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Uphill Quarry hyaena jaw fragment

60-34,000 years old

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During the middle, milder part of the last glacial cycle, 60-30,000 years ago, hyaenas were common across much of Europe. In Northern Europe in particular, where herds of large herbivores occupied open, rich grasslands, they would have found abundant prey such as reindeer and woolly rhino.

Hyaena bones dating to this period are frequently found in caves, within which the hyaenas denned. This right-side mandible (lower jaw) fragment was recovered from the caves of Uphill Quarry in Somerset (southwest England) at the end of the 19th Century . As well as habitation by animals, Uphill Quarry has also yielded evidence of late Neanderthal and early modern human occupation.

(Specimen BRSMG Ce13740 housed at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery.)