American Bison

Bison bison

Classification

  • Domain Eukarya: Eukaryotes have organisms whose cells have a nucleus that may be single-celled or multicelled
  • Kingdom Animalia: This Kingdom does not contain prokaryotes, or protists. Animalia is also multicellular and hetrotrophic, meaning an organism obtaining its nutritional needs. This Kingdom is also lacks the rigid cell walls that are in plant cells.
  • Phylum Chordata: Chordata contain Bilateral symmetry, as of their physical appearance. This Kingdom has a complete digestive system. They also have a segmented body, meaning they have divided body fragments.
  • Subphylum Vertebrata: Vertebrata have red blood, with a complete digestive system, with large digestive glands, liver and pancreas. Movement is provided by muscles attached to the skeleton, which all Vertebrae have a spinal column.
  • Class Mammalia: Mammals may swim, run, fly, glide, burrow, or climb for moving from place to place in their environment. Some live in groups from tens to hundreds to even thousands or more. Mammals are generally alone except when mating or raising young. Teeth are the mammals main tool for tearing up meat.
  • Order Artiodactyla: Most have two or four toes to keep balance. Groups are often separated by gender, which may help reduce inter sexual competition for food which will help the survival of the group. To avoid fighting against each other, some species use displays, which may include body language and vocal language as a signal of warning for others.
  • Family Bovidae: Many Bovids live in large groups to form even larger groups. Horns help Bovidae for the mating season, they also have the trademark of for-gut for digestion with its food.
  • Genus Bison: Bison
  • Species: Bison

General Description

  • Height: For an Average American Bison, from the ground to the shoulders is 5 to 6 feet.
  • Length: Average Bison's length is approximately 7 to 13 feet, while its tail is 12 to 36 inches long.
  • Weight: On average a Male is 2,000 pounds, while the Female Bison is 1,100 pounds.
  • Color: The American Bison's Fur is a brown when its grown up. When its still a calve, it is a reddish-brown color.
  • Natural Range: American Bison are widespread from Alaska to Northern Mexico, on private and protected lands in the areas of Western United States and Canada, and also most of Yellowstone National park in Wyoming and Wood Buffalo park and Northwest Territory Canada.
  • Diet: American Bison eat mostly herbs, Bark, Shoots, and Acorns when not Grazing.
  • Habitat Description: Bison live in open grasslands, prairies, river valleys, and Wild Forests.
  • Predators: Healthy adult Bison are safe from predators because of their large size and defenses. Elderly and ill Bison and calves are preyed large predators, such as Mountain lions, Wolves, and Humans.

Physical Adaptations

The american Bison has hooves that are black in color and circular in shape. This helps the bison keep balance when walking, running, or catching prey. Bison have curved horns to help them with hunting and fighting for dominance for reproduction of a newborn Calve, and also used for self defense. Bison have an excellent sense of smell, which is essential in detecting danger such as possible predators. They also have an excellent sense of hearing and sight. These are just as essential as sense of smell, these abilities help the Bison spot their prey by both listening for their every move, and looking for their prey out in a grassy prairie. American Bison also have a furry coat, which is long and shaggy on the chest, front legs, neck and shoulders which help them stay warm in extreme cold weather, they also shed during the spring and summer to stay cool.

Behavioral Adaptations

Male Bison, also known as "Bulls", live either individually, or in groups that may be as large as 30 for Bison to stick together and protect from harm, and graze and hunt together. Grazing is taken place during several different periods of the day for the herd, (grazing means grassland suitable for ingesting). When the herd is grazing, all members from the herd form a line, all members patrol the area for healthy grass to eat. This helps the herd because the herd will not go hungry. As Bison are known for roaming great distances, bison move continuously as they eat. This helps Bison by not going into starvation. Bison are adapted to the extreme weather conditions for many times and places. American Bison can also communicate by grunts and snorts.

References

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"American Bison." An ultimate ungulate fact sheet. An ultimate ungulate fact
sheet, n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2015. Retrieved from:

<http://www.ultimateungulate.com/Artiodactyla/Bison_bison.html>.

"BASIC FACTS ABOUT BISON." defenders of wildlife. defenders of wildlife, n.d.
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<http://www.defenders.org/bison/basic-facts>.

"Bison." Chicago's zoological society's Brookfield Zoo. Chicago's zoological
society's Brookfield Zoo, n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2015.Retrieved from:

<http://www.czs.org/Brookfield-ZOO/Zoo-Animals/Great-Bear-Wilderness/American-Bison>.

Burton, Maurice. "Bison." International Wildlife Encyclopedia. 3rd ed. Vol. 2. Retrieved from:

New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2002. 215-17. Print.

National Geographic. National Geographic, n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2015. Retrieved from:

<http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/american-bison/?source=Ato-Z>.

Newell, T. and A. Sorin 2003. "Bison bison" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web.Accessed March 11, 2015 Retrieved from:

<http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Bison_bison/>

"North American Bison." Hinterland Who's Who. Hinterland Who's Who, n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2015. Retrieved from:

<http://www.hww.ca/en/species/mammals/north-american-bison.html>.

"American Bison." An ultimate ungulate fact sheet. An ultimate ungulate fact sheet, n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.Retrieved from

<http://www.ultimateungulate.com/Artiodactyla/Bison_bison.html>.