Bison is the official state animal of Oklahoma. The bison was entitled as Oklahoma’s state animal in 1972. The scientific name of the state animal of Oklahoma is Bison bison. The American buffalo, also known as bison, has always held great meaning for American Indian people. Buffalo represents their spirit and reminds them of how their lives were once lived, free and in harmony with nature.
The American Buffalo, or Bison, was adopted by Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 101 on March 29, 1972. The Oklahoma State Legislature named the bison Oklahoma’s official state animal by concurrent resolution and it is, therefore, not listed in the Oklahoma Statutes.
State animal of Oklahoma Facts—
- Common Name: Bison or American bison or American buffalo
- Scientific Name: Bison bison
- Color: Dark-brown winter coat, and a lighter-weight, lighter-brown summer coat
- Height: Head-and-body lengths range from 2 to 3.5 m (6.6 to 11.5 ft) long, the tail adding 30 to 91 cm (12 to 36 in)
- Weight: 800 to 2000 pounds
- Diet: Grass, sagebrush
- Cubs: 1 calf per season
- Major strength: Powerful neck and upper body strength
- Lifespan: 1-20 years
Oklahoma’s state animal, bison, is an enormous animal that weighs from 800 to 2,000 pounds and stands nearly six feet high at the shoulder. A big head, high hump on the shoulders and dark brown shaggy hair characterize the buffalo. Bison are part of the family Bovidae It is the family to which cattle and goats belong. They are not in the same family that Asian and African buffalo are.
However, because they resembled these old world animals, the early explorers called them by that name. The hump, along with a broad, massive head, short, thick neck and small hindquarters give the animal its rugged appearance. Bison are year-round grazers. They feed mostly on grasses, but when food is scarce, they will eat vegetation such as sagebrush. On the average, bison ingest 1.6% of their body mass per day of dry plants. Bison require water every day as well.