Bison

Bison bison

Bison are the largest terrestrial animal in North America, in fact they are the largest in the entire Western hemisphere. Bison are good swimmers and can cross rivers over a kilometre wide. They are nomadic grazers and travel in herds. The bulls leave the herds of females at two or three years of age, and join a male herd which is generally smaller than the female herds. Mature bulls rarely travel alone. Towards the end of the summer, for the reproductive season, the sexes necessarily commingle. Bison are known for living in the Great Plains. They were hunted close to extinction during the 19th and 20th centuries, but have since rebounded. The plains bison is no longer listed as endangered, but the wood bison is on the endangered species list in Canada.

Characteristics

The bison is the largest land animal in North America. Males can stand six feet from hoof to shoulder and weigh 900 kg (2,000 lbs). Females are around five feet tall and weigh between 375-450 kgs (800-1000 lbs). The bison has long shaggy brown fur, a mane and beard under its chin and a long tail with a tuft of hair at the end. It has a big head with short black horns (60 cm long) and a hump on its shoulders…

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