This skull is the largest on record, with the horn core spanning 8 feet. Alive, the animal might have had a horn sheath spread of 10 to 11 feet. At the shoulder, it might have reached 8 or 9 feet.
The incredible horn spread of these gigantic buffalo is the most interesting thing about them.
This particular specimen was discovered in 1967 by a rancher in Lipscomb County, Texas, near Amarillo on the Canadian River. Buried in sandy sediments, none of the rest of the skull, horn core tips, or bones were found, although another large bison was found nearby.
The fossils in this area of the Texas panhandle are similar to the extinct fauna of Nebraska and South Dakota. Coronado in his records of their expedition through West Texas in the 16th century reported seeing 14 or 15 giant bison mixed in with the modern buffalo herds. Whether they were this giant species or smaller antiquus, it is not known. One man from Montana, diving into the Canadian River, found the long-horn skulls in with the smaller, more modern buffalo skulls on the bottom of the river. Since these big bison were reported as late as the 16th century by Spanish explorers, perhaps this specimen (which is not completely petrified) was buried after the great Flood by a more local flood.
Cast in a hard plaster shell, filled with light-weight foam, and reinforced by a metal bar, this cast weighs about 125 lbs.
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