. CAVE ANIMALS. The animal life of caverns falls into three categories: 1. Animals, mostly extinct, that made their dens or left their bones in caves, and in life were members the next group. 2. Animals that temporarily, but habitually, resort to caves for refuge, or sleep, or as breeding-places. 3. Animals, de generate, confined to an underground life throughout their whole existence. None of these classes include those making small caves for themselves, the burrowers; or which, like the mole and many insects, dwell in thesoil; or, like the conies (Hyrax), the as and several sea-birds, spiders, etc., seek safe homes among the interstices of loose rocks.
Prehistoric Cave The first group will require little space, as it consists of such extinct animals as the cave bear, cave lions, cave leopard, cave hyaena, cave wolf and some smaller ones that have been given these names because their bones and portraits have been found abundantly in the floors or on the walls of caverns in Europe and Africa. Indications trusted by geologists and archaeologists combine to show that these animals lived there in the latter part, at least, of the third Inter-glacial Epoch, and on through the fourth and last glacial advance, when, although central Europe was free from an ice-cap, an almost Arctic climate prevailed, with much rain. This is what is known as the Reindeer Period, when human ity was represented by the Neanderthal race (see STONE AGE). The weaker part of the fauna disappeared, but those hardy carnivores, finding food still plentiful, gradually adapted themselves by increased hairiness to the cold climate; but apparently they resorted far more than previously to the shelter of caves. None of those mentioned above is regarded as any thing but a larger, more vigorous variety (speleza) of the lion, leopard, wolf, spotted hyaena, etc., except the cave bear (Urns: spelaus). This beast was the most thoroughly spelwan of all in its habits, and occupied caves before men began to do so. It was not much if any larger than the ordinary brown bear of to-day, and its claws were shorter and feebler.
"Bence it would appear," says Osborn, the Neanderthals had driven out from the caves a type of bear less formidable than the existing species, but nevertheless a serious opponent to men armed with the small weapons of the Mousterian period." Probably fire and smoke were the most effective means. These bears were numerous, for game was abundant. A single cavern in western France has yielded re mains of more than 800 skeletons; and from these bones and from prehistoric drawings it is possible to know this animal perfectly. With the close of the last period of partial glaciation, and the return in the early Pleistocene of the moderate climate that still continues, these and the other cave-haunting beasts disappeared, largely, no doubt, killed off by the better-armed Neolithic hunters. The great bear left no descendants, for the modern European brown bear traces its lineage to an older and smaller species, the Etruscan bear, whose bones also are occasionally exhumed from cave-floors.
Caves in North America present different conditions from those of Europe. Those that have yielded animal remains, such as the Port Kennedy and Frankstown "caves" in Pennsyl vania, and the Concord Fissure in Arkansas, "are hardly caverns," says Scott, "in the or dinary sense of the word, but rather narrow fissures, into which bones and carcasses were washed by floods." They contain a great variety of mid-Pleistocene species, at least half of which are extinct. Big Bone Lick Cave, in Kentucky, is more truly a cave, and has fur nished palaeontology with an immense of bones of recent tune, including several ancient species, such as mastodons, mammoths and the ground-sloth, Megalonyx, and with certain traces of human presence. Caves in northern California are also rich in animal remains, illus trating the transition from glacial to modern faunas. Brazilian caverns have yielded much also; and a cavern near Last Hope Inlet, Patagonia, is for the finding in it of the bones, and large pieces of the skin, of a great extinct sloth (Megatherium) with the hair still on.