Bison are often called buffalo, though this term is also used to refer to other bovines. A bison has a shaggy, long, dark-brown winter coat, and a lighter-weight, lighter-brown summer coat. Male bison are significantly larger and heavier than females.
Bison are largely grazers, eating primarily grasses and sedges (a grass-like plant with a solid stem). Bison also drink water or consume snow on a daily basis.
Female bison live in maternal herds which include other females and their offspring. Male offspring leave their maternal herd when around three years old and either live alone or join other males in bachelor herds.
Bison have poor eyesight, but have acute hearing and an excellent sense of smell. They appear slow because of their lethargic movements, but can easily outrun humans; bison have been observed running as fast as 40 to 45 mph for 5 miles.