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Download e-book for kindle: American Bison: A Natural History by Dale F. Lott

By Dale F. Lott

ISBN-10: 0520233387

ISBN-13: 9780520233386

American Bison combines the newest clinical details and one man's own adventure in an homage to 1 of the main impressive animals to have roamed America's massive, vanished grasslands. Dale F. Lott, a wonderful behavioral ecologist who was once born at the nationwide Bison diversity and has studied the buffalo for a few years, relates what's recognized approximately this iconic animal's existence within the wild and its background 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 important advent to North American prairie ecology. We develop into Lott's partners within the box as he acquaints us with the social existence and body structure of the bison, sharing tales approximately its outstanding actual prowess and interesting relationships. Describing the total grassland neighborhood within which the bison stay, he writes concerning the wolves, pronghorn, prairie canine, 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 stunning examine the historical past of the disguise hunts that brought the coup de gr?ce to the already dwindling bison inhabitants in a couple of brief years. This booklet offers us a peek on the wealthy and distinctive methods of lifestyles that advanced within the middle of the United States. Lott additionally dismantles a few of the myths we've got created approximately those methods of existence, and in regards to the bison specifically, to bare the animal itself: ruminating, reproducing, and rutting in its complete glory. His portrait of the bison eventually turns into a plea to preserve its wildness and an eloquent meditation at the significance of the wild in our lives. forty b/w photos, 2 maps

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In the summer, in the breeding season, they will be competitors. They may be locked in combat, even mortal combat. But this is no time to quarrel. This is a time to put on fat against the demands of the breeding season in summer and of the cold winter that will soon follow. Not all animals, not even all hoofed animals, must obey this imperative to get fat once a year. Neither the African buffalo nor the Asian buffalo ever get very fat. The seventy species of African antelope don’t either, but they don’t have to contend with winter.

The bull thrusts his muzzle into the stream of urine, then elevates his head, upper lip curled, tongue fluttering inside his mouth, his whole demeanor suggesting a gourmet’s appreciation of a fine wine. If he goes from lip-curling to tending, the chances are good that the cow will breed sometime that day. There are two phases to a cow’s getting-pregnant physiology: she must ovulate and she must become willing to breed—enter estrus. Each phase is the end point of a complex sequence of hormonal events, and chemical traces of these events appear in the cow’s urine.

And more and more of the bulls drift away to concentrate on providing their complicated digestive system with the fodder it will convert to fat to carry them through the winter. Their interactions change from constant confrontation to nearly invariable tolerance or passive avoidance. They’re not looking for any trouble, and, in the two months following the rut, they come to look a lot less like trouble. The magnificent, menacing mass of hair on their forehead and between their horns, the flowing beard, and the dancing pantaloons that gave advancing bulls such presence are gone.

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American Bison: A Natural History by Dale F. Lott


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