Bison antiquus, brain endocast
Bison antiquus, brain endocast
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Bison antiquus, brain endocast

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This is a brain endocast of the the extinct Bison. An endocast or endocranial cast is a cast made of the mold formed by the impression the brain makes on the inside of the neurocranium (braincase), providing a replica of the brain with most of the details of its outer surface. Endocasts can also form naturally, when sediments fill the empty skull, after which the skull is destroyed and the cast fossilized. Scientists are increasingly utilizing computerized tomography scanning technology to create digital endocasts without damaging valuable specimens. This gives a 3D representation of the brain. Brain size and complexity can then be determined. Endocasts were used for looking at the brains of homo sapiens to find hemispheric specialization.

PaleoClones can supply resin castings of brain casings from over 70 animals, both modern and extinct. These endocasts are made here in our workshop, pulled from original molds we've made from the inside of the skull. Each endocast has superb detail, and all are, of course, actual size.

The ancient bison, Bison antiquus, was the most common large herbivore of the North American continent for over ten thousand years, and is a direct ancestor of the living American bison.

During the Pleistocene Ice Age, Steppe Wisent (Bison priscus), migrated from Siberia into Alaska. This species then developed into the long-horned bison (Bison latifrons) which lived in North America for 3 million years. About 22,000 years ago, the long-horned bison gave way to the ancient bison. Ancient bison were abundant from 18,000 years ago until about 10,000 years ago, when they became extinct along with most of the Pleistocene megafauna. Ancient bison is the most commonly recovered herbivore from the La Brea tar pits.

The ancient bison was taller, had larger bones and horns and was 15-25% larger overall than modern bison. From tip to tip, the horns of Bison antiquus measured approximately 3 feet.

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