Friday, October 14, 2005

Friday Farm Blogging: American Buffalo

These are American Buffalos, Bison bison (click the pic to enlarge). I photographed them last week while returning from my trip to see the tree in the silo.Most people know at least a little about these large animals and their history in America. But I photographed, and posted these animals because I haven't seen any on farms around here before.

As usual, Wikipedia provides a good source of information. Here is an interesting paragraph on the interactions between the Native Americans, which provides a perspective that I had not considered before.

Bison were central to the lifestyle of Native Americans of the Great Plains. But there is now some controversy over their interaction. "Hernando De Soto's expedition staggered through the Southeast for four years in the early sixteenth century and saw hordes of people but apparently didn't see a single bison," Charles C. Mann writes in to 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. Mann discusses the evidence that North American Indians not only created (by selective use of fire) the large grasslands that provided the bison's ideal habitat, but also kept the bison population regulated. In this theory, it was only when the Indian population was decimated by wave after wave of epidemic (from diseases of Europeans) that the bison herds propagated wildly.

To get a visual image of how just how much buffalo killing went on back then, take a look at this picture of the massive pile of buffalo skulls which can also be seen on the right side of the above mentioned article.

Don't forget to check out Modulator's Friday Ark!

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Blogger Niobium said...

that picture is very very disturbing.

9:08 AM  

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