Carnivore Death Cave: Scientists Say Spanish Cavern Lured Animals

Carnivore death cave: Researchers have found a cave that lured ancient carnivores to their death several million years ago.
Carnivore Death Cave: Scientists Say Spanish Cavern Lured Animals
Jack Phillips

Carnivore death cave: Researchers said that a cave in Spain lured ancient carnivores to their death around 10 million years ago.

Carnivores went into the cavern to search for food and water. Some of the discovered remains include saber-toothed cats, red pandas, and “bear dogs,” reported Live Science, citing scientists with the University of Michigan.

"Only the carnivores were daring enough to enter," study co-author M. Soledad Domingo, a paleontologist with the school, told the website. "But they were unable to make their way out."

According to Red Orbit, fossils were first discovered in the cave in 1991 and researchers found more than 18,000 specimens between then and 2008. As a result of their findings, scientists have come up with a number of theories as to why there were so many carnivore fossils without the presence of herbivore fossils. Around 98 percent of the fossils were carnivores, they noted.

“Most probably, carnivores got trapped and remained alive for some time,” the authors said, according to the website. “Also, it is possible that carnivores were searching for water during drought periods and not necessarily for food.”

The Cerro de los Batallones caves were first found by miners who were drilling around 18 miles outside of Madrid, Spain, according to LiveScience.

"We think that the carnivores were getting trapped, and then they became additional food for another coming carnivore," Domingo told the site. said the new findings counter a previous theory, which suggested that the animals were killed due to a natural disaster.

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