- 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
The Central Grassland
The Central Grassland
Where Buffalo Roam When They’re at Home
- (p.80) (p.81) Chapter 9 The Central Grassland
- American Bison
Dale F. Lott
- University of California Press
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.
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