Unformatted text preview: BISON
Taylor Pearson Jenny Stepp Hillary Hollis By: Lost "BISON" OR "BUFFALO" THAT IS THE QUESTION
Bison, are commonly called "buffalo. Scientifically, the term "buffalo" is incorrect for the North American species. This species is not even found in North America It's proper Latin name is bison. However, common usage has made the term "buffalo" an acceptable synonym for the American bison. WHERE DID THE WORD "BUFFALO" COME FROM?
In the seventeenth century, French explorers in North America referred to the new species they encountered as "les boeufs", meaning oxen or beeves. The English, arriving later, changed the pronunciation to "la buff". The name grew distorted as: "buffle" "buffler" "buffillo" and, eventually..... "buffalo" LIVING SITUATIONS AND STYLES Bison are considered a keystone species they once roamed the continent in great herds, and their grazing pressure helped shape the ecology of the Great Plains. HABITAT: The American bison live on plains, prairies and river valleys. There are three subspecies of bison: Classification Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Artiodactyla Family: Bovidae Genus: Bison bonasus. Plains bison Wood bison, European Wisent. WHERE ARE BISON FOUND?? The American bison was once found in Canada, the United States and parts of Mexico. Bison once roamed across much of North America. Today bison are ecologically extinct throughout most of their historic range, except for a few national parks and other small wildlife areas. Yellowstone National Park has the largest population of freeroaming plains bison (about 4,000) Wood Buffalo National Park has the largest population of freeroaming wood bison (about 10,000). HISTORY/FACTS Bison are considered a keystone species they once roamed the continent in great herds, and their grazing pressure helped shape the ecology of the Great Plains. The great American bison is the largest land mammal in North America since the end of the Ice Age. Estimates of the preEuropean herd size vary from 30,000,000 to 70,000,000 bison and they ranged over most of North America. Where bison and Native Americans lived together, the bison provided much more than food. Unregulated killing of bison led to the many millions of animals being reduced to no more than 1,500 individuals in the mid to late 1800s. DELICIOUS DIET!! The American bison is a grazer. Their diet is made up of mostly grasses and sedges. Bison will do well in most types of pastures. They occasionally eat berries and lichen. They eat a wider range of items than cattle and will roam the entire pasture while eating. Bison move continuously as they eat so that they rarely overgraze an area. ENERGY ENERGY ENERGY Bison eat more grass as a percentage of their diet than all other range herbivores. On average, grass can carry one adult bison (or beef cow) per 34 acres. In winter, the bison uses its head and hooves to move snow off the vegetation, to eat native grasses and prairie hay. Bison are able to "plow" their head into the snow to get grass. GRASS GRASS AND MORE GRASS! if there is little grass available, bison have to resort to eating the twigs of the shrubs and plants If there is no grass available they will starve. INTERESTING FACTS!!! Lifespan: 1822 years in the wild. CLADOGRAM B is on FOOD WEB INTERACTION WITH OTHERS Bison is excellent at detecting danger. Bison can hear very well as well. Bison are able to distinguish large objects from a distance of 1 km and moving objects 2 km away. Bison can communicate vocally through grunts and snorts. It is likely that chemical cues are used in communicating reproductive states. EXTRA EXTRA PREDITORSTheir large size and formidable defenses make healthy, adult bison relatively safe from predators. Elderly and ill bison and calves are preyed on by large predators such as mountain lions, wolves, and humans. Ecosystem roleHuge herds of bison once roamed the grasslands of North America. Their grazing and dustbathing strongly influenced the composition of plant communities and the communities of other animals. Bison can reasonably be called a keystone member of North American prairie communities, along with prairie dogs. LIFE CYCLE Female bison are ready to mate when they are two to three years old. Males aren't ready to mate until they are about six. Mating season begins in July and can run through September. When mating season begins, male bison move into female groups and select a female. They then "tend" the female. Males tend a female by staying between her and the rest of the herd. Tending can last for a few minutes or for several days. If a female isn't interested in a male, she will walk away. Males will threaten and sometimes attack other males that try to get too close to a female he is tending. Fights between males can involve head butting, shoving, or locking horns. The female gives birth to one calf after about nine months. She will go to an isolated area to give birth. Newborn bison are reddish brown and can stand shortly after birth. The mother and her calf will stay isolated from the herd for a couple of days. At about two months, the calf will begin to develop shoulder humps and horns. The calf is usually weaned by the time it is seven months old. WOLVES HUNTING BISON Movie (Short National Geographic clip) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CT_3QiWQh8M ...
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- Spring '08
- The Land, Prairie, bison, American Bison