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Wild hump‐backed shaggy‐haired ox found in North America (Bison bison) and Europe (Bison bonasus). Bison are distinguished by their low horns, rounded forehead, and greater height of the forequarters compared with the hindquarters. They have a large hump on their shoulders and a thick mane covering the back of their heads, neck, and shoulders. Bison roamed the Great Plains of North America and the North European Plain in large herds from Pleistocene times onwards, and were widely hunted by communities who lived almost exclusively from their flesh. In Europe bison were hunted to extinction before Neolithic times and now survive only in parts of Lithuania and the Caucasus. In North America bison were on the verge of extinction by the end of the 19th century ad, although protective legislation since 1910 has allowed their numbers to increase again.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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