new icn messageflickr-free-ic3d pan white
Plains Bison | by neil.fisher
Back to photostream

Plains Bison

Bison defecate roughly twelve times a day, each bison patty weights around 1 kilogram and covers an average of 0.4 square metres, which means annually a single bison would create 1.8 square kilometres of dung, weighing roughly 4,200 kilograms. Consider that the dung of the 400 bison in Grasslands National Park in one year would cover just over 700 square kilometres. The burrowing owl is just one species that benefits greatly from the presence of bison dung. There are few tool-using animals on our planet, but it appears the burrowing owl is one of them. They owl’s collect bison dung, placing it at the entrance of their burrow in order to bait prey insects. Dung inside the owl’s burrow is used to attract potential mates, regulate humidity and reduce levels of carbon dioxide. Historical accounts suggest that in mid summer a bison patty would completely disappear in three days. The primary bison patty thieves are dung beetles, who roll away balls of dung many times larger than their own bodies.


Learn more at

0 faves
Taken on May 1, 2015