23 January 2018
Bears On Paper
The makings of a giant bear are of great interest to many paleontologists, and therefore papers describing their size as well as their diet and how they got to be their giant size are common topics of study. In 2011, when the largest Arctotherium was discovered and made a great deal of news, Soibelzon and Schubert 2011 described that enormous specimen and inferred from the fossil the age as well as the diet of both Arctotherium and bears as an entire group; the more recent Soibelzon, et al., 2014 further details diet using isotope analysis and pathological evidence from fossils. Only a few years before the description of this enormous specimen Soibelzon, et al., 2009 had described an Arctotherium den and the inferences made from the den and the items found within greatly influenced the inferences that were then made on diet and size in the 2011 paper. The den also provided the first evidence of familial behaviors in Arctotherium. These two papers possess a lot of knowledge about these bears, their anatomy, and their behaviors. As such, we actually have a very large amount of data on Arctotherium behaviors and ecology. The many descriptions of fossil remains provide us with a great deal of anatomical information as well. However, many of the original descriptions are not hosted online, making Soibelzon and Schubert 2011 a good quality anatomical description of Arctotherium to consult for today.