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American BisonA Natural History$
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Dale Lott, Jan van Wagtendonk, and Kevin Shaffer

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780520233386

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520233386.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 21 May 2022

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.

Keywords:   bison, feeding, grass, treeless savannas, Great Plains

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