Research Paper On Bison

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Bison are the largest land mammal in North America and provide one of the last evolutionary links to the Pleistocene era. Historically, bison dominated the prairies and grassland ecosystems of the United States (U.S.), where millions of bison once roamed freely across North America and played an essential role in shaping the ecology of the Great Pains (Defenders of Wildlife, n.d.). . There was an estimated 40 million bison when explorers first came to the Great Plains, but by 1900, there was a only a little over 1,000 bison that could be found with only a handful of wild bison left in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) (NWF, n.d.). The 1900’s also brought prosperity to the bison. Conservationists, land owners, and ranchers began to recognize…show more content…
The taxonomy of bison: from the kingdom, Animalia, the phylum, Chordata, the class, Mammalia, the order, Cetartiodactyla, and the family, Bovidae. Bison’s scientific name, Bison bison came from the species authority Linnaeus, 1758 (Gates & Aune, 2008). With the common name of American Bison, there are two subspecies in North America, Bison bison bison, also known as the Plains Bison and the American Buffalo, and Bison bison athabacae, also known as the Wood Bison (Gates & Aune, 2008). Although both subspecies of the American Bison have very similar characteristics there are a few distinct differences. Both species are dark chocolate-brown in color with long hair on their forelegs, head, and shoulders, but short, dense hair on their hindquarters and flanks (NPS, n.d.). The Plains Bison bull can measure up to six and half feet at the shoulder and eleven to twelve feet from the rump to the head, weighing as much as 2,000 pounds with the cow a about 10 to 15 percent smaller than the bull (Sharp, n.d.). The Wood Bison are typically larger than the Plains Bison; the Wood Bison bull (male) can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and can stand up to 12 feet high with the cow (female)

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