Steppe Bison

Bison priscus

Resurrected on:

Genus information

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.





Northern Hemisphere

Pliocene to Holocene

Species information

The Steppe Bison was a fairly large species of bison found throughout the Northern Hemisphere during the Pleistocene and Holocene epoch. Its distribution is often referred to as the Pleistocene Bison Belt, stretching from the UK, Europe, Northern Asia, North America and down to Mexico. The Steppe Bison resembled the extant American Bison, but had massive shoulders and larger horns on its head. A complete mummified specimen, called "Blue Babe", has been excavated from the permafrost of Alaska in 1979.





Bison priscus

Bojanus, 1827

Northern Hemisphere

Pleistocene to Holocene




3.0 m

2.0 m

1.100 kg


Marsolier-Kergoat, M. C., & Elalouf, J. M. (2017). The Descent of Bison. In Evolutionary Biology: Self/Nonself Evolution, Species and Complex Traits Evolution, Methods and Concepts (pp. 187-198). Springer, Cham.

Size comparison

Distribution map

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