The Geopark farm “Bosa” of the Apuan Alps Park in Careggine hosts the “Museum of the fauna of yesterday and today”, with an interesting collection of rare and unusual specimens of the current Apuan fauna, including the short-toed eagle, the golden eagle and the eagle-owl, all preserved and positioned inside dioramas, which illustrate different environments of the Apuan Alps: the cultivated fields, the chestnut and beech woods, and the high altitude meadows.
The section of the Museum of Quaternary Palaeontology and Prehistoric Archaeology is dedicated to Mario Dini. The most recent finds of prehistoric settlements along the Turrite Secca, from the village of Isola Santa to almost Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, are linked to this young scholar, who died prematurely. A selection of flint tools from the Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic, coming from the same areas, can be found in the Museum together with didactic materials of experimental archaeology, which explain how prehistoric man made weapons for hunting and tools for cutting and reduce captured prey to food.
Among the bone remains of animals extinct during the Glacial and Postglacial, two premolars of the cave lion stand out, also coming from a Mesolithic level of the Riparo Fredian, located along the Turrite Secca stream. Perhaps in themselves they will be able to say little, but those teeth belonged to the last Lion documented so far on the Italian territory and one of the most recent in Western Europe. That feline specimen lived in the Apuan Alps about 11,000 years ago or, more precisely, between 9156 and 8546 BC, as measured and calibrated with Carbon-14. A little larger than the African lion, the cave lion was distinguished by the lack or a small hint of a male mane and above all by the very light coloured fur, as an adaptation to cold territories often covered with snow and ice. The survival of the species in these lands, in a period so close to us and in environments that were already covered with mixed woods, is perhaps linked to a local and now rare abundance of large herbivores, such as ibex and deer.
There were made two life-size reconstructions of the cave lion and the cave bear in order to better appreciate what threatening presences roamed the Apuan Alps, in a not too distant time.