Wood bison are the largest native land mammals in the Western Hemisphere, 10 to 15% heavier than plains bison. Bulls are slightly larger than cows and average around 1,800 pounds, but can get up to 2,000 pounds. Both males and females have short black horns, but the femaleâs horns are straight and the maleâs curve slightly inward. Males can reach 12.5 feet long and almost 6 feet tall. The shoulders are massive and humped, with the head carried low. They can live up to 22 years in the wild, and more than 30 years in captivity.
The wood bison differs from the plains bison in several ways. The animals are larger and darker in color, with a taller, square hump, smaller, more pointed beard, and long, straight hair on the forehead (as opposed to frizzy hair). Also, the wood bisonâs cape does not form a distinct boundary behind the shoulder.
Photo Credit: Laura Whitehouse/USFWS
March 28, 2014
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