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Scientific name: Bison bison

Other common names: American Bison; American Buffalo; American Plains Buffalo

The basics:
The American Bison is the largest land mammal in North America, and used to be the largest herd of wild mammals on earth, roaming between Canada’s Great Bear Lake in the north, the Appalachian Mountains in the east, and the Mexican states of Durango and Nuevo Leon in the south. The American Bison is more closely related to the European Bison or Wisent than to the true buffaloes, the Asian Water Buffalo and the African Buffalo.

Almost driven to extinction in the 19th century, the Bison population eventually recovered through the diligent care and attention of concerned breeders and conservationists. They are now protected in several national parks and wildlife areas. Bison is also currently raised for meat and hide, and for crossbreeding with domestic cattle for their desirable low-fat and low-cholesterol beef. The resultant breed from this crossing is called the Beefalo (3/8 Bison, 5/8 local beef breed).

Appearance / health:
Bison are large animals maturing up to 6 ft. tall, 12 ft. long, and 2000 lbs in weight. Both sexes are horned (short and curved with blunt tips). The head, carried low, is large and formidable, with a wooly, curly, mop-like mass of hair between the horns. A beard grows under the chin. The tail is up to 3 ft. long. In the winter, the coat is long (averaging 15 inches on the forehead) and shaggy and dark brown to black in color. In the summer, the coat is thinner and the color is light brown. Calves are light brown in color for the first three months.

Behavior / temperament:
Bison are known to be temperamental. They may seem lazy and peaceful but when provoked or agitated, can be a fast (run up to speeds of 35mph), strong, agile, and dangerously savage animal. When ready to attack, a Bison will lower its head to point its horns, raise its tail, snort, and paw the ground.

Bison are known to wallow in dry or wet ground to cover themselves with dust or mud. The activity is said to help them thermoregulate, remove parasites from their skin, display social interaction, or simply play.

Bison have poor eyesight but have an excellent sense of smell and acute hearing.

Housing / diet:
Bison thrive on wild grass, shrubs, flowers, and other grassland plants. In the winter, they forage on lichens and moss.


magnificent animals, bison meat, Bison Burger, good herd species, steaks, game meat choice


handling bison, solid wooden fences, bison bull


high ranking females, large herd, big personalities, grass fed

Helpful Bison Review


From DanaMK Nov 15 2014 4:40PM


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