- Title Pages
- Organisms and Environments
- Part one Relationships, Relationships
- Chapter 1 Bull to Bull and Cow to Bull
- Chapter 2 Cow to Cow
- Chapter 3 Cow to Calf
- Part Two The Machinery of a Bison’s Life
- Chapter 4 Bison Athletics
- Chapter 5 Digestion
- Chapter 6 Temperature Control
- Part Three Whence they Came Forth, and how Much they Multiplied
- Chapter 7 Ancestors and Relatives
- Chapter 8 How Many?
- Part Four The Bison’s Neighborhood
- Chapter 9 The Central Grassland
- PART FIVE The Bison’s Neighbors
- Chapter 10 Wolves and Bison
- Chapter 11 Buffalo Birds
- Chapter 12 Diseases and Parasites
- Chapter 13 Pronghorn
- Chapter 14 Prairie Dogs
- Chapter 15 Badgers
- Chapter 16 Coyotes
- Chapter 17 Grizzlies
- Chapter 18 Ferrets
- Part Six Human and Buffalo
- Chapter 19 Close Encounters of the Buffalo Kind
- Chapter 20 To Kill a Bison
- Chapter 21 Bison Numbers before the Great Slaughter
- Chapter 22 Where have all the Bison Gone?
- Chapter 23 Attitudes
- Chapter 24 Conservation
- Chapter 25 A Great Plains Park
Cow to Calf
Cow to Calf
- (p.28) Chapter 3 Cow to Calf
- American Bison
Dale F. Lott
- University of California Press
This chapter discusses the social relationships of calves, especially their relationship with their mother. The name of ruminants comes from the practice of bringing up fist-sized wads (boluses) of partially digested plants from the fore part of the stomach and ruminating: meditatively chewing, then reswallowing, the boluses. Adult bison spend a good part of their day ruminating; it's an essential part of their digestion. But bison calves don't ruminate for the first three months. Mother's milk makes this way of life possible, and the relationship between the cow and the calf is what makes mother's milk available. The calf needs to stay close to its mother, and to nurse. Evolution not only made nursing a necessity but set up a positive feedback loop. Nursing releases oxytocin, so the more the calf nurses the more mother loves it; and the more she loves it the more she allows it to nurse.
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