|Fig. 5 Prehistoric painting of bison in the cave of Chauvet-Pont d’Arc, Ardèche, France... (Copyright: French Ministry of Culture and Communication, archeologie.culture.fr/chauvet; Arnaud Frich, Centre National de Préhistoire/MCC).|
Two types of Bison shown in Chauvet Cave paintings coexisted anciently, and a third appeared later, DNA studies confirm.
Three bison populations colonized Western Europe via three successive waves, the first between 57,000 and 34,000 years ago when the climate was temperate. During the glaciation period, this first population of ancient wisent was replaced by the steppe bison, the ancestor of the present-day American bison. As shown in paintings from the French Chauvet Cave, both of these two bison types were present in Southern France between 39,000 and 34,000 years ago. When the climate became mild again 14,000 ago, a new wisent population coming from the Southern Caucasus colonized Western Europe. This paleogenomic study [...] Popular Archaeology