Bison

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Bison
Bison bison or buffalo
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Bovinae
Genus: Bison
Hamilton Smith, 1827
A group of Wisents.

Bison are a type of even-toed ungulate bovines. They are the biggest mammals in North America.[1]

Habitat[change | edit source]

American bison live in river valleys, and on prairies and plains. Typical habitat is open or semi-open grassland, as well as sagebrush, semi-arid lands and scrublands. Some lightly wooded areas were known to have supported bison. Bison will also graze in hilly or mountainous areas where the slopes are not steep. Though not particularly known as high altitude animals, bison in the Yellowstone Park are frequently found at elevations above 8,000 feet and the Henry Mountains bison herd is found on the plains around the Henry Mountains, Utah, as well as in mountain valleys of the Henry Mountains to an altitude of 10,000 feet.

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.

Taxonomy[change | edit source]

They are classified in the subfamily Bovinae of the family Bovidae

Distribution[change | edit source]

Bison live in the northern part of the world. The American Bison lives in North America, and the Wisent lives in Europe. They can also live in rugged areas.

Life[change | edit source]

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.

American Bison[change | edit source]

American Bison are large, plant-eating mammals that are similar to cows. Even though they are often called buffalo, they are not really related to them. They used to wander around the prairies of North America in huge herds. 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.

References[change | edit source]

  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.
  2. Conger, Cristen. "What brought bison back from the brink of extinction?". HowStuffWorks.com. http://animals.howstuffworks.com/endangered-species/bison-extinction.htm.