The researchers also call for analysis of charcoal fragments spotted in the Chauvet cave places containing the cave bear remains.The tests revealed that cave bears inhabited the Ardeche region from around 37,000 to 27,400 years ago, with the oldest samples from Chauvet dating to 29,000 years ago.For a while, the bears had few rivals for the caves That changed when humans first began to use the natural shelters 32,000 to 30,000 years ago."As if to emphasise the sexual characteristics, the figure's arms and legs are severely reduced to the form of a carefully carved ring, evidently to allow the figure to be suspended from a string or thong." Similar Venus figurines with exaggerated sexual features and diminutive arms and legs have been found at a range of Stone Age archaeological sites stretching from the Pyrenees to southern Russia.These examples of early figurative art have been linked with the so-called Gravettian toolmaking culture dating to 25,000-29,000 years ago."The feature of the newly discovered figure that will undoubtedly command most attention is its explicitly, almost aggressively, sexual nature, focused on the sexual characteristics of the female form," said Dr Mellars.Europe, 35,000 years ago, was in the process of being colonised by anatomically "modern" man, Homo sapiens, who had migrated from Africa via the Middle East..topic_pill.topic_pill a.topic_pill:hover a.action_button.action_button:active.action_button:hover.action_button:focus.action_button:hover.action_button:focus .count.action_button:hover .count.action_button:focus .count:before.action_button:hover .count:before.submit_button.submit_button:active.submit_button:hover.submit_button:not(.fake_disabled):hover.submit_button:not(.fake_disabled):focus._type_serif_title_large.js-wf-loaded ._type_serif_title_large.amp-page [email protected] only screen and (min-device-width:320px) and (max-device-width:360px).u-margin-top--lg.u-margin-left--sm.u-flex.u-flex-auto.u-flex-none.bullet. Content Wrapper:after.hidden.normal.grid_page.grid_page:before,.grid_page:after.grid_page:after.grid_page h3.grid_page h3 a.grid_page h3 a:hover.grid_page h3 a.action_button.grid_page h3 a.action_button:active.grid_page h3 a.action_button:hover.grid_page h3 a.action_button:not(.fake_disabled):hover.grid_page h3 a.action_button:not(.fake_disabled):focus.grid_pagediv. The new study on cave bears, which has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Archaeological Science, may also shed light on the age of cave art depicting these enormous animals and why the bears eventually went extinct.While genetics show cave bears consumed a mostly vegetarian diet, "they might have been violent if they were disturbed during hibernation or if they felt frightened," added Bon, a researcher in the Institute of Biology and Technology at Saclay, France.