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Discover the Wild World of Bison: Top 8 Fun Facts You Won't Believe!

illustration of bison
Get ready to embark on a fascinating journey through the world of bison, where we'll uncover some truly un-bison-lievable fun facts!

1. Bison's Manicure Musings

What did the bison say when he got a manicure? "My horns are made of the same keratin material, darling!": Male bison have incredibly thick horns composed of keratin – the same stuff as our fingernails and hair – that grow throughout their lives, while female bison sport thinner, curved horns.
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2. Bison's Super Senses

Who needs 20/20 vision when your nose and ears are top-notch: bison may be farsighted, but their extraordinary senses of smell and hearing make up for it, as cows and calves chitchat with adorable pig-like grunts, while bulls woo with love ballads that can be overheard from miles away.
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3. Bisonarchs: Herd Hierarchy

If the bison world had a reality TV show, it would definitely be called "Keeping Up with the Bisonarchs": Older and larger male bison hold the top spots in the dominance hierarchy, overshadowing their younger and smaller counterparts, while the wise, seasoned females take charge of decision-making for the group. Age, body weight, and maternal rank all play crucial roles in a bison's status among its herd.
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4. Buffa-lawn Snow Plowers

If buffa-lawn mowers were a thing, bison would be the seasonal all-star winter edition: Their hump is actually a muscle that lets them use their massive heads like snow plows, helping them uncover buried plants and survive harsh Yellowstone winters.
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Bison Sprinting to Olympic Glory

5. Bison Sprinting to Olympic Glory

If bison were to enter the Olympics, they'd certainly win gold in the 100-meter dash for "largest land mammal" category: Despite their daunting size, these majestic beasts can sprint at speeds up to 40 miles per hour, while effortlessly dodging gray wolves, brown bears, grizzly bears, and coyotes that would love to make them their dinner.
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6. Buffa-LOL Identity Crisis

Buffa-LOL, what a mix-up! Bison and buffalo are often mistaken for each other in an identity crisis that's straight out of a mammalian sitcom: In reality, bison are exclusive to the North American scene, boasting their own scientific name, Bison bison bison, with a staggering weight of up to 2,000 pounds and the ability to bolt at an impressive 35 miles per hour, securing their title as North America's largest, speediest land mammals.
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7. Keeping Up with the Bison Socialites

Move over, Kardashian clan: bison herds are the true socialites of the animal world, huddled together like overzealous fans at a concert. Bison don't just group up with their moms and calves, they're all about mingling with siblings and other relatives: In fact, dominant females lead these social circles that include offspring, siblings, and other family members, governing the herd for decades with their 20-year life span.
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8. Bison: Grazing and Roaming Rebels

Bison: the ultimate grazers and ruminant rebels. Unlike their bovine brethren who clump together and munch one patch down to the ground before moo-ving on, bison sip from the grassy buffet with the grace of an experienced brunch-goer: These free-range foragers spread out and cover enormous prairie landscapes, lightly grazing as they roam, and their industrial-sized stomachs take extra time to digest even the toughest grasses, making them perfect for reintroducing to native habitats for conservation purposes.
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