Top Differences Between a Buffalo and Bison

Both the Buffalo and Bison belong to the Bovidae family, which consists of more than 100 species of hoofed mammals called ungulates, including buffalo, bison, antelopes, gazelles, cattle, sheep and goats.

Top Differences Between a Buffalo and Bison


Buffalo is from the Bovidae family and has a short, glossy coat. The Domesticated Asian Water Buffalo and the Cape buffalo are similar in size to the bison, but with much larger horns. Some water buffalo horns have been known to grow up to the entire length of the animal.

Buffalo is a good source of milk and other dairy products, such as ghee. Buffalo is also still used as farm power in much of South Asia. Some buffalo are also used for their meat, but this is not as common.

For Hindus, buffalo is reverenced as sacred and therefore not to be eaten. This taboo is not shared by other religious groups, but across Southeast Asia, there are many festivals devoted to racing and fighting buffalo.


Bison have long been here, having an adventurous history with man that is fraught with danger and destruction. Before the arrival of Europeans to the United States, bison were hunted in a sustainable manner by the Native Americans.

They would herd the animals into a stampede and force them over a cliff. However, as America began her westward expansion in the 19th century, bison were hunted nearly to extinction. By the 1880s, some people began to domesticate bison in order to preserve their numbers.

Bison have come to symbolize the Great American West. They represent both the vastness of the plains as well as our need to conserve our natural resources. In many areas, there are bison farms where the animals are raised not only for their meat and hide but also for their tourist value.

Notable Difference Between Buffalo And Bison

1. Buffalo are found throughout Asia and Africa and Bison are found mostly in North America.

2. Presently, bison were hunted to near extinction while buffalo are domesticated.

3. They both hold special significance in their respective cultures.

4. A bison have very sharp horns which they use for their defense. A buffalo’s horns aren’t very sharp but are longer than a bison’s.

5. There is a huge hump on their back of a bison which isn’t present on Buffaloes.

6. Bison also have a thick beard that circles around their rib cage but Buffaloes do not have a thick beard.

7. Buffaloes grow up to 5 feet in size while Bison may grow to 6 feet.

8. Bison can run faster than Buffaloes.

9. Buffaloes can weigh between 800-1200 kg while Bison can weigh up to 1400 kg.



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