332 pages, illustrations
Reissue of this 1981 book, in celebration of the federal designation, on May 9, 2016, of the North American bison as the first national mammal of the United States. North American Bison is the most extensive and robust interpretation of the arrival and evolution of bison in North America published during the 20th Century. It was based primarily upon information contained in paleontological, zoological, and archaeological collections in some 30 museums and universities in Canada, Mexico, and the United States, all of which was fitted into the best geochronology available at the time. The resulting skeletal and chronological patterns were then fitted into the emerging habitat patterns to allow an ecological interpretation of the adaptation of the various species of bison to different environments during their tenure of, probably, more than a million years on the North American continent. Four or possibly five species of bison were recognized as having inhabited the continent at one time or another, including Bison priscus/Bison alaskensis as early forms that originated in Asia and dispersed into North America by way of Beringia; Bison latifrons and Bison antiquus as distinct North American species that probably evolved from an Asian form of bison; and Bison bison which evolved from 10,000 to 5,000 years ago from Bison antiquus. At the time of its release, North American Bison was considered a model by which the evolution of other forms of large mammals of the Quaternary, the most recent "Ice Age", could be studied.
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