bison antiquus fossil

Bison antiquus

Geologic age: about 60,000 to 4,270 years ago; Late Pleistocene – Holocene Epoch 

Region in Minnesota: Central and Southern Minnesota

Fast fact: The native bison of Minnesota descended from the ancestral steppe bison, Bison priscus, to later become the modern Bison bison we think of today. Although the exact nature of that evolution is still being studied, we know that the earliest bison in the state were larger than those alive today. Bison became much more abundant after the Last Ice Age, seeming to take over from extinct mammoths​, horses, and camels as the grasslands began to dominate the landscape. People living on North America's grasslands have hunted bison for more than 10,000 years. To the indigenous populations of these areas, bison were and are more than a source of food. Bison were a resource for tools, clothing, and shelter, and hold deep spiritual significance.

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