I’ll admit it. I went looking for this one. The American Bison evolved with their massive heads and necks so they could plow their way through the prodigious snows of the American Great Plains. You probably know these animals colloquially as “buffalo,” but that is a misnomer. Buffalo are a very different animal.
In 1800, an estimated 50,000,000 bison roamed the Great Plains, but they were hunted for meat, for their skins, to undermine the Native American cultures that traditionally depended on the animals, and often for sport. Within a few decades the population was reduced to less than a thousand animals. Yep, that’s how we roll.
They are magnificent animals–more impressive, I think, than the great predators (Griz, Wolves) that hog the wild west spotlight–and certainly more charismatic.