Buffalo The Great Animal Of The Plains.

871 words - 3 pages

Buffalo The Great Animal Of The PlainsBuffalos or bison are one of the beasts that used to freely roam the Wild West. They are one of the strongest and most powerful animals in North America. Millions once roamed the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Today they're far fewer and less common. Most buffaloes live in national parks and protected areas.What Do Buffaloes Look Like?Buffaloes are very large animals that sort of resemble a bull. They have a big hump on their back close to their shoulders. Buffaloes have large heads to fit their body. Male buffaloes are called bulls and females are called cows. A male's head appears much larger because of its long beard. An adult male Buffalo averages 11½ feet in length and stands about six feet tall from ground to hump. While females average a little smaller these very large creatures weigh around 2,000 pounds.Changing With The SeasonsBuffalo go through several physical changes throughout the year. Their activities also change with the seasons. Buffalo fur is mostly dark brown with black patches; it is very thick and warm. To help during the cold nights in places like Wyoming where it can get to 40°F below zero. But when spring comes and it becomes warmer the buffaloes shed their thick coats. In the summer insects and fleas bother the buffalo to get rid of them, buffalo wallow- roll around in the dust and mud to smother the biting insects. In the fall the buffalo prepare for cold prairie winters. It summer coat turns dark and thick while the first layer is wooly to hold in the warmth.In the 1700s, buffalo traveled in herds of thousands across the plains. In the late fall and winter the bison separate into smaller groups. The Cows and the calves- and the bulls. It is easier to find food this way. During the winter they separated many times in search of food. Today bison already travel in smaller groups in protected areas. But in the winter finding food is still challenging.MigrationWhen the bison roamed the prairies in great numbers they developed a pattern of migration. Bison migrated during the year to find enough food. After migrating, bison would find and claim a range. Often Buffalo migrated to hills and mountains in the spring and summer. There they found plenty of food and water and the temperature was much cooler. In fall and winter the walked to lower prairies to find food. The prairies had less snow over the grasses and plants that the bison ate. During the winter they usually traveled one to two miles in...

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