Both the bison and buffalo are bovines with horns, and often they are mistaken for one another. However, there is a difference between bison and buffalo that you should know in order to identify them correctly.
The bison is a large bovine found in North America, where it is called American bison, and in Europe where is it called wisent or the European bison. It has a shaggy coat that it tends to shed during the warm summer months. This bovine is nomadic and tends to travel in herds. However, it common for a non-dominant bull to travel on its own, but at times some non-dominant bulls can form a small group. The legs of the bison are stocky and short. The horns are short that grow towards the side of the head. (See Reference 1)
On the other hand, the buffalo lives in Asia and Africa. It has a glossy short coat. The horns of the buffalo are longer compared to bison. In addition, a buffalo is also nomadic and tends to travel looking for grazing pastures in herds. The buffalo in Africa is highly prized by hunters as trophy animals. The Asian buffalo is a domestic buffalo and helps to pull the plow to cultivate the land. (See Reference 1)
A bison and buffalo are related, but the American bison and African buffalo are considered to be a danger to humans. However, as mentioned earlier, just the Asian water buffalo has been domesticated. One of the biggest differences between the bison and buffalo is the habitat, and this has brought about different physical characteristics in both. The bison has a thick coat to protect it from the harsh winters, while the buffalo does not have a thick coat. (See Reference 1) Also, their size varies. The bison is believed to be bigger compared to the buffalo.
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