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Bison cow takes a whiff of Tatanka Tuesday

Perhaps I forgot to wear deodorant on this morning or, more likely, the males of the herd were smelling things up for the rut. This female cow was among the many being courted by the males last month.

She was actually demonstrating what is called the flehmen response. Many mammals will do this, curling their lips, raising their head and inhaling deeply allowing them to get a better sampling of a particular smell that interests them – kind of like a human taking a big whiff to smell something.

A Bison cow demonstrates the flehmen response at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Bison cow demonstrates the flehmen response at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. (© Tony’s Takes)

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