Linzey, Donald W. Wytheville Community College, Wytheville, Virginia.
Curtin, Charles B. Department of Biology, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska.
Last reviewed:April 2021
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The name for two species within the genus Bison of the cattle family Bovidae in the mammalian order Artiodactyla found in North America and Europe. Bison are artiodactyl mammals belonging to the genus Bison (family Bovidae). The North American bison (Bison bison; see illustration) is often called buffalo, but should not be confused with the Old World water buffalo. The European species (Bison bonasus) is commonly known as the wisent. Bison are particularly noted for a massive head, short neck, high hump at the shoulders, and short, curved, rounded horns that are never shed. The pelage of the head, neck, and shoulders is long, shaggy, and brownish-black. Short hairs of a lighter color cover the remainder of the body. The short tail is haired and tufted at the tip. A distinct beard formed by long, woolly hair is usually present on the chin of these mammals. See also: Artiodactyla; Buffalo; Mammalia
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