• The Steppe bison as soon as roamed throughout Europe, North America, and Asia in the course of the Ice Age, and is believed to be ancestral to trendy American bison.
  • The Blue Babe, a mummified Steppe bison found in Alaska, is estimated to be round 36,000 years previous and certain died from an Ice Age American lion assault.
  • Guests can see the Blue Babe on show on the College of Alaska Museum in Fairbanks, which is open year-round however it’s suggested to decorate warmly because of the metropolis’s extraordinarily chilly temperatures.

At the moment there are solely two extant species of bison: the European bison and the American bison (cut up into the Plains bison and the Woods bison). However hundreds of years in the past there was additionally the Steppe bison. By visiting the University of Alaska Museum in Fairbanks, Alaska, guests can uncover a remarkably mummified Steppe bison known as the Blue Babe (even when its discoverers took a chew out of it).

Among the best locations to see Plains bison today is in Yellowstone National Park (America’s first nationwide park). The European bison had been additionally virtually pushed to extinction however at the moment are making a comeback and the bison have recently been reintroduced to the Highlands of Scotland. Here is what to learn about Alaska’s prehistoric bison discovery.

What To Know About The Prehistoric Steppe Bison

The skeleton of a primitive steppe bison
VPales / Shutterstock

 The skeleton of a primitive steppe bison

The Steppe bison as soon as roamed the huge mammoth steppes from the British Isles throughout Northern Europe, Central & North Asia, by Central North America. Throughout this era, North America and Asia had been linked by a land bridge known as Beringia (a surviving fragment of which is preserved in the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve in Alaska).

  • Vary: Throughout European, North American, & Asian Ice Age Steppe
  • Extinct: Maybe 3,000 Years In the past

The vary of the Steppe bison was really spectacular, going as far south as Mexico and even to Japan at sure instances in the course of the Pleistocene.

The Steppe bison is believed to have been ancestral to trendy American bison. They’re believed to have first developed in the course of the Center Pleistocene in Asia after which dispersed across the steppes of the Northern Hemisphere.

The Pleistocene is colloquially referred to as the Ice Age and lasted from round 2.58 million years in the past to 11,700 years in the past because the final Ice Age ended. It’s thought that the Steppe bison migrated throughout the Bering land bridge into North America from round 195,000 to 135,000.

The Steppe bison stood round 6 toes and seven inches or over two meters tall on the withers and weighed as much as round 2,000 kilos (900 kilograms). They’re additionally notable for his or her giant horns.

Steppe Bison Skull

Steppe Bison Cranium

The Steppe bison lasted into the mid-Holocene (human interval). The final specimen recovered up to now in Alaska died round 5,400 years in the past whereas the final one present in Europe lived round 3,000 years in the past.

They’ve additionally been present in cave artwork, together with the Cave of Altamira in Spain famous for its prehistoric paintings (in addition to the Lascaux Collapse France).

Associated: The Significance Of France’s Lascaux Cave Paintings Goes Beyond Their Age, Here’s Where To See Them

The Blue Babe: The 36,000-Yr-Previous Mummy Steppe Bison

The Blue Babe is probably probably the most dramatic Steppe bison discovery. It’s a male Steppe bison that froze round 36,000 years in the past north of contemporary Fairbanks, Alaska.

  • Discovery: 1979
  • Intercourse: Male
  • Trigger Of Loss of life: Presumably Ice Age American Lion Assault

The Blue Babe was found in 1979 by gold miners within the space. It was present in Alaska’s Inside permafrost and had been there because the Ice Age. It has been dated to 36,000 years in the past, however that date is predicted to be refined in future research.

Judging from marks discovered on the rear of the traditional carcass with tooth punctures, it’s believed that the bison was killed by an Ice Age American lion. It seemingly succumbed to its wounds in the course of the fall or winter when it was chilly, and it rapidly froze, turning into troublesome for animals to scavenge.

European bison in the Knyszyn Forest

European bison within the Knyszyn Forest

The researchers set to arrange Blue Babe for the everlasting show on the College of Alaska Museum are recorded to have lower off a bit from its neck. They then stewed it and ate the 36,000-year-old piece of the mum.

For the reason that discovery of the Blue Babe, extra mummified Steppe bison have been found of their former vary. As with the Wooly Mammoth, there have been ideas to extract DNA from the mummies and use it for cloning the species again into existence sooner or later.

Associated: These Museums Bring N America’s Prehistoric Megafauna To Life

Go to The College of Alaska Museum In Fairbanks

At the moment, guests can see the Blue Babe on show on the College of Alaska Museum in Fairbanks (Fairbanks is also one of the best places to see the Northern Lights).

Mastodon skeleton in New York

A Mastodon skeleton from the Ice Age

  • Summer season Hours: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm (Every day – Might 19 to August 17)
  • Common Admission: $16 (per grownup)
  • Museum Film Theater: $5 Further per individual
  • Deal with: UAF Campus, 1962 Yukon Drive, Fairbanks, AK

The museum is open year-round (though the opening hours change seasonally). Whereas the museum is open within the winter, take an additional coat as Fairbanks is the coldest city in the United States.


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