Ursus Speleus of the Conturines caves: archaeological findings visible in Alta Badia
On the 23rd of September 1987 Willi Costamoling, a renowned hotel keeper from Val Badia, made an exceptional discovery: While entering a cave in Conturines during his search for fossils, he found the pre-historic remains of Ursus Speleus (cave bear).
Numerous palaeontologists and scientists considered this finding of great importance, as they were able to prove that the various periods of glaciation in the Alps happened at closer intervals then previously assumed.
The remains date back to 90, 70 and 45 thousand years ago.
Due to this we can assume that the Ursus Spelus populated the Dolomite areas during the periods of moderate climate in-between one glaciation and the other.
This huge mammal also named the "King of the Dolomites" weight about 500 kg and was the largest inhabitant in this area. During the warm season it lived on the high alpine pastures and got ready for the long and cold winters to be spent in the caves.
Furthermore, the remains of a "cave lion" were found. It probably entered the cave in search of food (bear babies) and was the victim of an angry adult bear defending the little ones.
Many of the findings of the famous Conturines cave can now be admired in the "Pic Museum Ladin" in San Cassiano.
Further information on Ursus Speleus