name = Harlan's muskox
fossil_range = middle to late
image_width = 250px
image_caption = "Bootherium bombifrons"
genus = †"Bootherium"
genus_authority = Leidy, 1852
species = †"B. bombifrons"
binomial = †"Bootherium bombifrons"
binomial_authority = (Harlan, 1825)
Harlan's muskox, or the woodland muskox [ [http://www.ansp.org/museum/jefferson/otherFossils/bootherium.php The Academy of Natural Sciences] ] ("Bootherium bombifrons") is an extinct
bovidfrom the middle to late Pleistoceneof North America.McKenna & Bell, 1997, p. 442.]
Harlan's muskox was one of the most widely distributed musk oxen species in North America during the Pleistocene era. Fossils have been documented from
Alaskato Californiaand Texas, and even New Jersey. The species became extinct approximately 11,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age. [ [http://www.ansp.org/museum/jefferson/otherFossils/bootherium.php The Academy of Natural Sciences] ]
Harlan's muskox's closest relative is the extant
muskox("Ovibos mochatus"). However, unlike the tundra muskox, Harlan's muskox was physically adaped to a range of less frigd climates and appears to have been the only ox to have evolved in and remain restricted to the North American continent. [ [http://www.ansp.org/museum/jefferson/otherFossils/bootherium.php The Academy of Natural Sciences] ] Harlan's musox was significantly taller and leaner than muskoxen found today in Arcticregions. Other differences were a thicker skull and considerably longer snout. The horns of Harlan's muskox were situated high on the skull, with a downward curve and were fused along the midline of the skull, unlike tundra muskoxen whose horns are separated by a medial groove.
Three other species of musk oxen co-inhabited North America during the Pleistocene era. Besides the surviving tundra muskox, the extinct
shrub-ox("Euceratherium collinum") and Soergel's ox("Soergelia mayfieldi") were also present.
*McKenna, Malcolm C., and Bell, Susan K. 1997. "Classification of Mammals Above the Species Level." Columbia University Press, New York, 631 pp. ISBN 0-231-11013-8
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