Difference between Bison and Buffalo

Distinguish differentiates, compare and explain what the Difference between Bison and Buffalo. Comparison and Differences.

Difference between Bison and Buffalo

The American bison was called “bufello” by early American settlers due to some similarities between it and known buffalo species. The words “bison” and “buffalo” are often used interchangeably, but did you know the bison and the buffalo are completely different animals? The American bison (Bison bison) and the two main species of buffalo live on different continents. The African or cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer) and the wild Asian water buffalo (Babalus arnee) are only distant relatives of the American bison.

There are numerous differences between these animals. The most obvious is the large hump on the back of the bison. Buffalo do not have a hump. Bison have a massive head, but buffalo have a head that is smaller and more “cowlike.” Buffalo live in generally warmer climates than bison. Bison are able to survive and thrive in harsh conditions, like the bitter cold winters of the prairie. The fur of the American bison is much thicker than the fur of a buffalo.

Bison horns are shorter and more pointed than buffalo horns. Buffalo are typically more docile animals, allowing them to be more easily domesticated. Bison are known as aggressive and unpredictable animals. Buffalo are used for both meat and milk production in Asia and Africa. American bison are raised by some farmers/ranchers for their meat.

History about Bison

We call them buffalo, but they are really bison. Their scientific name is Bison-bison. They are largest land mammals in North America.

Where did they come from?

During the Pleistocene Ice Age the ancestors of todays Bison-bison, the Bison-priscus crossed from Siberia into Alaska. They descended from European Wisent.

How did they evolve?

Bison-priscus evolved into Bison-latifrons and lived in North America for 300,000 years. 22,000 years ago, Bison-latifrons evolved into Bison-antiquus. 10,000 years ago Bisonantiquus evolved into Bison-bison.

Some Interesting facts about Bison

Bison are mammals (lactating / milk producing animals with a vertebrae). They are herbivores (plant / grass eating). Bison are ruminant animals (hoofed and cud chewing) and live 20-25 years, but some have been known to live nearly 40 years. All of them have horns and can run 30 to 40 mph and can jump 6 feet. Bisons are good swimmers; they live in a pecking order structure and in family units. When upset or angry a bison might stomp their front feet on the ground and/or raise their tail.

How Native Americans used the Buffalo

1. Meat: food (main source of protein).

2. Hide: clothes, shoes, shelter (tepees), blankets, bedding, shields, masks, bags, buckets, pouches, drums, dolls, ropes, cinches, stirrups, saddles.

3. Horns: spoons, cups, arrow, powder horns, ornaments, ceremonial items, tools, toys.

4. Hair & Wool: ropes, halters, pillows, pads, head dresses, ornaments, bracelets and balls.

5. Brains for hide preparation and food.

6. Tongue for combs and food; Beard for ornaments.

7. Teeth for games and ornaments.

8. Tail for fly swatter, brush, decorations and whip.

9. Chips for diaper powder and fuel.

10. Fat for soaps, oils and cosmetics.

11. Hoofs for glue, rattles and spoons.

12. Sinew for bow strings and sewing thread.

13. Bladder, Paunch and Stomach Lining: For pouches, bags, buckets and canteens.


Difference between Buffalo vs Bison

Bison vs Buffalo

Differences between Buffalo vs Bison

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