Without question, this is THE LARGEST Steppe Bison skull we have ever had the pleasure to offer. At 46 inches across in a straight measurement, this behemoth approaches a spread of 1.2 meters!!! This giant would have been the MAXIMUM SIZE Ice Age bison of Europe!!! This amazingly well-preserved fossil skull is of the massive EUROPEAN STEPPE BISON of the Ice Age, aka Bison priscus. This classic Pleistocene beast is also known as the STEPPE WISENT. It is important to emphasize that it is of EUROPEAN Ice Age origin and NOT one of the many American bison skulls that often turn up on the market. Furthermore, this is a TRUE FOSSIL from the days of Europe's last Ice Age when Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon Man hunted these beasts and memorialized their hunts and reverence for these creatures in their famous cave paintings. It is also important to note that this is a REAL FOSSIL found deep in the Pleistocene Period gravel deposits of the Rhine River in Germany. Many of the American bison skulls being sold as 'fossil' are NOT true fossils and most often are either artificially-dyed modern skulls being pawned off as fossils to naive buyers, or Holocene skulls that are antique in origin but not from the Pleistocene Period.
From an old German collection, it was found quite some time ago when the gravel deposits in the Rhine produced better quality and more complete specimens by the use of technologically simpler and less destructive machinery. You can still see the river stones attached deep in many of the crevices of the underside of the cranium, in the photos above. River gravel deposits are where most European Ice Age fossils reside. Gravel quarries and river dredges in Europe today use more efficient yet, more destructive machinery than they did in the past when better and more complete fossil specimens were found. The equipment used today destroys most of the new discoveries therefore, locating a high quality fossil Ice Age skull usually requires finding one from an old collection as this beautiful example came.
Bone preservation and detail is exceptional on this skull - ONE OF THE BEST WE HAVE EVER SEEN OR OFFERED. The LIGHT, highly aesthetic color is a result of this well-preserved example being buried deep in a protective layer of gravel. This burial (until recovered in the dredge) is its reason for its remarkably well-preserved condition, as well. This is an extremely impressive skull from one of the key beasts to human survival in Europe's final Ice Age. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and duly impressive to demonstrate the robust size of these revered Ice Age giants.