Differences Between Buffalo and Bison

Many people think that the bison and the buffalo are the same animals. If you too are one of those people, this article is going to be enlightening for you. Both these animals belong to the Bovidae family. Talking about the types of Bison, there are two types – the American Bison and the European Bison which is also known as Caucasian Wisent. When it comes to the types of buffaloes, there are two types – the African or Cape buffalo and the Asian or Water buffalo.

There are some distinct differences between buffalo and bison. Some of these differences in terms of physical characteristics, lifespan, temperament, and habitats are discussed below:

buffalo vs bison

Features/ Characteristic Buffalo Bison
Genus The classification of buffaloes is under the genus buffalo. The classification of bison is under the genus bison.
Hump Buffaloes do not have this back hump. Bisons have a huge hump on their backs.
Fur Buffaloes have light or no fur on their body. Bisons have a thick fury coat over their body.
Beard Buffaloes do not have beard on their neck or faces. Bisons have their neck and face covered with beard.
Horns Buffaloes have thick and long horns which are not very sharp. Bisons have small and sharp horns.
Habitat Asian buffaloes are domesticated. However, African buffaloes cannot be domesticated. Bisons are found in wild regions.
Location African buffaloes can be seen in Asia, Europe, America, Australia, and the Mediterranean. American bisons can be seen in the grassland biomes of North and South America. European bisons are found in countries of Northern and Central Europe.
Population The population of buffalo has been estimated to be around 150 million. The population of bison has been estimated to be around 2.5 million.
Lifespan The Asian buffalo has a lifespan of 25 to 30 years. The African buffalo has a lifespan of 15 to 25 years. Bisons have a lifespan of 13 to 19 years.

These were some of the differences between the bison and the buffalo. Both these animals are fascinating in their own way and you cannot judge any of them superior or inferior to the other. However, if you want to do something, you can make efforts to conserve and protect these amazing animals from getting hunted for meat or sport.

Similarities of buffalo and bison
There are certainly many similarities between the bison and the buffalo. Here are some of the most common similarities in these two amazing animals:

1. Both these animals are related according to the taxonomic classification of the animal kingdom. Take a look at this taxonomy chart for a quick overview of the similarities in these animals:

Bison Buffalo
Kingdom Animalia Animalia
Phylum Chordata Chordata
Class Mammalia Mammalia
Order Artiodactyla Artiodactyla
Family Bovidae Bovidae

2. Both of these animals are huge.

3. Both of these animals are killed for meat.

4. Both of these animals are herbivorous.

5. Both of these animals are huge, four-footed mammals.

6. Both of these animals are found in the wild. However, the Asian buffalo has been domesticated.

Hope you learned something new from this post. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.