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Class Mammalia
Order Artiodactyla
Suborder Ruminantia
Family Bovidae


Bootherium bombifrons (Harlan 1825)—Woodland Musk OxPleistocene distribution of Bootherium bombifrons

Synonyms. Liops zuniensis, Gidleya zuniensis, Symbos cavifrons.

This taxon has been known under a number of names (McDonald and Ray 1989), most not pertinent to this region. However, Gidley (1906) named an abraded skull from Black Rocks, McKinley Co., NM, as Liops zuniensis, and the taxon was renamed Gidleya zuniensis shortly thereafter when it became known that the generic name was preoccupied. In 1989, McDonald and Ray showed that Gidleya zuniensis is a synonym of Bootherium bombifrons as is Symbos cavifrons (with pronounced sexual dimorphism, the male and female of the species had been placed in different genera; the name Bootherium bombifrons has priority over the name Symbos cavifrons).

The latest credible date for this taxon is 10,980 ± 80 BP according to Fiedel (2009).

Two views of the skull of Bootherium

Fig. 1. Lateral and posterior views of the skull of Bootherium bombifrons. After Allen (1913), who labeled it after the then-accepted name of Symbos cavifrons.

A possible representative (Fig. 1) of this species reputedly was recovered from about the 20-ft level of the Rio Grande floodplain during construction of Bowie High School in El Paso. Unfortunately, no horn cores were found.

Partial skull of possible Bootherium

Partial skull that is tentatively identified as a member of the muskoxen group, possibly Bootherium. UTEP 144-1.

Sites. Late Wisconsin: Black Rocks (Allen 1913).


Allen 1913; Fiedel 2009; Gidley 1906; McDonald and Ray 1989

PDF Files.

Gidley 1906.


Last Update: 18 Mar 2013