American Wood Bison

The American Wood Bison (Bison bison athabascae) is an ungulate (hoofed) mammal in the bovine (cattle) family. It is a bisonid. It is an artiodactyl, because it is cloven (split) hooved. It is also known as the American Buffalo, and is closely related to the European Bison, which is also called the European Wisent.

The American Wood Bison has a shaggy dark-brown coat of fur with a massive head. It is broad and muscular. Both the male and female have short, curved horns.

American Wood Bison

It grows to 200-280 centimetres (78-110 inches) in length and about 200 centimetres (78 inches) tall. Its tail measures 30-43 centimetres (12-17 inches) long. The horns measure about 61 centimetres (24 inches) long. 

The American Wood Bison is native to Northern America and Canada. It lives in herds and likes wooded regions and grasslands. It is adapted to cold weather. It is migratory, moving to warmer locations in winter. 

It is an herbivore because it eats grass. It is a nomadic ruminant grazer. Like other cattle, it chews cud.

It can jump as high as 180 centimetres (72 inches) and run at speeds of 56-64 kilometres per hour (35-40 miles per hour). 

The male is called a bull and the female is called a cow. The female lives in maternal herds of other females, whereas the males live in bachelor herds. The herds mingle in the breeding season. 

The female ispregnant for 264 days, before giving birth to one young, called a calf. 

American Wood Bison
American Wood Bison

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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