American Bison: The Iconic Symbol of the Great Plains

The American bison, also known as the American buffalo, is a majestic animal that has roamed the Great Plains of North America for thousands of years. Let's take a look at this impressive creature.


The American bison is the largest mammal in North America. Adult males can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and stand up to 6 feet tall at the shoulderFemales are slightly smaller, weighing up to 1,000 pounds and standing up to 5 feet tall at the shoulder 1.


American bison live in river valleys, on prairies and plains, and in lightly wooded areas. They prefer open or semiopen grasslands, as well as sagebrush, semiarid lands, and scrublands 1.


Bison are known for their unpredictable temperament. They can be docile and calm one moment, and then suddenly become aggressive and dangerous the next. It’s important to keep a safe distance from bison and never approach them too closely 1.


The American bison has played a significant role in the history of North America. For thousands of years, Native American tribes relied on bison for food, clothing, and shelter. In the 19th century, commercial hunting and slaughter nearly drove the species to extinction. By 1889, the population had dwindled to just 541 animals. Today, thanks to conservation efforts, the population has rebounded to roughly 31,000 wild bison 12.

Importance to American People

The American bison is an important symbol of American culture and heritage. It is the national mammal of the United States and appears on the official seal of the Department of the Interior. Bison are also a popular subject in art, literature, and music. They represent the spirit of the American West and the resilience of the human spirit 1.


The American bison is a fascinating animal that has captured the hearts and imaginations of people around the world. From its impressive size to its unpredictable temperament, the bison is a true icon of the Great Plains. We hope you enjoyed learning more about this amazing animal!