Bison are very symbolic animals of the Great Plains and are often mistakenly called buffaloes. They are large grazers that feed on plains grasses, herbs, shrubs, and twigs. Just like all cows, they regurgitate their food and chew it as cud before final digestion. Despite their massive size, bison can run at speeds up to 40 miles an hour. They have curved sharp horns that may grow to be two feet long. Female cows and adult males live in small groups and come together with other large herds during the summer mating season. During the 19th century, settlers killed some 50 million bison for food, sport, and to deprive the Native Americans of their most important asset. Bison numbers today have rebounded and about 200,000 bison live on preserves and ranches. Did you know the bison’s thick, shaggy coat is so well insulated that snow can settle on its back without melting?