Ethan the bison

common nameconservation status
American Bison (Buffalo)Near threatened (NT)
scientific namesize
Bison bison♂ 3.6-3.8 m (11.8-12.4 ft) ♀2.13-3.18 m (7-10.4 ft)

♂ 167-186 cm (65.7-73.2 in) ♀152-157 cm (59.8-61.8 ft)

Bovidae♂ 800-1100 kg (1,763-2,425 lb)

♀ 500 kg (1,102 lb)

Artiodactyla15 years
class gestation period
Mammalia9 months. 1 offspring.
 population diet
350,000 specimensThey are ruminants that eat pasture on the plains.
They live in prairies and plains.They live on the plains of the north of Mexico, U.S. and Canada in large herds, from Great Slave Lake to Mexico and from the east of Oregon to the Appalachian Mountains.

Did you know...


There are two subspecies of American bison: the plains bison and the mountain bison. The latter more endangered than its relative.



This species has its origin in Europe and it passed to North America over the Bering Strait.



It can reach speeds of 57 km/h (35.4 mph) when running.



Today there are an estimated of 350,000 bison (only 30,000 living in the wild), a shocking number compared to an estimated 80 million in the mid-19th century. By 1890 only a herd of around 50 individuals, located in Yellowstone national Park, remained in the wild.



It is the largest terrestrial animal in North America.



American bison live in large herds with levels of hierarchy. Each male has a female herd where they look for females to mate in late Summer. Male offspring leaves the herd when they are three years old and come back every year for the mating season.


This species are continuously on the move, following the seasons and the growth of pastures so that they do not exhaust the resources in any area they live.



The American bison was very important for the survival and way of life of North American natives. They used its meat for food, its hide for clothes and shelter, its manure for fuel and its bones for tools. With the arrival of white men and intensive hunting, the species almost becomes extinct.



Ironically, the demand for bison meat in U.S. plays a big role in its ecological restoration. Ranchers are currently of vital importance in the conservation and restoration of the American bison.



This animal has a huge head and hump (comprised of muscles) and short curly hair that covers face and back, growing less thick towards the rear part. Both males and females have short curved distinctive horns. This body structure allows them to dig through snow to find food.



The near annihilation of this species was determined by the U.S. military order to kill this animal in order to defeat the natives that depended on them. There are also chronicles that talk about big slaughters just for fun.



The herd in Yellowstone is the only one genetically isolated from cattle and this place is known to be the only one where the American bison inhabits from prehistoric times.



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