28 jan. 2021
Bison is a still extant genus of large ungulates that lived throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Nowadays, the distribution is restricted to North America and (mostly) Eastern Europe and Caucasus. It is mainly a typical Pleistocene species, although the first species evolved during the Pliocene epoch in Asia. Bison are large bodied and covered in patches of thick fur on (mostly) the neck and head. Horns were present on the head and could grow to large sizes in some species. They fed on grass and lived mostly on open plains.
Pliocene to Holocene
Menners Wisent was a smaller species of bison that lived in Western Europe during the Pleistocene epoch. Fossils have been found in The Netherlands and Germany. It resembled the extant European Bison, but also one of the most unknown species of bison. It could grow up to 1.6 meters at the shoulders and had two smaller horns on its head. Menners Wisent lived on semi-open plains and fed on grass and sometimes browsed on bushes as backup food.
van Asperen, E. N., & Kahlke, R. D. (2017). Dietary traits of the late Early Pleistocene Bison menneri (Bovidae, Mammalia) from its type site Untermassfeld (Central Germany) and the problem of Pleistocene ‘wood bison’. Quaternary Science Reviews, 177, 299-313.