- Series: Organisms and Environments (Book 6)
- Paperback: 245 pages
- Publisher: University of California Press (September 10, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0520240626
- ISBN-13: 978-0520240629
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,119,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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American Bison: A Natural History (Organisms and Environments) 0th Edition
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From Library Journal
This rare jewel of a book is the most extensive description of bison natural history ever published. It will be of value to the scholar as a synthesis and state-of-the-art review, but at the same time it is fun, witty, intriguing, often fascinating, and targeted to the educated lay reader. Not only does behavioral ecologist Lott (Intraspecific Variation in the Social Systems of Wild Vertebrates) have the academic chops to write such a book-he is a biology professor emeritus of the University of California, Davis-but he also literally grew up among the buffalo (his father was superintendent of the National Bison Range). Here he details the history of the American bison, bison physiology, conservation efforts past and present, and the relationships buffalo have with other buffalo as well as such grasslands cohorts as wolves, badgers, prairie dogs, coyotes, and grizzlies. While the text has no citation numbers, a notes section at the end directs the scholar to the sources used. Highly recommended for all academic and public libraries.
Lynn C. Badger, Univ. of Florida Lib., Gainesville
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The American bison--known almost universally, if inaccurately, as buffalo--was the dominant species of the Great Plains. These enormous (2,000 pounds for a mature bull) bovines once covered the grasslands of the American West, roughly 30 million strong, until the "pacification" of the Native Americans and the concurrent slaughter of the bison reduced the great herds to mere thousands in the late 1800s. Lott, a retired wildlife professor who has written numerous scientific papers on bison, has produced a wonderful introduction to this most American mammal. Drawing on his research, the studies of other scientists, and some of the historic writings on the species, the author has put together a marvelous state-of-the-art examination of what is known about the bison. Lott writes of bison with immediacy and fondness--he grew up on the National Bison Range in Montana--tempered with a scientist's careful winnowing of the facts and mixed into a narrative form that invites the reader to explore. Nancy Bent
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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after reading his book, I now admire them too. It's easy to discredit them after seeing so many standing around beside and
on the roads in Yellowstone but they are really fascinating with their very successful adaptations. We saw a herd of bison
race across Lamar Valley, through the Lamar River, and up the opposite hillside with a little blond calf in the lead. It was
great. There is a lot more to them than most visitors realize. I suspected this might be the case which is why I bought this book.
I was glad I did. I have one big question about Lott's study though. His work is almost entirely from the National Bison Range
which is an entirely fenced preserve. Very different from where wild bison naturally live. It would be more relevant I think if
he would do some work in Yellowstone, esp. now that there are wolves.
In stark contrast, Lott's book is a joy to read. Just because a species is interesting doesn't ensure that a book on it will be. Lott gives these amazing creatures the treatment they deserve. The reader can tell that Lott really enjoyed writing this book. His writing is entertaining, humorous when appropriate and packed with a ton of information.
Eveb if you're not into wildlife, bison or the prairie, I'd still recommend this book. Bison are an important part of the ecology, history and psychology of this nation. Lott reminds us that bison are in our blood.
Almost every aspect of bison - their intraspecific and interspecific relationships - are covered in easy-to-read and personally-observed detail. The author is a wildlife ecologist specializing in social relationships. He grew up with bison on The National Bison Refuge in Montana and went on to become a respected wildlife scientist. He's a good storyteller, master of the telling detail, and slyly humorous. If you're deeply interested in bison and their habitats, it doesn't get any better than this - best popular science book available on the subject and well worth the price.
Throughout the book, Prof. Lott sprinkles interesting comments which grab your attention. He defines the bison as "Living according to a `fat economy'", which means, as with bears, the bison must accumulate enough food reserves in the Spring and Summer to last them through the cruel Winter. He calls this, "making fat while the sun shines." In the chapter on "Digestion", he describes the necessity of bacteria in the many stomachs of bison for the breaking down of the grasses which they eat. Then, out of the clear blue, he brings in the analogy, "It's a sobering fact that 12 or 13 percent of a bottle of ...Champagne is bacteria pee." (Page 49) These little gems are scattered throughout an otherwise serious book that tells you more than you could imagine about the American Bison. Read the book because of the subject, but then, read the book just to see how many common sayings the author has twisted to fit the subject!