genus of bovines

Bison are large, even-toed ungulates. They are bovines, similar to cows. They are often called buffalo, but are not closely related to African buffalo or water buffalo.

Temporal range: 2–0 Ma
Early Pleistocene – Recent
American bison k5680-1.jpg
American bison
(Bison bison)
Bison bonasus (Linnaeus 1758).jpg
European bison
(Bison bonasus)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Bovinae
Subtribe: Bovina
Genus: Bison
Hamilton Smith, 1827

B. bison
B. bonasus
B. antiquus
B. hanaizumiensis
B. latifrons
B. occidentalis
B. palaeosinensis
B. priscus
B. schoetensacki

A group of wisents

Bison live in the northern part of the world. The American bison lives in North America where they formerly wandered around the prairies in huge herds. The wisent lives in Europe. Bison can also live in rugged areas.


They are the biggest mammals in North America.[1] There used to be as many as 30 million bison in the United States, but because of hunting, by 1890, only 1,000 bison were left.[2] Through conservation efforts, there are now more American bison than there used to be, but still far fewer than there were before the 1800s.


European bison (wisent) tend to live in lightly wooded to fully wooded areas and areas with increased shrubs and bushes, though they can also live on grasslands and plains.


They are classified in the subfamily Bovinae of the family Bovidae.


They live to be about 20 years old and are born without their "hump" or horns, which both males and females have. After shedding their light colored hair, and with their horns, they are grown at 2 to 3 years of age, but the males keep growing slowly until about age seven. Adult bulls are very dominant in mating season. Adult bison usually have one or two baby bison.


  1. Gifford, Clive; Lisa Clayden (2002). Family flip quiz geography. Bardfield Centre, Great Bardfield, Essex, CM7 4SL: Miles Kelly Publishing. ISBN 1-84236-146-5.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  2. Conger, Cristen (2 October 2008). "What brought bison back from the brink of extinction?".