Animal osteological material from sectors 2, 3, 4 and R4 from the Under the Ladder test pit in Barová Cave is analysed in detail in this paper. Bears from the group of cave bears completely dominate, the total sum of bones determined as bear bones make up nearly 95% of all determined material. The cave lion bones comprise nearly 3% of the determined osteological material; bones of a wolf represent about 1.2%, bones of cave hyena approximately 0.5% and bones of ungulates approximately 0.2% of all determined material (Tab. 1). From the MNI point of view the bears from the cave bear group dominate too. Bear bones belonged to at least 40 individuals (70.2% of all minimally present individuals) of all age categories (Tabs 1, 2). The predominance of bones of bears from the cave bear group in Barová Cave shows that the cave was mainly used as a bear wintering site. The presence of bear cub bones proved that the cave also served females as a birthing place. Some bones of bears from the group of cave bears and several bones of cave lions, cave hyenas and wolves also show evidence of bite and gnawing marks by carnivores or scavengers (cave lions, cave hyenas, wolves and perhaps cave bears). This suggests that hibernating bears, and more often the cadavers or isolated bones of dead individuals sometimes served as a food source. The seasonality analysis indicates that the time of death varied most frequently near the end of wintering season (spring/ summer). The large amount of bear bone material leads to the consideration that the bears from the cave bear group used Barová Cave over a period longer than thousand years.

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