Ural Federal University: Paleontologists Discovered a Rare Ancient Zubr Bones in the Tobol River near Kurgan

DNA analysis of the bones of the rare ancient bison, which were found in the Tobol river near Kurgan, showed that among them there are also bones of primitive zubr (European bison). This was reported to TASS by Pavel Kosintsev, a senior researcher at the Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a leading researcher at the UrFU Laboratory of Natural Science Methods in Humanities.

“DNA analysis was done on several bones, and it turned out that in addition to bison there are also zubr, which still live in Europe today. <…> Before that we had not recorded zubr remains, because just by appearance alone it is impossible to distinguish zubr bones from bison bones. These are absolutely different species, it is established genetically”, said Kosintsev.

In November 2021, scientists and divers found bones of a unique species of primitive bison in the Tobol River near Kurgan. The results of DNA analysis of the bones showed that within the genus Bison from Western Europe, the Caucasus, the Urals and Western Siberia in the late Pleistocene there were two genetic species – the primitive bison (Bison priscus) and previously unknown species, which received the preliminary name Bison X. These two species existed simultaneously, but presumably lived in different landscapes and had different food preferences.