Interpretation holozäner Alpensteinbock-Skelettfunde

Martin Trüssel

In the karst caves of the Helvetic border chain between Flühli and Pilatus numerous Alpine ibex (Capra ibex) skeletal parts were discovered. Some of them were located behind bottlenecks that had to be dug out first. Other parts were found up to 300 m inside the cave. That raised the question of how the bones got there. Therefore, all findings were systematically investigated and radiocarbon measurements were performed for eight selected individuals. The results indicate that these Alpine ibexes lived between 3’500 and 10’700 years ago. These dates confirm that the mountain range between Pilatus and Brienzer Rothorn, bordering the Swiss Plateau (Mittelland), was part of the natural habitat of the Alpine ibex since the beginning of the Holocene. The following contribution elaborates various theses, how the individuals or their skeletons got into the caves under the former terrain and climatic conditions. The bone material was also made available for DNA analysis. These results provide information about the evolutionary biology of the ancient Alpine ibex in comparison of today’s resettled colonies.