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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Bison


BIS'ON, noun [Latin A quadruped of the bovine genus, usually but improperly called the buffalo. The proper buffalo is a distinct species, peculiar to the warmer climates of the Eastern Continent. The bison is a wild animal, with short, black, rounded horns, with a great interval between their bases. On the shoulders is a large hunch, consisting of a fleshy substance. The head and hunch are covered with a long undulated fleece, of a rust-color, divided into locks. In winter, the whole body is covered in this manner; but in summer, the hind part of the body is naked, and wrinkled. The tail is about a foot long, naked, except a tuft of hairs at the end. The fore parts of the body are very thick and strong; the hind parts are slender and weak. These animals inhabit the interior parts of North America, and some of the mountainous parts of Europe and Asia.

Pennant alleges that the bison of America is the same species of animal as the bison and aurochs of Europe, the bonasus of Aristotle, the urus of Caesar, the bos ferus or wild ox of Strabo, the bison of Pliny, and the biston of Oppian.

Cuvier has not separated the bison of America from that of Europe, He considers their identity as doubtful. The former has the legs and tail shorter, and the hairs of its head and neck longer than in the latter.

Cuvier has not separated the bison of America from that of Europe. He considers their identity as doubtful. The former has the legs and tail shorter, and the hairs of its head and neck longer than in the latter.