Studená Cave in Moravian Karst, paleontological researchArticle PDF
Studená Cave in Moravian Karst, paleontological research
Studená (Cold) Cave is the cavity in the left slope of Suchý žleb Valley in Moravský kras Protected Landscape Area, now almost excavated. Total length is now app. 31 m. As the first explorers in the beginning of the twentieth century opened just narrow crawling passage, detailed shape of the cave remained unknown, all informations about it originated from K. Absolon’s books. During winter and spring 2013 cavers changed that, cleaning the cave for 31 m in full width. These excavations uncovered some bone remains of both small and large animals. Bone material from Studená origins from Late Pleistocene and Holocene too. Large Pleistocene fauna is represented by isolated limb bones above all. Horses (Equus sp.), reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) and woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis) dominate. Sadly, the sediment is blended by badgers, some stratigraphy is often problematic. The bones of smaller mammals from turbo upper layers, domestic or wild rabbit (Oryctolagus domesticus / cuniculus), piglet (Sus sp.) etc., are apparently younger, probably from the Late Holocene or extant. These are remains of the fox (Vulpes vulpes) and badger (Meles meles) prey. The large fauna from Pleistocene shows, that the cave served as the den of large carnivores, presumably hyenas (chewed rhinoceros limb bones suggest it). Three horse limb bones (well preserved) were measured; their length and shape compared with the finds from Pekárna Cave, Švédův stůl Cave, Cave No. 16 and Pod Hradem Cave suggest affiliation to the species Equus germanicus, the taxonomic form occurring in the area during the second half of the last glaciation. The occurrence of the bear is problematic, bones belong to either the cave bear (Ursus ex gr. spelaeus) and the brown bear (Ursus arctos ssp.). It is to be presumed, that both species occurred. The brown bear bones significantly dominate; small cavities in the area often were populated by the brown bears, maybe until medieval. The cave shape and fossils suggest, that its history changed from the active underground corridor draining at least rainwaters, to the hyena den in Late Pleistocene and small carnivores shelter in Holocene and recent; just until the cavers started to work there.
Martina Roblíčková, Anthropos Institute, Moravian Museum, Zelný trh 6, 659 37 Brno, Czech Republic, firstname.lastname@example.org
Vlastislav Káňa, Czech Speleological Society, privat: Křižanov 330, 594 51, Czech Republic, email@example.com