American Buffalo

Mark Gronemus

Paragraph 1 History

According to Joshua Kurlantzick, "Scholars believe that at one point more than 30 million buffalo roamed the West" (Kurlantzick 1). The Great Plains used to be covered with great numbers of buffalo, also known as bison. Although there were large numbers of buffalo over 100 years ago, buffalo were hunted by white settlers moving westward and herd sizes decrease. Last spring many efforts were and still are taking place in order to replace the herd sizes (Presco 1). Buffalo herd numbers have decreased throughout the years, but now they are slowly growing toward the population they use to have in their herds.

Paragraph 2 Physical Description

According to Nature Works, "The American bison is the largest land animal in North America" (Nature Works 1). Buffalo are the largest animal on this continent and that means that they are pretty large animals because cows are pretty large animals. Buffalo are very large animals and be very dangerous. Bison weigh in at 1000-2000 pounds and measure 6 feet tall from hoof to shoulder. They have long brown shaggy fur. Also buffalo have large heads with small horns and a hump on their shoulder (Nature Works 1). Buffalo are very large animals that are very unique and are different from every other animal.

Paragraph 3 Habitat and Diet

Nature Works states, "The American bison is a grazer"(Nature Works 1). Buffalo eat lots of grasses and in the winter they move snow away from the ground with their hooves to get the food the snow. According to Joshua Kurlantzick, buffalo live on wild prairie which is surrounded by mountains (Kurlantzick 1). Buffalo live and have lived on the Great Plains for many years. Eating prairie grasses on the plains is how and where the buffalo have survived throughout time.

Paragraph 4 Reproduction

According to Nature Works, "Female bison are ready to mate when they are two years old. Males aren't ready to mate until they are about six"(Nature Works 1). Females are much younger during their mating time and also get to choose which male they reproduce with. The male tends to the female guarding her from any other males which might take her from him for a couple of days. If the female choose to leave at any time she simply just walks away (Nature Works 1). Buffalo mate just like many other wild animals in our forests today. During the birthing process the female leaves the herd for a few days and gives birth the the calf. They stay away from the herd for about two days until the calf is ready to be with the rest of the herd(Nature Works 1). The reproduction process of buffalo is very similar to many other mammals we know around here today.

Paragraph 5 Uses

According to New York Time's write Marian Buros "Buffalo is finally coming of age as an alternative red meat"(Burros 1). Buffalo are very similar to cattle so now they are being raised like cattle for meat. Some people are even starting to breed buffalo with other breeds of cattle to product better animals (Presco 1). Many buffalo aren't true buffalo anymore, they aren't as good for their products anymore. Although some products aren't as good anymore the buffalo hides have and always will be good sources. The hides are very useful because they can be dried and turned into leather(Smallbones 1). Lots of leather is used within the U.S. and around the world to make clothing to shoes, so buffalo make a great source for this high demand. Many years ago buffalo hides were used for tepees that shelter the Indians (Smallbones 1). Buffalo have been very important for the use of their hides and meat for a very long time within our country.


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