In the shadowy age which preceded the Stone age and hardly ended later than 10,000 B.C., the cave-dwellers of the Dordogne could draw elks, bisons, elephants and other animals at rest or in movement, with a freshness and realism which to-day only a Landseer can rival.
The last of the Dakota bisons were destroyed by Indians in 1883, leaving then less than b000 wild individuals in the United States.
A count which was concluded at the end of February 1903, put the number of captive bisons at 1119, of which 969 were in parks and zoological gardens in the United States, 41 in Canada and 109 in Europe.
More distinct are the bisons, forming the sub-genus Bison, represented by the European and the American species (see Bison), the forehead of the skull being much shorter and wider, and the horns not arising from a crest on the extreme vertex, while the number of ribs is different (14 pairs in bisons, only 13 in oxen), and the hair on the head and neck is long and shaggy.
Remains of extinct bisons, some of gigantic size, occur in the superficial formations of North America as far south as Texas.