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Medicine Bow Mountains

This mountain range is to the southeast in this scene. Bison once lived there, too, even at high elevations.

Black-Tailed Prairie Dog

Bison kept the grass low enough for prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) to colonize: short grass is more nutritious and exposes predators.

Bison Wallow

Bison make wallows, or depressions in the soil or mud, and roll around in them in part to escape heat and insects. These shallow dishes of dirt store precious rainwater during dry periods.

Blue Grama

Like buffalograss, blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) is a drought-resistant native grass favored by bison. It has distinctive curved flowerheads. 

Buffalograss

Bison thrived on short-grass prairies, where this short, native grass was abundant.

Brown-Headed Cowbird

Grazing bison rustle insects in the grass and cowbirds (Molothrus ater) follow closely to eat them. 

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

Open daily from 10 am - 5:45 pm
except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
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