Chapter

Bison Athletics

Dale F. Lott

in American Bison

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780520233386
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520930742 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520233386.003.0004
Bison Athletics

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While buffalo leaps and sprints are spectacular, walking is the athletic talent that brings the animals to food and water day after day. Bison are roamers. The energy cost is high; bulls weigh about a ton. When a vehicle that size is fueled with blades of grass, every blade has to count. So the athletic challenge becomes like one of those competitions to see how far a vehicle can travel on a gallon of gas. It's all about efficiency — getting the most out of every drop of gas or blade of grass. The bulls are built to be quick in battle. To protect their body with their head, they need to pivot around their front feet. They have a great form for that function: much of their weight is centered over their front legs.

Keywords: movement; bison; walking; buffalo; energy cost; energy efficiency

Chapter.  2539 words. 

Subjects: Biological Sciences

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