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large hoofed mammal, genus Bison, of the cattlecattle,
name for the ruminant mammals of the genus Bos, and particularly those of the domesticated species, Bos taurus and B. indica. The term oxen, broadly used, refers also to closely related animals, such as the buffalo and the bison.
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 family. Bison have short horns and humped, heavily mantled shoulders that slope downward to the hindquarters. The European bison, or wisentwisent
, name for the European bison, Bison bonasus. It is a close relative of the American bison, B. bison. Longer legged and less heavily built than its American cousin, the wisent may reach a height of 54 to 60 in.
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, Bison bonasus, has a less luxuriant mane and beard than the American species, B. bison.

The American bison is commonly called buffalo, but true buffalobuffalo,
name commonly applied to the American bison but correctly restricted to certain related African and Asian mammals of the cattle family. The water buffalo, or Indian buffalo, Bubalus bubalis, is found in S Asia.
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 are African and Asian animals of the same family. B. bison is characterized by a huge, low-slung head and massive hump; its legs are shorter than those of the wisent. Males may reach a shoulder height of over 5 ft (1.5 m), a body length of 9 ft (2.7 m), and a weight of 2,500 lb (1,130 kg). The winter coat of the American bison is dark brown and shaggy; it is shed in spring and replaced by a coat of short, light-brown fur. Bison graze on prairie grasses, migrating south in search of food in the winter.

They formerly were found over much of North America, especially on the Great Plains, and were hunted by Native Americans for their flesh and hides. During the 19th cent. they were subjected to a wholesale slaughter that resulted in their near extinction. They were killed for their tongues, regarded as a delicacy, and shot for sport from trains. Estimates of the number of bison in North America, at their peak, range from 24 million to 60 million. By the middle of the 19th cent. the bison was extinct E of the Mississippi, and by 1900 there remained only two wild herds in North America, one of plains bison in Yellowstone Park, and one of the larger variety, called wood bison, in Canada. Protective laws were passed beginning at the end of the last century, and the bison population has since risen from a few hundred to many thousands, although most bison not on federal lands have been hybridized to some degree with domestic cattle. The wood bison may have vanished as a distinct race through hybridization with the plains bison. The American bison was made the national of the United States by an act of Congress in 2016.

Bison are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Artiodactyla, family Bovidae.


See T. McHugh and V. Hobson, The Time of the Buffalo (1972); J. N. Mcdonald, North American Bison (1981); V. Geist, Buffalo Nation (1996).

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(vertebrate zoology)
The common name for two species of the family Bovidae in the order Artiodactyla; the wisent or European bison (Bison bonasus), and the American species (Bison bison).
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. a member of the cattle tribe, Bison bison, formerly widely distributed over the prairies of W North America but now confined to reserves and parks, with a massive head, shaggy forequarters, and a humped back
2. a closely related and similar animal, Bison bonasus, formerly widespread in Europe
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


GNU's replacement for the yacc parser generator. Bison runs under Unix and on Atari computers. It was written by Robert Corbett.

Latest version: 1.28, as of 2000-05-22.

As of version 1.24, Bison will no longer apply the GNU General Public License to your code. You can use the output files without restriction.

FTP or your nearest GNU archive site.

E-mail: <>.

Bison++ is a version which produces C++ output.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (


The Free Software Foundation's version of yacc.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
Interactive effects of fire, bison grazing (Bison bison) and plant community composition in tallgrass prairie.
Previous work on modern bison (Bison bison bison) in mid-latitude regions of the western United States has indicated that [sup.87]Sr/[sup.86]Sr and [delta][sup.18]O values from sequentially sampled dental enamel correspond with expectations about broad seasonal movement patterns (Britton, 2009), but it is unknown whether the methods are reliable in high-latitude regions such as the subarctic, where seasonal hydrological variability could alter migratory signatures (e.g., Douglas et al., 2013).
Performance of GPS collars on free-ranging bison (Bison bison) in northwestern Canada.
Over the past half-century, introduced 'purebred' Bison bison from Oklahoma and Montana have been added to the bison herd to improve its natural resilience (see discussions in Hoffmeister, 1986; Wakeling, 2006).
Marchello et al., Nutrient Composition of Raw and Cooked Bison bison, 2 J.
Killing of a bison, Bison bison, calf by a wolf, Canis lupus, and four coyotes, Canis latrans, in Yellowstone National Park.
Bison bison. -- Native populations of bison in north Texas were extinct by the 1880s (Dalquest & Horner 1984), but skeletal remains of the bison are commonly uncovered by excavations or erosion of stream banks in north Texas.
The Bison bison is a member of the Bovid family; although not a true buffalo, it is related to the Indian water buffalo, African Cape buffalo, and the European bison.
Numbering 50 million or more, Bison bison once thronged across the whole of North America's Great Plains.
Brucellosis in free-ranging bison (Bison bison) in Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Wood Buffalo National Parks: a review.
Strontium and Oxygen Isotope Analyses of Sequentially Sampled Modern Bison (,Bison bison bison) Teeth from Interior Alaska as a Proxy of Seasonal Mobility.