Steppe bison

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Steppe bison
Temporal range: Irvingtonian to Holocene 1.8–0.009 Ma
Steppe bison mummy.jpg
"Blue Babe", a mummified specimen from Alaska
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Bovinae
Genus: Bison
Species: B. priscus
Binomial name
Bison priscus
Bojanus, 1827

The steppe bison or steppe wisent (Bison priscus)[1] is an extinct species of bison that was once found on the mammoth steppe where its range included Europe,[2] Central Asia,[3] Northern Asia,[4][5][6] Beringia, and North America,[7][8] from northwest Canada to Mexico during the Quaternary.

Evolution[edit]

Bison priscus skeleton

It is believed to have evolved from Bison paleosinensis in South Asia, which means the species appeared at roughly the same time and region as the aurochs with which its descendants are sometimes confused. The steppe bison was eventually contemporaneous with the Pleistocene woodland bison (B. schoetensacki) and the European bison (Bison bonasus) in Europe, Leptobison in Japan,[1][4][5] and the long horned bison (Bison latifrons) in North America.

The steppe bison became extinct in the early Holocene, as it was replaced in Europe by the modern bison B. bonasus, which is likely a hybrid between B. priscus and aurochs,[9] and in America by a sequence of species (Bison antiquus, Bison occidentalis,) culminating in the modern American bison.[10] European cave paintings appear to depict both B. bonasus and B. priscus.[11]

The steppe bison was over 2 m tall at the shoulder, and resembled the modern bison species, reaching 900 kg (2,000 lb) in weight.[12] The tips of the horns were a meter apart, the horns themselves being over half a meter long.

Discoveries[edit]

Cave painting in Altamira, Spain

Steppe bison appear in cave art, notably in the Cave of Altamira and Lascaux, and the carving Bison Licking Insect Bite, and have been found in naturally ice-preserved form.[10][13][14]

Blue Babe is the 36,000-year-old mummy of a male steppe bison which was discovered north of Fairbanks, Alaska, in July 1979.[15] The mummy was noticed by a gold miner who named the mummy Blue Babe - "Babe" for Paul Bunyan's mythical giant ox, permanently turned blue when she was buried to the horns in a blizzard. (Blue Babe's own bluish cast was caused by a coating of vivianite, a blue iron phosphate covering much of the specimen.)[16] Blue Babe is also frequently referenced when talking about scientists eating their own specimens: the research team that was preparing it for permanent display in the University of Alaska Museum removed a portion of the mummy's neck, stewed it, and dined on it to celebrate the accomplishment.[17]

In 2011, a 9,300-year-old mummy was found at Yukagir in Siberia.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Steppe Bison – Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre. Beringia.com. Retrieved on 2013-05-31.
  2. ^ Вестник Кирилло-Белозерского музея 9 (Май 2006) О. Яшина, Т.В. Цветкова – Кирилловский бизон. Kirmuseum.ru. Retrieved on 2013-05-31.
  3. ^ Vasiliev, S. K. (2008). "Late pleistocene bison (Bison p. priscus Bojanis, 1827) from the Southeastern part of Western Siberia". Archaeology, Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia. 34 (2): 34–56. doi:10.1016/j.aeae.2008.07.004. 
  4. ^ a b Kurosawa, Y. "モノが語る牛と人間の文化 - ② 岩手の牛たち" (pdf). LIAJ News. Oshu city Cattle Museum (109): 29–31. Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  5. ^ a b Hasegawa, Y.; Okumura, Y.; Tatsukawa, H. (2009). "First record of Late Pleistocene Bison from the fissure deposits of the Kuzuu Limestone, Yamasuge,Sano-shi,Tochigi Prefecture,Japan" (pdf). Bull.Gunma Mus.Natu.Hist. Gunma Museum of Natural History and Kuzuu Fossil Museum (13): 47–52. Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  6. ^ Boeskorov, Gennady G.; Potapova, Olga R.; Protopopov, Albert V.; Plotnikov, Valery V.; Agenbroad, Larry D.; Kirikov, Konstantin S.; Pavlov, Innokenty S.; Shchelchkova, Marina V.; Belolyubskii, Innocenty N.; Tomshin, Mikhail D.; Kowalczyk, Rafal; Davydov, Sergey P.; Kolesov, Stanislav D.; Tikhonov, Alexey N.; Van Der Plicht, Johannes (2016). "The Yukagir Bison: The exterior morphology of a complete frozen mummy of the extinct steppe bison, Bison priscus from the early Holocene of northern Yakutia, Russia". Quaternary International. 406: 94–110. doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2015.11.084. 
  7. ^ Zazula, Grant D.; MacKay, Glen; Andrews, Thomas D.; Shapiro, Beth; Letts, Brandon; Broc, Fiona (2009). "A late Pleistocene steppe bison (Bison priscus) partial carcass from Tsiigehtchic, Northwest Territories, Canada". Quaternary Science Reviews. 28 (25–26): 2734–2742. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2009.06.012. 
  8. ^ Marsolier-Kergoat, Marie-Claude; Palacio, Pauline; Berthonaud, Véronique; Maksud, Frédéric; Stafford, Thomas; Bégouën, Robert; Elalouf, Jean-Marc (2015-06-17). "Hunting the Extinct Steppe Bison (Bison priscus) Mitochondrial Genome in the Trois-Frères Paleolithic Painted Cave". PLOS ONE. 10 (6): e0128267. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0128267. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 4471230Freely accessible. PMID 26083419. 
  9. ^ Soubrier, J.; Gower, G.; Chen, K.; Richards, S. M.; Llamas, B.; Mitchell, K. J.; Ho, S. Y. W.; Kosintsev, P.; Lee, M. S. Y.; Baryshnikov, G.; Bollongino, R.; Bover, P.; Burger, J.; Chivall, D.; Crégut-Bonnoure, E.; Decker, J. E.; Doronichev, V. B.; Douka, K.; Fordham, D. A.; Fontana, F.; Fritz, C.; Glimmerveen, J.; Golovanova, L. V.; Groves, C.; Guerreschi, A.; Haak, W.; Higham, T.; Hofman-Kamińska, E.; Immel, A.; Julien, M.-A.; Krause, J.; Krotova, O.; Langbein, F.; Larson, G.; Rohrlach, A.; Scheu, A.; Schnabel, R. D.; Taylor, J. F.; Tokarska, M.; Tosello, G.; van der Plicht, J.; van Loenen, A.; Vigne, J.-D.; Wooley, O.; Orlando, L.; Kowalczyk, R.; Shapiro, B.; Cooper, A. (2016). "Early cave art and ancient DNA record the origin of European bison". Nature Communications. 7: 13158. doi:10.1038/ncomms13158. PMC 5071849Freely accessible. PMID 27754477. 
  10. ^ a b Verkaar, E. L. C.; Nijman, IJ; Beeke, M; Hanekamp, E; Lenstra, JA (2004). "Maternal and Paternal Lineages in Cross-Breeding Bovine Species. Has Wisent a Hybrid Origin?". Molecular Biology and Evolution. 21 (7): 1165–70. doi:10.1093/molbev/msh064. PMID 14739241. 
  11. ^ Briggs, H. (19 October 2016). "Cave paintings reveal clues to mystery Ice Age beast". BBC.com. Retrieved 2016-10-19. 
  12. ^ McPhee, R. D. E. (1999) Extinctions in Near Time: Causes, Contexts, and Consequences, Springer, ISBN 0306460920, p. 262.
  13. ^ Dale Guthrie, R (1989). "Frozen Fauna of the Mammoth Steppe: The Story of Blue Babe". ISBN 9780226311234. 
  14. ^ Paglia, C. (2004). "The Magic of Images: Word and Picture in a Media Age". Arion: A Journal of Humanities and the Classics. Trustees of Boston University. 11 (3): 1–22. doi:10.2307/20163935. JSTOR 20163935. 
  15. ^ Deem, James M. "Blue Babe - the 36,000 year-old male bison" James M. Deem's Mummy Tombs. 1988-2012. Accessed 20 March 2012.
  16. ^ Harington, C.M. "Steppe Bison". Yukon Beringia Interpretive Center. March 1996. Accessed 20 March 2012.
  17. ^ Dale Guthrie, R (1989). "Frozen Fauna of the Mammoth Steppe: The Story of Blue Babe": 298. ISBN 9780226311234. 
  18. ^ Palermo, Elizabeth (6 November 2014). "9,000-Year-Old Bison Mummy Found Frozen in Time". www.livescience.com. Retrieved 4 December 2014.