Tremarctos floridanus

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Tremarctos floridanus
Temporal range: Pliocene–Holocene
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Ursidae
Subfamily: Tremarctinae
Tribe: Tremarctini
Genus: Tremarctos
Species: T. floridanus
Gidley, 1928
Binomial name
Tremarctos floridanus

Tremarctos floridanus, occasionally called the Florida spectacled bear, Florida cave bear, or rarely Florida short-faced bear, is an extinct species of bear in the family Ursidae, subfamily Tremarctinae. T. floridanus was endemic to North America from the Pliocene to Holocene epoch (4.9 million — 11,000 years ago), existing for approximately 4.9 million years.[1]


T. floridanus was widely distributed south of the continental ice sheet, along the Gulf Coast across through Florida and north to Tennessee, and across the southern United States to California.

Arctodus (3 million — 11,000 years ago) was a contemporary and shared its habitat with T. floridanus. The closest living relative of the Florida cave bear is the spectacled bear of South America; they are classified together with the huge short-faced bears in the subfamily Tremarctinae. They became extinct at the end of the last ice age, 10,000 years ago (possibly as late as 8,000 years ago at Devil's Den in Florida),[2] due to some combination of climate change and hunting by newly arrived Paleo-Indians.


Originally, Gidley named this animal Arctodus floridanus in 1928. It was recombined as Tremarctos floridanus by Kurten (1963), Lundelius (1972) and Kurten and Anderson (1980).[3][4]

Fossil distribution[edit]

Sites and specimen ages (not complete):


  1. ^ PaleoBiology Database: Tremarctus, basic info
  2. ^ Kurtén and Anderson: 56, 178-79
  3. ^ E. L. Lundelius. 1972. Bureau of Economic Geology Report of Investigations 77.
  4. ^ Kurtén and Anderson: 178-80
  5. ^ Carr, Robert S. (2012). Digging Miami. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-8130-4206-0. 

Fossils of Florida