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Idaho Ancient Bison Fossils Now Available in 3-D


The Bureau of Reclamation and the Idaho Museum of Natural History (IMNH), which is located on the Idaho State University campus in Pocatello, have partnered to make fossils more available to the public. Beginning today, the 3-D scan models of Bison latifrons specimens are available online to view, download, and print in 3-D.

“The 3-D scanning of the objects is fantastic in and of itself, but by placing the 3-D scans onto an interactive website and making those scan files downloadable, we can get them out to the broader public,” said Jenny Huang, an archaeologist with Reclamation’s Snake River Area Office. “We are proud to be able to take our museum property management to the next level by making the collection available to everyone."

With funding from a Cultural and Scientific Collections grant from the Department of the Interior, provided through the Department’s Interior Museum Program, Reclamation was able to contract with the Idaho Virtualization Lab, a research unit of IMNH, specializing in digital archiving. The Bison Digitization Project, creates an open-access digital archive of fossil Bison that roamed eastern Idaho during the Ice Age.

This digital collection includes 250 three-dimensional models from 148 unique specimens of some of the most important and complete fossil bison in North America, curated by the IMNH. We encourage visitors to explore our digital collection for education, research or just to reconnect with our amazing history.

These files are intended for use by educators, researchers, and the general public for non-commercial purposes. The 3-D printing of these virtual specimens is allowed for use in educational and research situations and for private use, but they should not be provided for sale without the express written consent of Reclamation.

For more information about the 3-D fossils, please visit the Bureau of Reclamation project website

Click here for the Bison Digitization Project Website


The story of the Bison on display at Idaho Museum of Natural History


Patrons enjoying the BISON exhibit at the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum in Banff, Alberta, Canada.

Patrons enjoying the BISON exhibit at the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum in Banff, Alberta, Canada.

BISON is a traveling exhibit exploring the past, present, and future of this great North American mammal. The exhibit creates an interactive environment that combines history, artifacts and hands-on activities to bring to life the story of this great North American mammal. 

The exhibit is made possible by National Buffalo Foundation and the Kauffman Museum. BISON is available to museums across the US and Canada to tell the tragic history of this majestic animal, its rescue from near extinction, and the story of people across North America working to preserve the bison as a vibrant part of our future.

 The museum will be hosting Spirits & Skeletons, October 13th from 7pm to 10:30pm. This event is a fundraiser and features a sneak peek at the BISON exhibit. Tickets are $25 online or $35 at the door. All proceeds from the event will benefit future exhibits at the museum.


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(208) 282-3168

(208) 282-5893

Idaho Museum of Natural History

921 S. 8th ave Stop 8096

Pocatello,ID 83201

We are located just off the corner of 5th street and Dillon street in Pocatello.

Museum Hours

Spring/Summer Hours
(Late March - Early September)
Tuesday - Friday: 10am - 6pm
Saturday: 9am - 5pm
Sunday: 12pm - 5pm
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Senior 60+ $5
ISU Student  $2
Youth 4-17  $3
Child 3 & under FREE
Museum Member FREE
Active Military 20% off


20% off


921 South 8th Avenue
Pocatello, Idaho, 83209

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