What is the difference between the American Bison and the European Bison?

What is the difference between the American Bison (Bison bison) and the European Bison (Bison bonasus)? 

The American Bison and the European Bison are large ungulate (hoofed) mammals in the bovine (cattle) family.

The American Bison and the European Bison are artiodactyl, because they have cloven (split) hooves.

The American Bison has longer hair on its neck, head, and forequarters than the European Bison.

The American Bison has less hair on its tail than the European Bison.

The American Bison has shorter horns and tail than the European Bison. 

American Bison (left) and European bison (right)

The American Bison has shorter, more curved and sharper horns than the European Bison, which has horns that point forward. The American Bison has horns that measure about 63 centimetres (24 inches) long, whereas the European Bison has horns that measure about 80 centimetres (31 inches) long. 

The American Bison has 15 pairs of ribs, whereas the European Bison has 14 pairs of ribs.

The American Bison is shorter than the European Bison. The American Bison is about 152-186 centimetres (60-73 inches) tall, whereas the European Bison is about 200 centimetres (78 inches) tall. They are both about the same length at 335 centimetres (132 inches).

The American Bison has shorter legs than the European Bison.

The American Bison is more of a grazer (eating grass), whereas the European Bison is more of a browser (eating leaves and vegetation). This is because their necks are slightly different.

The American Bison has a nose that is less forward than its forehead, whereas the European Bison has a nose that is further forward than its forehead when its neck is in a neutral position.

The American Bison is more easily tamed than the European Bison.

The American Bison is native to the United States of America and Canada, whereas the European Bison (also known as the Wisent or European Wood Bison) is native to northern Europe. 

American Bison (left) and European bison (right)
American Bison
European Bison

[Location of photographs: Berlin Zoo, Germany]

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

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