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Now the stuff of old western films, bison (or North American buffalo) once roamed the North American prairie in vast numbers, making annual migrations along traditional routes. Now, due to widespread commercial hunting since the arrival of European settlers, the bison is virtually extinct in the wild.

Massively built, standing as tall as 6.5 feet at the shoulder, the bison can run at speeds of up to 37 mph. Its sense of hearing and smell are excellent and essential for detecting danger. Although there are still some wild herds, they now migrate within the boundaries of national parks.

Conservation status | Near threatened

Fact Sheet

Scientific name

Bison bison

Family

Bovidae

Order

Artiodactyla

Lifespan

18 to 22 years

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