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American Bison: A Natural History by Dale F. Lott

By Dale F. Lott

American Bison combines the newest clinical info and one man's own adventure in an homage to at least one of the main marvelous animals to have roamed America's large, vanished grasslands. Dale F. Lott, a unusual behavioral ecologist who was once born at the nationwide Bison variety and has studied the buffalo for a few years, relates what's recognized approximately this iconic animal's lifestyles within the wild and its afflicted heritage with people. Written with strange grace and verve, American Bison takes us on a trip into the bison's earlier and stocks a compelling imaginative and prescient for its destiny, supplying alongside the way in which a worthwhile advent to North American prairie ecology. We turn into Lott's partners within the box as he acquaints us with the social lifestyles and body structure of the bison, sharing tales approximately its notable actual prowess and interesting relationships. Describing the full grassland neighborhood within which the bison stay, he writes concerning the wolves, pronghorn, prairie canines, grizzly bears, and different animals and crops, detailing the interdependent relationships between those population of a misplaced panorama. Lott additionally lines the lengthy and dramatic courting among the bison and local americans, and offers a shocking examine the heritage of the disguise hunts that introduced the coup de gr?ce to the already dwindling bison inhabitants in a number of brief years. This ebook supplies us a peek on the wealthy and detailed methods of existence that developed within the middle of the United States. Lott additionally dismantles a number of the myths we've got created approximately those methods of lifestyles, and in regards to the bison particularly, to bare the animal itself: ruminating, reproducing, and rutting in its complete glory. His portrait of the bison finally turns into a plea to preserve its wildness and an eloquent meditation at the value of the wild in our lives. forty b/w images, 2 maps

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If the bull was impressed, it didn’t show. He stood where he had landed for a quiet moment, then, with an air of “been here, done this,” cropped a mouthful of grass from the side of the road and walked on—patiently and efficiently. 42 B I S O N AT H L E T I C S National Bison Range personnel countered the buffalo hop strategy by placing two cattle guards end to end. Now a bull would have to hop sixteen plus six feet; and so far as I know, none ever did. But buffalo bulldom had not exhausted the arrows in its quiver.

The time of choosing is a period of conflict between the cow and the many courting bulls. The more competitors, the better for her but the worse for him. His earlier behavior minimized the number, hers maximized it. But now their interests coincide, and they must cooperate and collaborate. Often the cow redirects the relationship. Her physiology is changing fast, altering her behavior along with it. Now, instead of breaking into a gallop every time the bull is distracted by a challenger, she follows him, and when he has disposed of the distraction she stands close, perhaps even positions herself in front of him.

As she gave birth, oxytocin, a hormone from her pituitary, surged into her bloodstream and onward to her brain as it does in every mammal, humans included. As her womb emptied, her heart filled and her senses absorbed the sight, sound, taste, and smell of what would be, for the months to come, her one and only. The one living thing she will nurture—and sometimes even challenge hungry wolves to protect. 29 R E L AT I O N S H I P S The calf needs to stay close to its mother, and to nurse. Evolution not only made nursing a necessity but set up a positive feedback loop.

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