Bisons and Pronghon Antelopes
Reel Duration: 6’37”
Yellowstone is the only place in the United States where bisons have lived continuously since prehistoric times. Yellowstone bisons are exceptional because they comprise the nation’s largest bison population on public land and are among the few bison herds that have not been hybridized through interbreeding with cattle. Unlike most other herds, this population has thousands of individuals that are allowed to roam relatively freely over the expansive landscape of Yellowstone National Park and some nearby areas of Montana.
They also exhibit wild behavior like their ancient ancestors, congregating during the breeding season to compete for mates, as well as migration and exploration that result in the use of new habitat areas. These behaviors have enabled the successful restoration of a population that was on the brink of extinction just over a century ago.
The North American pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) is the surviving member of a group of animals that evolved in North America during the past 20 million years. It is not a true antelope, which is found in Africa and southeast Asia.
The use of the term “antelope” seems to have originated when the first written description of the animal was made during the 1804–1806 Lewis and Clark Expedition.