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The Florida Cave Bear was originally named Arctodus floridanus by American Paleontologist James William Gidley in 1928. It was later assigned to the genus Tremarctos by paleontologist Bjorn Kurten in 1963. Tremarctos floridanus lived from about 4.9 million years ago to about 8,000 years ago. Its closest living relative is the spectacled bear of South America.

HABITAT
The Tremarctos floridanus was native to North America. Fossils have been found south of the continental ice sheet from Florida, north to Tennessee, west to California, and south into Mexico.

CHARACTERISTICS
Tremarctos floridanus was about the size of a medium size brown bear, with males weighing up to 650 pounds, and females about half as much. It was heavily built, having a domed forehead, an elongated neck, longer heavier limbs, and short paws. By coincidence only, the Florida Cave Bear shared many physical similarities with the European Cave Bear.

DIET
The Tremarctos floridanus is believed to have been primarily a plant eater.

EXTINCTION
Tremarctos floridanus died out at the end of the last ice age about 8,000 years ago, probably as a combined result of climate changes, competition with other animals, and hunting by Paleo-Indians.

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