Bison

:"This is an article about an animal. For other uses, see Bison (disambiguation)."Taxobox
name = Bison



image_width = 250px
image_caption = American Bison ("Bison bison")



image2_width = 250px
image2_caption = Wisent ("Bison bonasus")
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Mammalia
ordo = Artiodactyla
familia = Bovidae
subfamilia = Bovinae
genus = "Bison"
genus_authority = Hamilton Smith, 1827
species = Bison bonasus
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision = †"B. antiquus"
"B. bison"
"B. bonasus"
†"B. latifrons"
†"B. occidentalis"
†"B. priscus"

Bison is a taxonomic group containing six species of large even-toed ungulates within the subfamily Bovinae. Only two of these species still exist: the American bison ("B. bison") and the European bison, or wisent ("B. bonasus"), each with two subspecies.

Name

In American Western culture, the bison is commonly referred to as "buffalo"; however, this is a misnomer: though both bison and buffalo belong to the Bovidae family, the term "buffalo" properly applies only to the Asian water buffalo and African buffalo. The gaur, a large, thick-coated ox found in Asia, is also known as the "Indian bison", although it is in the genus "Bos" and thus not a true bison.

Description

The American and European bison are the largest terrestrial mammals in North America and Europe. Bison are nomadic grazersFact|date=March 2008 and travel in herds, except for the non-dominant bulls, which travel alone or in small groups during most of the year. American bison are known for living in the Great Plains. Both species were hunted close to extinction during the 19th and 20th centuries but have since rebounded, although the European bison is still endangered.

Unlike the Asian water buffalo, bison have never been domesticated, although the American bison is kept on some farms.

Bison are born without their trademark hump and horns and live for approximately twenty years. They grow to maturity at two to three years, although males continue to grow until about their seventh year. Adult bulls express a high degree of dominance competitiveness during mating season. Male bison fight for females and these fights often result in injury or death. After the bison mate, the herd splits up into smaller herds. Calves are born nine months after mating. The mothers take care of and nurse their young for a year.

Male bison grow to as much as to 11.5 feet (3.5m) long, and 6.5 feet (2m) tall at the shoulder and can weigh up to 2200lbs (998 kg).

Behaviour

Wallowing

url = http://www.jstor.org/pss/3083019] In the process of wallowing bison may become infected by the fatal disease anthrax, which may occur naturally in the soil.cite news | title = Anthrax kills bison in southern N.W.T. |publisher = CBC.CA| date = July 6 2006| url = http://www.cbc.ca/canada/north/story/2006/07/06/anthrax-nwt-bison.html]

Diet

Bison have a fairly simple diet. The bison's main food is grass. Bison also eat the low lying shrubbery that is available. In the winter, bison forage in the snow looking for grass. If there is little grass available, bison have to resort to eating the twigs of the shrubs and plants.

Predators

Due to their large size few predators attack bison. Wolf packs, but not single wolves, could take down a bison. Brown bears will also prey on calves but when they are found eating bison they generally have driven off wolves and taken over their kill.

In Yellowstone Park the strongest and most dominant wolf packs have been observed to take elk and deer; they leave the bison, which is much harder to kill, to the weaker wolf packsFact|date=August 2008.

ee also

* Bovid hybrids
* American Bison
* Plains Bison
* Wood Bison
* Ancient Bison
* Water Buffalo
* African Buffalo
* Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo

Gallery

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • bison — bison …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • Bison — Bison …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • Bison — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Bison (homonymie) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bison — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Para otros usos de este término, véase Bison (desambiguación). ? Bisonte Típico bisonte americano, Bison bison …   Wikipedia Español

  • bison — [ bizɔ̃ ] n. m. • 1307; mot lat., orig. germ. ♦ Bovidé sauvage grand et massif, armé de cornes courtes et possédant une bosse entre les épaules. Bison d Amérique. Bison d Europe. ⇒ urus. Le massacre des bisons. Herbe de bison : avoine odorante… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Bison — Bi son (b[imac] s[o^]n; 277), n. [L. bison, Gr. bi swn, a wild ox; akin to OHG. wisunt, wisant, G. wisent, AS. wesend, Icel. v[=i]sundr: cf. F. bison.] (Zo[ o]l.) (a) The aurochs or European bison. (b) The American bison buffalo ({Bison… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Bison — Sn (ein Büffel) per. Wortschatz fach. (18. Jh.) Entlehnung. Die germanische Bezeichnung des Wisents wird als bīson ins Lateinische entlehnt. Von dort aus wird das Wort als zusammenfassende Bezeichnung für den europäischen Wisent und den… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Bison — Bison, KS U.S. city in Kansas Population (2000): 235 Housing Units (2000): 120 Land area (2000): 0.258080 sq. miles (0.668425 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.258080 sq. miles (0.668425 sq. km)… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • bison — [bī′sən, bī′zən] n. pl. bison [Early ModE bisontes, pl. < L, pl. of bison, wild ox < Gmc * wisunt < IE * wis onto < base * weis : see WEASEL] any of a genus (Bison) of bovid ruminants having a shaggy mane, short, curved horns, and a… …   English World dictionary

  • bison — c.1600, from Fr. bison (15c.), from L. bison wild ox, borrowed from P.Gmc. *wisand aurochs (Cf. O.N. visundr, O.H.G. wisunt bison, O.E./M.E. wesend, which is not attested after c.1400). Possibly ultimately of Baltic or Slavic origin, and meaning… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Bison — En France, le nom est surtout porté en Savoie. Il est également assez courant en Italie du Nord (Vénétie). On trouve aussi en Italie les formes Bisone (Piémont) et Bisoni (Lombardie). Tous ces noms semblent être des dérivés d une forme dialectale …   Noms de famille

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”