Giant Bison 3D Scanning

Man using a 3D scanner on a bison skull.

Travis Helm, intern at the IVL, scanning “Humpty Dumpty”

Man using a computer to process 3D scans of bison skulls.

Nicholas Clement, IVL Assistant Manager, processing 3D scan of a bison skull.

The John A. White Paleontological Repository (JAW) at the IMNH holds one of the largest collections of the giant bison in North America and these specimens are utilized by researchers from all over the world. The IMNH Earth Sciences and Idaho Virtualization Lab have teamed up to 3D scan several of the bison specimens held in the JAW for the Bureau of Reclamation (BoR). These specimens have been found on land administered by the BoR and are a prominent component of fossil faunas in southeastern Idaho.  The collection has 4 species of bison – Bison priscus (Steppe bison), Bison alaskensis (Alaskan bison), Bison antiquus (Antique bison) and Bison latifrons (Giant bison).  

If you find a vertebrate fossil, leave it in place and contact the Bureau of Reclamation.

Woman standing with a large prehistoric bison skull.

Mary Thompson, IMNH Senior Collection Manager, with “Whit” the first Bison latifrons found in Idaho by Wayne Whitlow, Pocatello High School Biology teacher, 1933.