| American bison|
Bison are wild cattle of the tribe Bovini, family Bovidae, and immediately characterized from any other species of cattle within that tribe by the presence of a shaggy head and forequarters.
At one time bison herds roamed the plains and valleys from western Canada down to Mexico, serving an important part of Native American culture and survival, but were almost hunted to extinction by European settlers by 1900; in Europe the herds - once the subject of prehistoric art on cave walls - were decimated by over-hunting and war. Conservation efforts during the 20th century managed to pull both species from the brink.
There are two living species of the genus Bison:
- Bison bison, American bison, or American buffalo; North America
- Bison bonasus, European bison, or wisent; eastern Europe
The following species are known only from fossilized or frozen remains, the latest extinction taking place ca. 3,000 B.C.
- Bison antiquus, ancient bison
- Bison latifrons, giant ice age bison
- Bison occidentalis
- Bison palaeosinensis
- Bison priscus, steppe bison
- Bison schoetensacki, woodland bison
- Wisent (European Bison)