Bison latafrons was the long horned bison, bison antiquus ancient bison, and bison bison is your modern bison.

The long horn bison went extinct sometime around last glacial maximum 20-30,000 years ago. The first fossil described in north America was found in Kentucky (Peale 1803). Its range extended into many of the states including Colorado, New Mexico and others.

The bison latafrons or ‘long horn bison’ horns were the longest recorded for the genus. At nearly 7 or 8 feet long. Some say longhorn bison were as large as 4000lbs.

As well, which survived 10-15000 years longer, the bison antinquus, were as big as 3000lbs. It is believed human predation, inbreeding and disease declined, and eventually extinct the populations. Many skull and horns study’s in 80s and 90s, showed that the smaller populations forced to interbreed, combined with hunting pressures, created collapses across the continent leading to demise.

Modern North American bison have two recognized subspecies: the American plains bison (B. b. bison) and the American wood bison (B. b. athabascae). Relationship of modern American bison, and others including the European bison are unclear at present, but both are quite similar genetically and can interbreed (Prusak et al 2004)

Scientists have commented. The taxonomy in great need of revision (McDonald 1981).

Wildlife threats included: smilodon (sabre tooth), pathera atrox (american lion), and possible canis dicus (dire wolf). What do you think would be a threat for giant buffalo?

Did you know?

 ”Latifrons” comes from Latin words referring to a wide forehead; and,
 ”Antiquus” comes from the Latin for “old’ or “ancient”.

B. antiquus had stronger herding and more complex social behavior than B. latifrons.
B. latifrons may have engaged in dominance and fighting behavior characterized by hooking, not butting (McDonald 1981).

Bison are ruminants that graze and browse.
Bison latifrons: more of a browser than a grazer.
An eye-level browser, feeding on small trees and shrubs.

Bison antiquus: more of a grazer; some browsing.
Feeding on low-growing herbs and shrubs.

Would you had messed with a 3 or 4 thousand pound, grazing, 6-8 foot horned beast? How about the smaller modern north American bison?

Bison antiquus skeleton at La brae tar pits

Bibliography: Olson, Wes. “Bison”. The Canadian Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 17 March 2014. Retrieved Dec 2021

Lott, Dale F. (2003). American Bison: A Natural History. University of California Press. ISBN978-0-520-24062-9.

Brink, Jack W. (2008). Imagining Head-Smashed-In: Aboriginal Buffalo Hunting on the Northern Plains (PDF). Athabasca University Press. ISBN978-1-897425-09-1. Archived (PDF) from the original on 16 December 2011.

Home Page – National Bison Association. (2023, January 25). National Bison Association.

Gillette, D. D., & Colbert, E. H. (1976). Catalogue of Type Specimens of Fossil Vertebrates Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia Part II: Terrestrial Mammals. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 25-38.

Leidy, Joseph (1852a), “Bison antiquus“, Proceedings Academy of Natural Science, 6: 117

Strauss, B. (n.d.). Bison Latifrons. Dinosaurs.

Hoganson, JW (2002). “Occurrence of the Giant Ice Age Bison, Bison latifrons, in North Dakota” (PDF). NDGS Newsletter. 29 (2): 1–3. ISSN0889-3594.

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