Bison Facts

Bison Facts
Bison is a large mammal that belongs to family Bovidae. Its closest relatives are African and water buffalo, gazelles and antelopes. In the past, large population of bison roamed across the North American Great Planes, all the way from Mexico to Canada. In 19th century, when settlers arrived to America, bison were hunted nearly to extinction. Number of bison dropped from 60 million to nearly thousand animals. Soon after that period, they were placed under protection, and their number managed to increase to around 200 000 animals. Most of those animals are kept on ranches where people raise them for their meat. Bison is listed as endangered species in the wild.
Interesting Bison Facts:
Bison is the largest land animal in the North America. Males are larger than females. They can reach the length of up to 10 feet, weight between 930 to 2200 pounds and height of 6.6 feet.
Bison has short, curved and sharp black horns on its head. They can reach between 23 and 29 inches in length.
Bison has a thick, brown coat that provides insulation from the cold and moist weather. It prevents melting of the snow and soaking of the skin.
Hump on the bison's back is composed of muscles. It facilitates movement through the snow.
Bison lives in smaller groups composed of animals of only one sex. These groups will blend together during mating season.
Group of bison is called herd, gang or obstinacy.
Bison is herbivore (plant-eater). It eats grass, twigs and shrubs. Swallowed food will be regurgitated for additional chewing before it is transported to intestines for final digestion.
Although large in size, bison has couple of natural enemies. Main predators of bison are wolves and humans.
Despite its large proportions, bison belongs to the group of fast-running animal. It can run 40 miles per hour.
Also, bison is able to jump 6 feet off the ground.
Bison gather in large herds during mating season that takes place during the summer.
Males fight to gain attention of females. Fight rarely ends with serious injuries but they include horn locking, shoving and head-butt kicks.
Females become sexually mature at age of 2 or 3 years. Pregnancy lasts nine and the half months and ends with one calf (baby). Female will move to an isolated area at the end of pregnancy.
Calf has 33 to 35 pounds at birth and it is reddish in color. It can stand on its feet soon after birth. Baby depends on mother's milk for the first seven months of its life. At about two months after birth, calf will develop horns and hump on its back.
Average lifespan of bison in the wild is between 12 to 20 years. Captive bison can survive up to 30 years.

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