Friday, March 14, 2008

Big 12 Tournament

There was an upset in the Big 12 Basketball Tournament yesterday. The Baylor Bears (ranked #4) were beaten by the Colorado Buffalos (ranked #12). But could a buffalo really beat a bear?

The animal we call a "buffalo" is actually an American Bison and is distinctively different from the true buffalos of Africa and Asia. American Bison once roamed the Great Plains in vast herds that could stretch for miles. Bison society has a very rigid "pecking" order which is enforced with horn and hoof. They may look cumbersome, but easily reach speeds of 35 mph. Bison have excellent eyesight and hearing as well as an ability to remember experiences, whether good or bad. They have massive strength and size and are not easily frightened. In fact, bison are rather inquisitive. With all these positive attributes, it is no wonder they flourished in such huge numbers. Besides humans, the bison's only true predators are Wolf packs and Grizzly bears which only attempt to prey on the young or very old and infirm.

Research into Baylor University's mascot shows the Bears has been represented by a Black Bear since the 1920s. Black bears are the smallest of the three bear species found in North America. Their range is extensive, but restricted to forested areas, not the plains. Their diet is omnivorous but they mainly eat vegetation. The stocky body that gives them strength makes them a poor predator. Black bears can overheat during prolonged chases and do not have the agility of potential prey. When a black bear does get meat, it is generally salmon, carrion or a young deer or moose calf.

Now that we've weighed the facts, The Jungle Store concludes no one should have been surprised the Buffalos beat the Bears.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

WOW!!!! Really interesting. I am still amazed at the wealth of knowledge you have and how well you impress everyone! :)