Abstract Ursus spelaeus from the Buco dell’Orso Cave (Lombardy, North Italy) has some peculiar metrical characteristics that make it more close to Ursus deningeri rather than to the typical spelaeus. In particular, it is the smaller size that makes the difference. In this study, the ‘regressive evolution’ is proposed; a hypothesis linked to possible climatic cooling and presented here on the basis either of new data or in comparison with observed analogies on fossils from Italian and foreign caves.

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