The differences between buffalo and bison

Die Unterschiede von Büffel und Bison Oftmals wird der Büffel mit dem Bison verwechselt. Verständlicherweise, denn beide sind groß, haben Hörner und gehören zu der Familie der Bovidea. Dabei haben sie von Grund auf unterschiedliche physische Merkmale, Leb

The buffalo is often confused with the bison. Understandably, because both are large, have horns and belong to the Bovidea family. They have fundamentally different physical characteristics, habitats and lifestyles.

Until the 19th century, the bison preferred to live in open grasslands, but modern civilization largely drove them into forests and prairies. In the meantime, the bison was threatened with complete extinction, but was able to be stabilized again by settling in nature reserves. In contrast to the water buffalo, the bison, individually or in herds, is native to Europe or North America.

With a shoulder height of 1.85m, it is one of the largest mammals in their country. The distinctive hump and the short, curved horns are characteristic features. Due to the pronounced hump on the shoulders, the head acts as a plow and protects against snowdrifts in winter. While buffalo have large horns with pronounced arches, bison horns are much shorter and sharper.

The water buffalo

Among gourmets, the water buffalo is famous for its milk, which is used to make the ever-popular buffalo mozzarella. However, very few people really know about these unique animals - we want to clear that up now.

Genus and origin

The water buffalo is the most widespread type of Asian buffalo and belongs to the cattle family. However, starting from its origins in Asia, it has now colonized large parts of the planet.


In Asia, the water buffalo can be found, for example, in India, China, Nepal, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia. However, it can also be found in some African countries such as Egypt and on the South American continent in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela. The versatile and adaptable animal has also found its way to Europe. The buffalo is now part of the local wildlife in Italy, England, Germany and Switzerland, but also in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria and is enjoying increasing popularity.

Characteristics typical of the breed

The water buffalo reaches a head and torso length of almost 3 meters with an average shoulder height of 1.80 meters. Wild animals weigh up to one ton, while domesticated buffaloes weigh around half that at a maximum of 500 kg. It is striking that both male and female animals have horns that can reach a span of up to 2 meters. Water buffaloes are very gentle animals with a well-developed social system that live in herds with a fixed hierarchy. The herd units are led by a strong, adult buffalo cow.


Basically, the buffalo is a very uncomplicated, robust and adaptable animal. It doesn't mind climates with cold winters and hot summers. It prefers to live in wet areas such as overgrown river valleys or swampy forests. Here he cools down in the water and protects himself from insects by taking mud baths. The water buffalo lives outdoors all year round, where it roams in endless green pastures near rivers or other bodies of water and feeds exclusively on fresh grass, herbs and wildflowers.

Water buffalo and man

While the wild water buffalo is rarely encountered these days, it is often found in domesticated form living closely with humans. The buffalo is ideal as a farm or pack animal, which is why it was traditionally often used for plowing in the fields. In many places, especially in Asia and Africa, it is also kept as a farm animal and supplies its owners with fresh buffalo milk every day. While many Europeans value buffalo mozzarella as a delicacy, it is still largely unknown that, in addition to its milk, the water buffalo also has excellent leather and juicy, low-fat meat. In addition, water buffaloes are increasingly being used as landscape managers, especially in Central Europe. They cultivate entire sections of land and thus not only contribute to the natural balance of our ecosystem, but also to protecting the environment by avoiding the use of machines.

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