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Bison bison


Bison once lived from Mexico, all over the North American west to Northern Canada.


They lived on the wide-open grassland (prairie). Now bison live in small, protected herds in national parks or on private farms.

Body Traits

Males weigh up to one ton (2,000 pounds). They are up to 12 feet in length. That is as long as a car.


Bison were an important food for Native Americans. There once were 60 million Bison. Then they were hunted by the new settlers in the west, on horseback and with guns. They were almost all gone (extinct). By 1890 there were less than 1000 bison left.


They ate grass (grazed) in large herds.


Predators that hunted them were wolves (back when there were wolves on the plains) and man. Bison are very large animals.

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Females are pregnant for 9 1/2 months (gestation). They have 1 calf. They are born from mid-April to May.

Lifespan and/or Conservation Status

They live for about 15 years in the wild. They are listed as Lower Risk - conservation dependent.



Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Bovinae
Genus: Bison
Species: Bison bison

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