Cave hyena

Description
This femur fragment of a cave hyena was found in Bench Cavern at Brixham, and dates to the ‘Wolstonian glacial period’, a traditional yet unfashionable name given to an age of the Pleistocene epoch of approximately 200,000-125,000 years ago. Cave hyena are extinct relatives of the modern African spotted hyena, and display adaptations for life in the glacial periods of Earth’s history such as stockier limbs and larger size. The cave hyena lived throughout the Pleistocene epoch, surviving four glacial and three interglacial periods. Bench cavern (or Bench Bone Cavern) was one of three very important cave systems in the area. They were well explored over the Victorian era, supplying excellent archaeological and prehistoric finds, allowing the south coast of Devon’s exciting history to be discovered. Sadly, Bench Cavern has been since destroyed due to quarrying.
Accession Loan No.
91/2009/24
Collection Class
Fossils
Common Name
cave hyena
Simple Name
fossil: mammal
Full Name
HYAENIDAE: Crocuta crocuta spelaea (Goldfuss): cave hyena
Dimensions
whole diameter 50 mm
Geology Period
Pleistocene 1.8 – 10,000
Family Group

Collection Town
Brixham
Collection County
Devon
Collection Country
United Kingdom: England
Collection Area Region
Northern Europe
Collection Continent
Europe
Phylum
CHORDATA: VERTEBRATA
Family
HYAENIDAE
Genus
Crocuta
Species
crocuta spelaea

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