Bison are a type of even-toed ungulate bovines. They are the biggest mammals in North America. They are often called buffalo, but are not closely related to African buffalo or water buffalo. They used to wander around the prairies of North America in huge herds.
|American bison |
|European bison |
Hamilton Smith, 1827
American bison are large, plant-eating mammals that are similar to cows. 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. Through conservation efforts, there are now more American bison than there used to be, but still far fewer than there were before the 1800s.
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.
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- Gifford, Clive; Lisa Clayden (2002). Family flip quiz geography. Bardfield Centre, Great Bardfield, Essex, CM7 4SL: Miles Kelly Publishing. ISBN 1-84236-146-5.
- Conger, Cristen. "What brought bison back from the brink of extinction?". HowStuffWorks.com.