Bear diet extinction theory reported by Science (AAAS) News, 1 July 2016. European cave bears, Ursus spelaeus, once inhabited northern Europe from Britain to Russia and were depicted on cave walls. However, they are now extinct, yet other bears have survived to this day.

Looking for clues to their extinction, two scientists from University of Helsinki have examined the molars of lower jaws of cave bears and other Northern Hemisphere bears, and studied the pattern of ridges and cross ridges on the molars. They found the cave bear teeth had the most complex teeth, and there was considerable variation between individual bears.

The scientists suggest the complex teeth are signs of a strict vegetarian diet, and the huge variation shows high environmental stress. Both factors could have led to their extinction during the ice age.


Editorial Comment: Now put this into the Biblical history of the world. In the beginning people and all animals were vegetarian, but after Noah’s flood God gave permission to eat meat. The post flood diet provision (Gen 8:22 – 9:6) mentions the coming of winter and we are also informed later that by Job’s day ice, snow and hail are on the planet. Total vegetarians would have had a hard time surviving in many places.

Brown bears today eat mainly plant food, including berries, fruit, seeds, bulbs and tubers, but supplement this with river fish, which are very nutritious and full of protein. If brown bears cannot get enough protein and other nutrients they will eat beetles and other insects, worms and even small mammals. They will also scavenge human food.

Ice age Europe would certainly have been a tough environment and any animal the size of a cave bear would have had a hard time finding enough nutritious plant food. The result would have been a trend to scavenging, carnivory, and even cannibalism, so environmental stress added to any inability to adapt their diet would certainly contribute to the bears’ demise.

One cave this editor has visited, where there are large numbers of cave bear bones, reveals that bears trapped in the cave by a landslide ate each other till finally the biggest one died last of all.

But there is also another factor – the human beings who left such graphic evidence of the bears on the cave walls, probably killed off quite a few for warm fur as well as a food source for themselves. (Ref. diet, nutrition, teeth, adaptation)

Evidence News vol. 16 No. 14
27 July 2016
Creation Research Australia