Features and habitat of the bison
An animal of the bison species, a very strong and powerful representative of the fauna. Bisons belong to the family of Polar bears and are similar to bison, they are even sometimes confused, however, these are completely two different species.
Although, they can successfully interbreed and give viable offspring. True, such «families» can only happen in the wild, because tame buffalo, domesticate them, yet can not.
The appearance of this animal inspires respect even among the most avid skeptics. The body length of such an ox can reach 3 meters, and at the withers it is about 2 meters. Weight exceeds a ton.
The females, however, are more elegant, their weight fluctuates around 700 kg. No photo can convey the true size and strength of the animal, because bison are considered the largest beasts on earth. The bull’s head is large, powerful, on a strong, thick neck. Small ears, thick horns, with ends curved inward. Eyes large, dark in color and large, pronounced forehead.
The wool on the head, beard and chest is long and darker than on the rest of the body. Because of this coat, the animal looks even more frightening. In addition, there is a hump on the bison’s scruff, which makes the front part of the animal immense. The back is covered with a shorter coat, so it looks slightly smaller.
In fact, this part is much weaker in the bison. If the front of the animal is painted in a dark brown color, then the back of the trunk is slightly lighter. The legs are strong and strong. According to scientists, bison appeared about 5 million years ago.
Only earlier they were even larger, approximately, twice. It is terrible to imagine an animal about 4 meters high and more than 5 meters long, namely such was the ancestor of a modern bison.
With climate change had to change and the animal. The buffaloes have adapted to the new conditions, however, they have lost much in size. The habitat of the animal was more voluminous, for example, earlier these animals of North America occupied it all, but now they live only in the western and northern side of Missouri.
They prefer terrains with dense and juicy vegetation. Especially comfortable bison in the plains, meadows, woodlands, prairies. Especially rare were the forest bison, they went into the marsh forests, in the wilderness, but their numbers are constantly falling.
In order to restore the number of these animals or, at least, to stop its fall, numerous ranches are created. This is where the bison bison is bred and for raising the livestock, and for commercial needs.
The nature and way of life of the bison
Bison is a bright representative of herd animals. Such herds can be huge, up to 20,000 individuals, where the most experienced and older male is the chief.
Sometimes, if there are many heads in the herd, several males may be the main ones at once. It is interesting that males and females with calves form their own, other herds. The main in the herd protect the buffalo from unexpected danger, and since this beast has excellent hearing and smell (they recognize the odor by a smell at a distance of up to 3 km), it is almost impossible to catch animals unawares.
It would seem that such a machine should be too clumsy. But this is too dangerous a delusion, because the bull can be quite clever, it easily manages its powerful body — gallops, jumps obstacles up to a height of 1.8 m, by the way, this fact also forced the Americans to abandon the idea of taming a bison.
In speed, not inferior to the horse. If necessary, he can overtake the horse. It is also noteworthy that the buffalo are excellent on the water. Herds are able to swim for quite a long distance.
But it’s good, if the bison is calm, then it is calm, leisurely and balanced. But if this animal provokes anger, then it poses a serious danger to any enemy, and man is no exception.
He is uncontrollable, fierce and merciless. But not reckless. If the bison realizes that he is a more serious opponent, he does not hesitate to retreat. By the way, the feeling of nobility for this animal is also a distant concept.
There are examples of how bison not only left their relatives to be eaten by wolves, but also knocked down the poor fellow, making it easier for the pack of wolves to task. So, probably, the herd gets rid of weak and unhealthy individuals. The bison’s voice corresponds to his appearance-powerful, deaf, low, or roaring, or mooing.
Listen to the bison’s voice
It feeds on this giant exclusively herbivorous food. Bison is a herbivore. In order to feed himself, he needs up to 25 kg of grass a day. It is food that makes these animals roam from place to place.
When summer comes, they calmly feed on the broad northern plains, and with the advent of winter they move to the south. Return bison to the north only in the spring, when the ground is again covered with young grass.
Kochuyu for long distances, animals choose a path that passes near the watering hole. The herds of migrating animals were earlier so great that it was impossible to move trains and even steamers during their movement.
In winter, when the snow covers the ground, the animals can get dry grass even under a meter layer. First they hoofs break the snowdrifts, and then the pit dig holes. Therefore, very often they have a bald head on their foreheads.
The frost itself is not terrible to bison, because their hair is thick and dense, but the difficulties with food sometimes make themselves felt. Therefore, bulls eat moss, lichens, and tree branches in food.
Reproduction and life expectancy
Bison do not create permanent pairs, male can have a harem of 5 females. And the mating season of these animals is quite long — from May to September.
At this time the herd of males is reunited with a herd of females, forming a single herd in which serious fights are held for the attention of female individuals. Two males bump their foreheads and butt to the finish. It happens that such battles end and the death of a weaker enemy. But the winner is rewarded with the love of the female.
Most often, after pairing the female in the herd does not remain, but it happens that the calf is born right in the herd. Adult bisons to the baby are treated with tenderness and attention — they lick, protect, show interest.
The calf (and the female produces one calf, very rarely two), within an hour can stand on its feet and follow the mother. Mother for him and protection, and nutrition, because he eats her milk.
Toddlers quickly gain weight, they become playful, restless, but always under the supervision of adult bison. Otherwise, it’s impossible, because at that age the calf is too light for wolves. At 3 — 5 years there is a maturity of young bison. The average life expectancy of these animals is only 20-25 years.