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Manada de bisontes en Salguero de Juarros, Atapuerca, Burgos, junio de 2018
Bisons in Atapuerca, Spain.

“The wisent is a hybrid of two extinct animals: the steppe bison (Bison priscus), the Eurasian ancestor of the American bison, and the aurochs (Bos primigenius), the ancestor of modern cattle. The steppe bison went extinct more than 11,000 years ago and the last aurochs was shot in 1627. From the DNA evidence researchers estimate that hybridization took place 120,000 or more years ago. (…) Carole Fritz and Tosello, who were lead artists on a huge recreation of the art at Chauvet cave in France, had already noticed that there seemed to be two types of bison represented in European cave paintings. In the Chauvet art, which is around

Altamira Bison

30,000–36,000 years old, the bison were drawn with long horns and a very high shoulder compared with the rump. However, in more recent cave art from the Magdalenian period (around 17,000–10,000 years old), the couple saw animals with a more horizontal backbone and smaller horns. Given the temporal correspondence with the fossil record, these two forms were likely to be the steppe bison and the wisent, respectively, the team says.”
(By Emma Marris in

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