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Difference between Buffalo and Bison

Difference between Buffalo and Bison

Buffalo vs. Bison

What is Difference between Buffalo and Bison? Due to the buffalo coins, the city of Buffalo and the soccer team the Buffalo Bills, it is common to confuse the bison with the buffalo in the United States. However, while the bison and the buffalo are members of the same family, the bovidae do not share the same genus or species. Below this post is all about the difference between Buffalo and Bison.

Difference between Buffalo and Bison


The bison has a natural habitat that covers most of the United States, the northern part of Mexico and the southern part of Canada. In addition to the iconic bison of the plains, there are also abundant mountain bison; both were hunted by the first white settlers until they were almost extinct. There are also bison native to Europe.

The buffalo – there are two main species of buffalo: the Asian water buffalo domesticated and the Cape buffalo. The water buffalo has a territory that extends through Asia to North Africa and Southern Europe. Small populations can be found in Australia and South America. Cape buffaloes are found in the sub-Saharan plains of Africa.


The bison-has a shaggy coat in the winter that moves to create a lighter coat in the summer. The largest bison can reach 6 and a half feet in height, 10 feet in length and can weigh a ton. They have stubby legs and short horns that extend to the sides and back of their head.

The buffalo has a short and shiny coat. Both varieties are similar to bison in size, but the horns are much longer. Some horns of water buffalo can grow until they reach the entire length of the animal.

Human interaction

The bison-has a story with the human being that is tense with danger and destruction. Before the Europeans came to the United States, the bison was hunted in a sustainable manner by Native Americans. They gathered them in packs in a stampede and forced them to go towards a cliff. However, when the United States began its westward expansion in the 19th century, bison were hunted to near extinction. By the 1880s, some people began to domesticate the bison in order to preserve their numbers.

The buffalo has been domesticated for 5,000 years. They are a great source of milk and other dairy products, such as ghee (clarified butter). The buffalo is also used as agricultural energy in much of South Asia. Some buffalo are used as a source of meat, but that is not very common.

Cultural meaning

The bison has come to symbolize the great American West. They represent the immensity of the plains and our need to conserve our natural resources. In many areas, there are bison farms where animals are raised not only for their meat and skin, but also for their tourist value.

The buffalo – are considered sacred among the Hindus and therefore are not eaten, this taboo is not shared by other religious groups, but throughout Southeast Asia there are many festivals dedicated to racing and buffalo runs.


  1. Bison and buffalo are easily confused. They are from the same family and their appearance is similar.
  2. Bison are found in North America and buffaloes throughout Asia and Africa.
  3. The bison were hunted until near extinction while the buffalo were domesticated.
  4. Bison and buffaloes have a special meaning in their respective cultures.

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