Doable prehistoric bison fossil unearthed in Missouri

Doable prehistoric bison fossil unearthed in Missouri

KANSAS Metropolis, Mo. – David Jamerson and Mike Ruth are just some good aged boys, in no way meanin’ no harm.

They aren’t the contemporary-working day Dukes of Hazzard, but they sure are makin’ their way the only way they know how by scavenging along the financial institutions of the Missouri River. 

The two ended up bottle searching on Jan. 8 alongside the dried-up banking companies of the river at Riverfront Park close to downtown Kansas Town, Missouri, when they unearthed their newest treasure, that’s likely prehistoric.

Jamerson, a 30-calendar year-old vehicle mechanic, and Ruth, a 44-calendar year-outdated asphalt design employee, have observed handfuls of arrowheads and prohibition-period whiskey bottles in the previous. However when they stumbled on what was once considered to be a piece of petrified driftwood, a a lot greater surprise unfolded.

“When I went to decide it up … there was a cranium connected to it and yet another horn issue,” Jamerson recalled. “It was not wood. I did not know what the hell it was.”

However, Ruth understood immediately it was fossilized bison remains.

The two returned to Ruth’s home and cleaned up the cranium, which calculated 30 inches throughout from horn tip to suggestion. It weighed about 15 pounds.

The skull is approximated to be more mature than 3,000 years old. After the carbon courting comes again, it might present to be from the Stone Age.


Missouri bison finds are comparatively popular

Dr. Melissa Eaton, social sciences’ division chair at Metropolitan Community Faculty – Longview in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, verified the cranium is from a bison primarily based on images and movie she has viewed and comparing the anatomy to other known specimens.

“There have been a couple of distinct bison species residing in North The us about the past several thousand years, so the most effective way to know with extra certainty about which species it is would be to consider distinct measurements of the cranium and to conduct radiocarbon courting (accelerated mass spectrometry) on a sample,” she said.

Bison finds are comparatively widespread in Missouri, Eaton mentioned, based mostly on a current short article in The Missouri Archaeologist.

“Additional than 44 counties have documented bison remains in archaeological internet sites,” she reported. “Radiocarbon courting of those stays expose an typical age of all around 2,000 several years back with some approaching 8 or 9,000 several years old.”

Almost all of all those counties in which bison stays have been discovered are positioned together important river methods like the Kansas, Missouri, and Mississippi Rivers and some others are found in areas like sinkholes. 

Eaton explained the going h2o all around rivers and sinkholes immediately buried the stays of useless bison, protecting them from the elements, scavenging animals, and the common method of decomposition, preserving the bones for hundreds or 1000’s of many years. 

“All those identical buried soils, and preserved remains within just them, are uncovered with erosion or drought such as what took place at Riverfront Park just lately,” she provides.

Eaton stated evaluating the measurements of the bones found recently in Missouri with the measurements of extinct bison specimens and modern-day bison would give a superior estimate of how historical this certain specimen may possibly be. 

“The older, extinct Bison antiquus were larger sized, heavier and far more muscular than modern day-working day bison (by 15-25%), but they also went extinct about 10,000 years in the past,” she explained. 

Jamerson and Ruth may have uncovered a further extinct bison species called Bison occidentalis. It isn’t as previous or as huge as Bison antiquus, Eaton mentioned, but most of the bison bones found in Missouri are likely that 1 or fashionable bison (Bison bison).


‘Boss Hogg style’

The two hope to sell it to the best bidder, but Jamerson experienced one more strategy.

“I was likely to strap it on hood of my S10 like Boss Hogg model right until I was like, ‘it’s tough to put screws via a piece of rock,’” he laughed.

The Missouri River drinking water levels are reduced but nothing limited of a history. The fall-off started out at the conclude of November, which is seasonally standard for the Missouri River. By then, it was now 5 to 10 feet beneath common, in accordance to the FOX Forecast Center.


Previous calendar year was largely down below normal with some hefty rain durations aiding force h2o stages close to usual. Kansas City has been abnormally dry given that about final June.

Right up until then, the two will carry on their expeditions on the longest river in the U.S. in research of the up coming massive factor lurking below the clay and sediment.

You never ever know what you might be likely to arrive across down there, so it is really challenging to say,” Jamerson claimed. “With any luck , far more arrowheads and petrified wooden for positive.”