Culture and History -  Bison (23 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
From: Isis (georgia18) DelphiPlus Member Icon1/20/06 10:50 AM 
To: All  (1 of 1) 
Did you know…

American Plains Buffalo are not true Buffalo.  Buffalo is just a
nickname given to them by the early explorers and settlers.  True
Buffalos are the Cape Buffalo and Water Buffalo of Africa and Asia. 
American "Buffalo" are actually Bison and are close relatives to
cattle.  The Lakota (Sioux) call them Tatanka.

Bison are sacred to Native Americans.  "Brother Buffalo" provided
their food, shelter, and clothing.  Bison bones, rawhide, and other
parts were also used for making ceremonial items, drums, tools,
weapons, and decorations.  Bison are good "medicine".  When the great
herds of bison were gone from the plains, this made the Plains
Indians very sad and much damage was done to their spirit and their
diet.  Now many tribes have their own growing bison herds and this is
good for their spirit and their diet.

Durring the 1700s there were 40-60 million bison roaming North
America where they had lived for thousands of years.  Train travel
made it possible for many people to go west and due to the war
against the indians, and the desire for buffalo hides and tongues,
almost all of the bison were killed.  By the late 1800s there was
less than a thousand bison left.  A few ranchers, parks, and zoos
saved the bison from becoming extinct.  Now there are over 350,000
bison in North America.  Bison are back!

Bison are known for the large herds that once roamed the great plains
but they also were found in the east…even in Pennsylvania.  The bison
in the east roamed in smaller herds because there was less grass and
more trees here.  The last wild bison in Pennsylvania was killed in
the late 1700s while there were still great herds in the west.

Bison are the only "cattle" native to North America.

Bison are North America's largest land mammal.  Some bulls grow to
weigh over a ton.

Bison's favorite food is grass.

Mother Bison are called cows, young female bison are heifers, male
bison are bulls, and the babies are calves.

Bison calves can run with the herd and swim the same day they are

Both male and female bison have horns.

Bison can live 30-40 years.

The big bulls are not the leaders of the bison herd.  The leaders of
the herd are the old grandmother cows.

Bison look big and slow but they are as quick and agile as most
horses.  They can run up to 40 miles per hour, they can jump a six
foot fence, and they are good swimmers.

Bison are very playful.  Sometimes they love to just run around. 
Bison also like to play king-of-the-mountain.

When a bison gets mad it raises it's tail straight up in the air.

Bison have very thick fur to keep them warm in blizzards.  They eat
snow to get a drink when the lakes and streams are frozen.  And they
use their head as a snow-plow to get to the grasses buried under
several feet of snow.

Bison shed their thick winter fur in the Spring so they are
comfortable in the Summer heat.  It is fun to watch them rub up
against trees and roll around in the dirt trying to get rid of their
itchy winter coat.

Bison also "wallow" or roll around in the dirt to make a dust cloud
to chase away flys and to impress other bison.

"Buffalo chips" were used as fuel because there were no trees for
firewood on the great plains.

Bison do not moo.  They grunt and roar.

Bison are not very good house-pets.

Buffalo do not have wings.

Tsoo Gus Us Di Au Ga Hi


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