Two men discovered an ancient bison skull while scavenging near downtown Kansas City, Missouri, in mid-January.
Mike Ruth and Dave Jamerson were poking around the waterways of the Missouri River, looking for artifacts, fossils, cool stuff like that, when they found what they first thought might have been a piece of driftwood, according to KCTV5. As they lifted the piece from the silt, they realized they had “something really cool,” as Ruth told the outlet.
“I immediately thought bison,” Jamerson commented. The fossil was covered in silt and zebra mussels as they unearthed it, but came out of the dirt almost fully complete.
The low water level along the #MissouriRiver in the Kansas City area exposed an old #bison skull with horns that may be that of an extinct species of bison.#drought https://t.co/m7z4fFXDdG
— Denise Gutzmer (@DroughtDenise) January 20, 2023
Metropolitan Community College’s Chair of Social Sciences and President of the KC Archeological Society Dr. Melissa Eaton told KCTV that the fossil may belong to a now-extinct mammal that was significantly larger than the modern buffalo. The ancient bison antiquus was 25% bigger than the modern bison, and could weigh up to 3,500 pounds, according to the National Park Service.
“Ten thousand years ago, they were a dominant species in this area,” Eaton told the outlet. (RELATED: 9-Year-Old Finds Five-Inch Megalodon Tooth On Christmas Day)
Hunting for fossils and other ancient artifacts is an old but rapidly growing hobby for many. A recent Joe Rogan guest, John Reeves, set off a series of hunts for an alleged treasure trove of artifacts dumped into New York’s East River by the American Museum of Natural History in 1949.