Ursus minimus

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Ursus minimus
Temporal range: Pliocene–Pleistocene
Ursus minimus 1.JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Ursidae
Genus: Ursus
U. minimus
Binomial name
Ursus minimus
Devèze & Bouillet, 1827

Ursus minimus (the Auvergne bear) is an extinct species of bear, endemic to Europe during the Pliocene and Pleistocene, living from 5.3—1.8 Mya, existing for about 3.5 million years.

U. minimus appears to have given rise to Ursus etruscus.[1] The range of U. minimus was continental Europe as far east as the Black Sea in Russia and as far south as Italy.

The skeleton of U. minimus was very similar to that of the larger Asian black bear. With the exception of the age of the bones, it is often difficult to distinguish the remains of U. minimus from those of modern Asian black bears.[2]

Fossil distribution[edit]

Sites and specimen ages:


  1. ^ Wagner, Jan. (2010). Pliocene to early Middle Pleistocene ursine bears in Europe: A taxonomic overview. Journal of the National Museum (Prague), Natural History Series. 179. 197-215.
  2. ^ Search for the Golden Moon Bear: Science and Adventure in Pursuit of a New Species by Sy Montgomery published by Chelsea Green Publishing, 2009
  3. ^ Paleobiology Database: Meleto collection