Scientific Classification

Order Artiodactyla
Family Bovidae
Subfamily Bovinae
Class Mammalia
Genus Bison
Scientific Name Bison bison
American Bison
American Bison

Other Names

American buffalo

American Bison Description

  • The American bison is the largest living land animal in North America.
  • During winter the bison takes on a dark brown shaggy coat.
  • They can jump 6 ft (1.8 m) vertically.
  • There are only 15,000 American bisons living in the wild.

Size & Weight

Adults:

  • HEAD-BODY-LENGTH: 2 to 3.5 m (6.6 to 11.5 ft)
  • WEIGHT: 318 to 1,000 kg (701 to 2,205 lb)
  • TAIL: 30 to 91 cm (12 to 36 in)
  • SHOULDER HEIGHT: 152 to 186 cm (60 to 73 in)
  • HORNS LENGTH: 2 ft (61 cm)

Habitat

River valleys, prairies, plains, semiopen grasslands, sagebrush, scrubland, semiarid lands, boreal forest

American Bison
A herd of American Bison in a Monarto Zoo ©www.monartozoo.com.au

Range

North America

Diet

Sedges, grasses

Subspecies

  • Plains Bison
  • Wood Bison

Reproduction

1 calf

Mating Period

August and September

Gestation Period

270 to 285 days

Weaning Period

7 – 12 months

Sexual Maturity

  • 5 years (bull)
  • 3 years (cow)

Population

500,000

Lifespan

  • 15 years (wild)
  • 25 years (captivity)

Speed

35-40 mph (56–64 km/h)

Predators

Wolves, grizzly bear

Group Name

Herd

Group Size

20 individuals

Behavior

Migratory

Conservation Status

Near Threatened