The Buffalo of Caprock Canyon

I’ve spoken about this before. One of the things that rocked me when I saw the buffalo was how small they are. I mean, small compared to my expectations. I think they’ve been so built up in our minds through mythology they have taken on some larger size both in meaning and cultural identity.

They’re mostly cow-sized with over-sized heads. They are not monsters. Okay, some of the bulls are large. But I was still struck by how much smaller they truly are than what I had built up in my mind. Nevertheless, they are fascinating animals.

 


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2 Comments

  1. I’ve noticed that modern bison raised on ranches tend to be shorter and heavier than their plains-wandering brethren. There was a stuffed one in the Buffalo Bill Historical Museum in Cody, Wyoming that was every bit of 6 feet high at the shoulder. In my years of living in Wyoming and later in Utah where they have a small herd on Antelope Island, I never saw a live one that big. I don’t know if it’s something to do with modern genetics or simply changes in diet. Bison have shrunk in height and got portly through the years. Sometimes ranchers cross them with cows, making a hybrid called beefalo, which are always cow sized and not humongus like Mr. Scary from Buffalo Bill Center. šŸ™‚

    You know me from Live Journal, btw.

    Reply
    • Ah, that explains things! I was surprised because I thought these animals were much larger than what I was seeing at Caprock. You may be right, it might have something to do with genetics and the way they are being bred. Thanks! šŸ™‚

      Reply

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