From a preyed-upon Woolly Rhinoceros, this large partially eaten humerus bone shows severe and dramatic gnawing by adult and juvenile Giant European Cave Hyenas. These bone-crushing killers had powerful enough jaws to sever the bone in two and the interior spongy areas were gnawed on by the pups whose snouts could reach the deep interiors. The predator relationships that Ice Age European hyenas had against a number of other megafauna including rhinos, is well-documented in scientific publication. This is one of the most impressive eaten bones we have seen of megafauna from the European Ice Age. You can see obvious drag marks where the hyenas scraped their canine and incisor teeth inside the main portions of the bone to grate out ever possible bit they could reach.
A highly recommended fossil from one of Europe's classic killers of the final Ice Age.
This fossil would also make a great compliment to a primitive man stone tool and weapon collection as they lived alongside each other at one point in history and both Neanderthal man and Cro-Magnon man were preyed upon by hyenas as well as competed for living quarters in rock shelters.
Diedrich C. 2006a. By ice age spotted hyenas protracted, cracked, nibbled and chewed skeleton remains of Coelodonta antiquitatis (Blumenbach 1807) from the Lower Weichselian (Upper Pleistocene) open air prey deposit site Bad Wildungen-Biedensteg (Hesse, NW Germany). Journalof Taphonomy 4: 173–205.
Diedrich C. 2006b. The Crocuta crocuta spelaea (Goldfuss 1823) population from the early Upper Pleistocene hyena open air prey deposit site Biedensteg near Bad Wildungen (Hesse, NW Germany) and contribution to their phylogenetic position, coprolites and prey. Cranium 23: 39–53.
Diedrich C. 2007a. Bone crackers and carcass accumulators in Central Bohemia – Late Pleistocene hyenas and their cave den and prey depot types. Scripta Facultatis Scientiarum Universitatis Masarykianae, Geology 35: 91–96.
Diedrich C. 2007b. The Upper Pleistocene Crocuta crocuta spelaea (Goldfuss 1823) population and its prey from the gypsum karst den site Westeregeln near Magdeburg (Middle Germany). Abhandlungen und Berichte für Naturkunde Magdeburg 30: 57–83.
Diedrich C. 2007c. Crocuta crocuta spelaea (Goldfuss 1823) remains from the Upper Pleistocene hyena Teufelskammer Cave den site near Hochdahl in the Neander valley (NRW, NW Germany). Cranium 24: 39–44.
Kruuk H. 1972. The spotted hyena. A story of predation and social behavior. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.