Epiphyseal fusion in brown bears: a population study of grizzlies (Ursus arctos horribilis) from Montana and Wyoming
International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 19, (3), . (doi:10.1002/oa.980).
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This contribution presents results of a study of the timing of appendicular epiphyseal fusion in brown bears (Ursus arctos) based on the visual examination of 86 modern skeletons of
grizzlies (U. a. horribilis) of known age and sex from the greater Yellowstone area, in the States of Wyoming and Montana (US). The timing of fusion in brown bears was compared with the
(scant) information available for the black bear (Ursus americanus); both similarities and differences were found. It is still inconclusive whether the discrepancies stem from the
methods of study (visual examination vs. X-rays) or whether they reflect real difference in fusion ages. It is suggested that data derived from U. arctos can be used profitably to investigate mortality patterns of extinct bears such as the cave bear Ursus spelaeus.
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