Posted on May 1, 2013 in Animals & pets, Food & drink
I hear both the terms buffalo and bison, and sometimes they seem to refer to the same animal. Is there a difference?
While tales of the midwestern prairie and the buffalo that roamed it during the latter part of the 19th century are the stuff of legend. While the animal that stormed the screen of Dances With Wolves and countless other westerns is commonly referred to as the American Buffalo, the truth is — it’s not technically correct.
In fact, the animal we often call the American Buffalo, is, in fact, a bison.
The American Bison stands about 5 to 6.5 feet tall as measured at the shoulder and weigh in the ballpark of 2,000 pounds or more. They’re covered with a thick, shaggy coat of fur, have a massive head, and despite their remarkable size, are capable of sprinting at speeds of 40 mph. Add in the curved horns that can grow up to two feet in length and you have a formidable animal.
Unfortunately, none of these weapons were much defense against the white man and his rifles — during the 19th century the American Bison was hunted to near extinction, though they have made a rather remarkable comeback and are now considered “near threatened,” one notch down from “of least concern.”
True buffalo, as in the form of the water or Asian buffalo, as well as the African or Cape buffalo, are rather different.
While still belonging to the Bovidae family like the bison, buffalo do not share the shaggy coat of their American cousins and have either swept-back or curved horns on a much smaller head — more like a cow’s head. Additionally, the African buffalo’s horns have a large, protective, bony growth on the head, and the Asian buffalo spends most of its days in swampy or marshy areas. The African buffalo population remains strong, while the African buffalo is typically found inside the confines of national parks.
You must be logged in to post a comment.
7 collections of beautiful hand-drawn vintage fashions!
Available now for $5.99 each!
"A highly imaginative exercise in world building that also features characters it's very easy to care about." - Booklist
Download it now! Also in paperback, hardcover and audiobook formats
© Synchronista LLC. Format designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress