Bison (Is Bison The Same as Buffalo?)

bison vs buffalo | difference between buffalo and bison

Some people think that bison and buffalo are the same animals, but both are different animals. Both bison and buffalo belong to the same family of bovines, which is a subfamily of Bovidos. Bison are large fluffy and even-toed animals. There are two different species of bison – American bison and European bison. The closest relatives of a bison are buffaloes, antelopes, and gazelles.  These species have a sharp, curved, short horn on its back that can reach the length of 25 to 29 inches.

Information About Bison:

  • Bison is the largest animal in North America and was once worshiped by Native Americans.
  • Bison are typically brown in color, the coat of a bison is thick that protects them from cold and weather moist.
  • Bison has weak eyesight, a good hearing, and an excellent sense of smell. The bison’s hump is composed of muscles, which ease movements through the snow.
  • A group of bison is called a herd or gang; both male and female bison have horns. A bison can jump off the ground to a height of 6 feet.
  • It is studied that when a bison is angry, it will straight up its tail. They are fast runners also and can run up to 40 miles per hour.
  • The mating season takes place in summer, a female bison is known as a cow who will give birth to a single calf after the gestation of 9 months.
  • The calf is weaned for 7 to 13 months. A calf 33 to 55 pounds at the time of birth and is reddish in color.
  • The red list of the international union for conservation of nature (IUCN) listed the American bison as near threatened and the European bison as vulnerable.
  • It is believed that the tribes of native America dependent on the bison for food and clothing.
Source: Giphy

Buffalo Information

Buffalo are significant members of the Bovidae family; they are often confused with the bison as both look similar. There are two species of buffaloes- African or Cape buffalo and Asian water buffalo. The Water Buffalo is the largest member of the bovine family.

Buffalo Species:

  • African buffalo have a large head, broad chest, and strong legs. The body of these species is covered with hair that is brown or black in color, the horns of a male African buffalo are quite thicker than a female. 
  • African buffalo have poor eyesight, but a strong sense of smell and hearing, they also have a remarkable memory.
  • Water buffalo are either black or white in color, the horns of a water buffalo are curved backward.
  • Water buffalo are native to tropical and sub-tropical forests of Asia and spend most of their time in the water.
  • African buffalo live in grasslands, swamps, lowlands, and mixed forests. The average speed of a water buffalo is 30 miles per hour.
  • After the evolution of 9 to 11 months, a female delivers a single calf. Buffaloes are used for transportation, and humans use their meat, milk, horns.
  • According to the IUCN, African buffaloes are not endangered species, while the wild Asian water buffaloes are listed as endangered.
Source: Giphy

Are Buffalo extinct?

The American buffalo is not extinct — the species is classified as “near threatened”.

Difference Between Buffalo and Bison:

Scientific nameThe scientific name of the Asian water buffalo is Bubalus bubalis,

The scientific name of African buffalo is Syncerus Caffer.
The scientific name of American bison is Bison bison,

The scientific name of European bison is Bison bonasus
SpeciesBuffalo species-

1.    Asian water buffalo
2.    African buffalo
Bison species-

1.    American bison
2.    European bison

SizeThe Water Buffalo is 8 to 9 feet long, with adding another 2 to 3.3 lengths of its tail.

African buffalo are 4.26 to 4.62 in length.
American bison grows to 7 to 11.5 feet in length with another 20 to 23 inches of its tail.

European bison is around 9.5 feet long.
WeightAsian water buffalo weighs 1500 to 2650 pounds.
African buffalo weighs 935 to 1910 pounds.
American bison weighs 930 to 2200 pounds.
European bison weighs 1762 to 2203 pounds.
DietWhat do buffalo eat?

Buffaloes are herbivorous and eat grasses, herbs, shrubs, and aquatic plants.
What do bison eat?

Bison are also herbivores and eat only vegetation; they will sometimes even eat leaves and twigs.

Asian water buffaloes are native to India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Thailand. African buffalo habitats in the sub-Saharan parts of Africa. American bison are native to the United States, Mexico, and Canada. European bison lives in Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Slovakia, and Lithuania.
Life spanThe average lifespan of water buffalo is 25 years, whereas the average life span of African buffalo is 20 years. The average life tendency of an adult bison is 14 to 24 years.

Bison vs Buffalo (Bison vs Buffalo Fight Comparison)

Source: Giphy

Buffaloes are generally more prominent than bison, but bison are more aggressive than buffaloes. The longhorns of buffaloes are more durable as compared to the short horns of bison. Buffaloes are more dangerous to other animals as well as human beings, whereas it is studied that bison are less aggressive. Bison can rarely kill wolves, but a wild buffalo can kill a lion. In a fight with bison, buffalo is likely to show unpredictable behavior, but a bison has stronger bones. As both the bison and buffalo have almost the same size and appearance, it is impossible to judge who will win in a fight Bison vs Buffalo.

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