2023—Made for the Conditions

Snow and icy conditions dominate the existence of a Bison in Yellowstone for many months of the year. They have evolved to survive that environment. In order to eat during the snowy months, they have a powerful muscle between their shoulders that creates their characteristic hump and gives them the strength to swing their massive heads to push the snow aside as they search for what remains of the grasses on which they feed. Their thick hides and coat keep them from getting cold. And, they tolerate snow and ice that gathers on their heads and clings to their beards in the form of heavy ice balls that swing when they walk. The ice accumulates on their faces and even their eye lids and eyelashes and they continue their daily activities seemingly oblivious to the ice that clings to them. This bull paused briefly from clearing snow to look up at us, then returned to his seemingly endless search for food.