There are two species of bison, one from Europe and one from North America. The North American variety is the largest land animal on the continent and is divided into two species: one that prefers the plains, and another that prefers wooded environments. Due to conservation efforts, these huge bovines have been able to recover from the brink of extinction and are now a popular attraction for visitors to parks like Yellowstone National Park.
History: Bison are commonly seen in Yellowstone National Park, where they number roughly 5,000 individuals. They should be treated with respect and caution if encountered, as they can be quite dangerous. Their usual movements are deliberate and slow, which makes many people believe they are gentle and docile creatures. However, they can outrun humans easily and will not hesitate to charge if provoked.
Scientific Name: Bison bison
Characteristics: Bison can sprint at speeds over 35 miles per hour, so don't let their size fool you.
Fun Fact: In Wyoming, they're referred to as buffalo, not bison.