Bison are large mammals within the subfamily
Other Names: Bison and buffalo are often
used interchangeably, but they are not necessarily
Bison in Foreign Languages:
Dutch: bizon / buffel
German: Bison / Büffel
Japanese: yagyu / Amerika yagyu
Mandarin: ye niú
Scottish Gaelic: buabhall
Approximately 500,000 bison live across
North America today
Size: Bison stand at 6-6.5 feet at the shoulder,
they are 10-12.5 feet long. Bison weigh from 900-2000
lbs. Male bison are typically larger than their female
Species: Bison were hunted until almost extinction,
the bison of today are cross bred with large cattle.
There are currently two species of bison currently recognized:
American Bison (aka American Buffalo) and the European
Buffalo (aka European Wisent).
Habitat: American Bison are found throughout
North American, with concentrations in the US plains
and Western Canada. The European Wisent is now only
found in modern Poland and the former Soviet Union.
Senses: Bison have poor eyesight, but have acute
hearing and an excellent sense of smell.
Description: Bison have a shaggy, long, dark
brown winter coat, and a lighter weight, lighter brown
summer coat. Bison are migratory.
Behavior: Bison are habitual wallowers, wading
into swampy rivers. Bison's have unpredictable behavior
and can attack without any reason or prompting.
Diet: Bison are nomadic grazers and travel
Did You Know?
A bison herd travels at can move at
speeds of up to 35 mph.
Gestation: Bison carry their young 270-285 days.
Birth: Bison give birth to a single calf at
a time. By one year of age the bison weighs around 400
Life Span: Bison live 8-22 years in the wild.
While bison typically live over 30 years in captivity.
Social Structure: Bison travel in herds.