Ursus deningeri

Ursus deningeri (Deninger's bear) is an extinct species of bear, endemic to Eurasia during the Pleistocene for approximately 1.7 million years, from 1.8 to 0.1 million years ago.[citation needed]

Ursus deningeri
Temporal range: Early Pleistocene–Late Pleistocene
Atapuerca carnivore skull 2.jpg
Skull from Atapuerca
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Ursidae
Genus: Ursus
U. deningeri
Binomial name
Ursus deningeri
von Reichenau, 1904 [1][2]

The range of this bear has been found to encompass both Europe and Asia, demonstrating the ability of the species to adapt to many Pleistocene environments.[citation needed]

U. deningeri is a descendant of U. savini and an ancestor of U. spelaeus.[citation needed]


Skull of Ursus deningeri

Ursus deningeri has a combination of primitive and derived characters that distinguishes it from all other Pleistocene bears. Its mandible is slender like that of living brown bears and Ursus etruscus. It also has derived characters of cave bears (Ursus spelaeus) and is considered to be the descendant of Ursus savini and very close to the common ancestor of brown bears.[3]

Fossil distributionEdit

Sites and specimen ages:


In 2013, a German team reconstructed the mitochondrial genome of an Ursus deningeri more than 300,000 years old, proving that authentic ancient DNA can be preserved for hundreds of thousand years outside of permafrost.[7]


  1. ^ Ursus deningeri in Inventaire National du Patrimoine Naturel (in French)
  2. ^ García, N., Santos, E., Arsuaga, J. L., & Carretero, J. M. (2007). Endocranial morphology of the Ursus deningeri von Reichenau 1904 from the Sima de los huesos (Sierra de Atapuerca) middle Pleistocene site. Journal of vertebrate paleontology, 27(4), 1007–1017.
  3. ^ García, N., & Arsuaga, J. L. (2001). Les carnivores (Mammalia) des sites du Pléistocène ancien et moyen d'Atapuerca (Espagne). L'anthropologie, 105(1), 83–93.
  4. ^ Dabney, J., Knapp, M., Glocke, I., Gansauge, M. T., Weihmann, A., Nickel, B., Valdiosera, C., García, N. Svante, P., Arsuaga J., & Meyer, M. (2013). .Complete mitochondrial genome sequence of a Middle Pleistocene cave bear reconstructed from ultrashort DNA fragments. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(39), 15758-15763.
  5. ^ Mlikovsky, J. (1964). Early Pleistocene birds of Stránská Skála Hill, Czech Republic: 1. Musil’s Talus Cone. Stránská Skála Hill. Excavation of open-air sediments, 1972, 111–126.
  6. ^ Musil, Rudolf (ed.1995): Stránská skála Hill. Excavation of open-air sediments 1964–1972. Antropos, Brno 1995, ISBN 978-3-7749-2798-8
  7. ^ Dabney & al. 2013. PNAS. "Complete mitochondrial genome sequence of a Middle Pleistocene cave bear reconstructed from ultrashort DNA fragments" doi: 10.1073/pnas.1314445110 PNAS
  • Biglari, F., V. Jahani (2011). "The Pleistocene Human Settlement in Gilan, Southwest Caspian Sea: Recent Research.". Eurasian Prehistory 8 (1–8 (1–2): 3–28.