Chapter

The Central Grassland

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/9780520233386.003.0009
The Central Grassland

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All animals eat plants, directly or indirectly. Bison eat them directly, feeding on grasses. Grasses evolved relatively recently (for plants) and came to dominate the treeless savannas that began to emerge some 30 million years ago. The great savanna between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains — the Great Plains grassland — took its present form only after the last ice age ended around 10,000 years ago. During some periods a wetter climate supported trees and the area was partially wooded. But for most of the past 10,000 years, it has been a grassland occupied by a peculiarly American suite of savanna inhabitants.

Keywords: bison; feeding; grass; treeless savannas; Great Plains

Chapter.  5123 words. 

Subjects: Biological Sciences

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