What is a buffalo?
They are a large group of bovines that most people think is all the same animal.
They are not!
There are many different types, and they live in every continent on Earth except for Antarctica.
This article will teach you about these animals and what makes them so interesting!
Different Types of Buffalo
The American Bison
The American bison is the most well-known type of the species.
They are usually found in North America, and they are a big part of the United States’ history.
These animals can weigh up to 2000 pounds and stand six feet tall at the shoulder!
They are herbivores that eat mainly grasses, but they will also eat other plants and trees.
America bison can be found in a few different subspecies.
The Wood Bison
The Wood bison is the largest, and it can weigh up to 2600 pounds!
They live in Canada and Alaska, and they are considered an endangered species.
The Plains Bison
There are also Plains bison, which are smaller and live in more open areas.
In North America, they were once hunted to near extinction.
They are now protected by law, and it is illegal to hunt them without a permit in most states.
The European Bison
The European bison is a different type of buffalo that is found in Europe and Asia.
They are much smaller than the American bison, weighing only around 1000 pounds.
They also eat mainly grasses, but they will also eat leaves, fruits, and bark.
European bison are known for being able to interbreed with domestic cattle, which produce a fertile offspring called a beefalo.
They are not considered an endangered species but many of them were killed for their horns in the past.
The African Buffalo
There are two types of African buffalo: the African buffalo and the Cape buffalo.
They live in central Africa, while the Cape Buffalo is found south of the Sahara Desert.
These two types are very similar!
They both have horns that they use for defense against predators like lions and crocodiles.
The African buffalo are considered the most dangerous animals in Africa!
They are known to charge at people and cars, and they have been known to kill both humans and lions.
If you encounter them, it is best to stay very still and hope that it goes away.
The Asian Buffalo
There is only one type of this species: the wild water buffalo or “Asian buffalo”.
These animals live in southeast Asia and have two subspecies: the swamp buffalo and the river type.
They are considered dangerous to humans, so they need lots of space!
Water buffalo can also be found in Australia.
They are considered feral animals there, and they are known to eat many different types of plants.
They also destroy crops, which is why people consider them pests in Australia!
Water buffalo were first introduced into Asia around 5000 years ago by nomadic tribes that traveled from the north.
South American Buffalo
There is one type of South American buffalo called the guará or “South American buffalo”.
It lives mainly on grasslands, such as those found in Brazil.
They are normally found in small groups of only up to six animals, but sometimes they form herds of over 100.
Guará can be tamed, which is why they are used as working animals in South America.
They have also been introduced to the Galápagos Islands and Puerto Rico!
Are They Also Yak?
There is one type of North American buffalo (apart from the bison) called the yak or “North American buffalo”.
These creatures live mainly on grasslands and mountainsides in Asia and western Africa.
In some places where there isn’t a lot of water, they can weigh up to 2000 pounds!
Yaks are known for having a thick coat of fur that helps them stay warm in cold weather.
This animal is also good at climbing mountains and carrying heavy loads, which is why it has been domesticated by people in some areas!
The yak can be used as transportation when traveling over high mountain passes.
They are also sometimes kept as cattle because they have lots of milk.
There are many of them around the world.
They all have their own habitats and diets that make them unique from one another!
It is also interesting how they are spread out over every continent on Earth except for Antarctica.
Buffalo are truly an amazing animal group!
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