Aurochs and Wisent Fossils

Aurochs Fossils for sale

Auroch (Bos primigenius) is an extinct species in the ox family that lived from the Pleistocene to the Holocene era. The two most common species of cattle in modern agriculture; Zebu (Bos primigenius indicus) and European Cattle (Bos primigenius taurus) are bred from the aurochs. The aurochs lived in Europe and Asia as well as other parts of the world. The last aurochs died in the Jaktorow forest in Poland in 1627, i.e. in the Holocene epoch.

The wisent (Bison bonasus), also known as the European bison, co-existed with the aurochs. The very last wild wisent was shot in 1927, but luckily there were still a few wisens left in captivity after the first world war. The species then spent about 25 years in captivity before two of them were released back into the wild in 1952. As of 2021, the bison has been reintroduced to the wild in several countries in Europe, as part of an ongoing Captive Breeding Programme to save the bison from going extinct. The species can still be found in parks and zoos in several places in the world.

On this auroch and Wisent fossils category page, we offer a small selection of auroch fossils, as well as a small selection of Steppe Bison fossils. All fossils have the size and weight details in their description as well as information about their origin, i.e. where they were found and approximately how old they are. All of our fossils are also treated with a special conservation method so they will stay in excellent condition. The fossils have not been restored, therefore they remain authentic.

Make sure to also have a look at our newest arrivals, and our premium pristine quality fossils. Also, make sure to check out our FAQ about authenticity (yes they’re all authentic) and more!

All you need to know about aurochs

The aurochs had a lifespan of 25 – 30 years, and they lived in herds of 30 at a time. The aurochs probably thrived best in the vast forest areas with swampy areas. They were bigger than modern (domesticated) cattle, and humans depended on aurochs for their resources like dairy, leather, and meat.

The aurochs’ first appearance

The aurochs originated in India about 2 million years ago, this was during the Pleistocene epoch. Later they spread to other parts of the world like Europe, Asia, and North America.

The aurochs species to have existed

List of wild auroch subspecies to have existed and domesticated auroch subspecies that we now know as modern cattle:

Wild Cattle (extinct):

Domesticated Cattle (not extinct): 

Why they are extinct now

For thousands of years, European forests and grasslands were inhabited by majestic animals – aurochs, large wild cattle with dark coats, and large horns. The aurochs lived in Europe until the 17th century but had to see that their domesticated relatives became more and more numerous. They went extinct in Poland in 1627 due to overhunting.

How big are these auroch Fossils? 

When clicking on one of our products, you will find the wisent and auroch size and weight information for the specific fossil in the description.

Frequently asked questions 

When was the last Holocene auroch alive? The very last population of auroch was found in Jaktorów forest near Warsaw (Poland) and went extinct in 1627, about 390 years ago.

Is there a modern equivalent of aurochs? Today’s cows and bulls are descended from aurochs, an animal that lived wild over large parts of Europe, Asia, and North Africa.

What is the difference between an auroch and a cow? Aurochs were much larger than modern cattle. At shoulder height, the auroch was about 160 – 180 cm tall, which is 10 – 30 cm taller than a cow. The head was reinforced with long powerful horns that pointed forward. They had small, almost insignificant udders compared to today’s cattle. 

What is special about the auroch horn? The auroch had long thick horns pointing forward that could reach 107cm in length and be between 10 – 20 cm thick. The auroch horns were also curved and functioned as a great weapon to defend themselves against predators.