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  • Bisonte europeo en Zoo Aquarium de Madrid. Zoológico Madrid.
  • Bisonte Europeo | Zoo Aquarium de Madrid

Common name:

European bison

Scientific name:

Bison bonasus

Weight:

300-920 kg.

Size:

150-200 cm.
Mammals
Herbivore
Temperate forest and Taiga
Europe

Conservation

Vulnerable
Vulnerable

Who is it?

This bison is the largest mammal in Europe , and it looks very similar to its American cousin, though it has a slighter appearance (as well as lacking a hump). The fur of the adults, which is brown, is darker than that of the calves, and it grows all over its head, shoulder and neck. They have a little “beard” on their throats, while the hair on their legs is short (unlike the American bison). Both sexes have horns and they may as much as 50 cm long. They inhabit dense, temperate and moist forests in Eastern Europe.

What are its habits?

The European bison  lives in small hidden herds of between 10 and 30 individuals and, despite its heavy appearance , is very fast. . That allows it fiercely to defend its calves from attacks from bears and wolves. Likewise, they are good swimmers and enjoy submerging themselves in swamps. The breeding season is between August and September, after which the gestation takes place, which lasts between 260 and 270 days. The females give birth to a single calf, removing themselves to give birth. They are herbivorous mammals.

Did you know…

The First World War almost killed off this species. At the end of the conflict there were barely 60 bison left in the whole continent.

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