Bison vs. Buffalo

Bison vs. Buffalo

The confusion between bison and buffalo is really a matter of names and not two different species. This ox-like bovine belongs to the genus bison.

In Europe, the name bison is more common and in North and South America, the name buffalo is more common. The misnomer can cause confusion because the animal actually living in the US and Europe is the bison, while a slightly different species, known as a buffalo, lives in Africa and Asia.

Both the bison and American buffalo are a large mammal with shaggy brown fur, huge head, and small horns. They live in herds and browse on grasses. Bison (or American buffalo) have been hunted for meat and other resources, but have not been domesticated. Their thick fur helps them survive harsh climates. The large hump on their back and wooly beard help distinguish them from African and Asian buffaloes. In America, the buffalo (bison) were nearly hunted to extinction but are now making a comeback.

Once again, the bison is a huge, shaggy mammal that is often called a buffalo by Americans. A true buffalo, however, is a different animal entirely, which lives in Africa and Asia.

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