Dark and light green leaves

North American Bison – Bison Bison

Status: Near Threatened

Habitat: Historically, bison were found from Alaska southward to northern Mexico. Today, they occupy a patchy distribution on public and private lands on the prairies of western North America.

Adaptations: Bison are approximately six feet tall, up to 11 feet long, and weigh over 2,000 pounds, making them the largest land animal in the western hemisphere. The shaggy, brownish-black fur is shed in the summer, revealing a shorter coat underneath. The large hump on the back is used to support the massive head, which in turn is used to clear snow away from hidden grasses.

Diet: Grasses, shrubs
Fun Fact: While they are often called “buffalo,” the true buffalo are found in Africa and Asia. Although bison have sharp senses of smell and hearing, they have poor vision. Despite their great bulk, bison are capable of running more than 30 miles an hour for an extended period of time. In 2016, the American bison was designated the national mammal of the United States of America.