Bison vs. Buffalo

How are bison and buffalo different from each other? Many times bison and buffalo are used as if…

How are bison and buffalo different from each other?

Many times bison and buffalo are used as if they both referred to the same bovine animal. While there are a few similarities between, them they are different in many ways. Both are herbivores, which means that their diet consists of plants. Both bison and buffalo have horns.

About Bison

Bison are native to North America and Europe, which is why they are referred to as two different types – the American bison and the European bison. These animals have shaggy coats of fur that keep them warm in winter. They shed these coats in summer. They are nomadic animals and travel in herds. However, it is possible to see bulls travelling alone or in a small group. These are no-dominant bison that have not been able to fight back against the more dominant bulls in the herd. The legs of bison are short and stocky and the horns, which are on the sides of the head, are also short.

About Buffalo

Buffalo are native to Africa and Asia. Their coats are shaggy, but they are glossy and they have large horns. They travel in herds and are nomadic. The African buffalo is very fierce and dangerous. Hunters prize the buffalo as a trophy. The Asian buffalo is called the water buffalo. These animals have been domesticated and are used in agriculture in the countries of Asia.

Difference between bison and buffalo

One could say that the bison and the buffalo are cousins because they look so much alike. They both have coats of fur, but those of the bison are longer and shaggier than those of the buffalo. They also have horns, but the horns of the bison are shorter than those of the buffalo. The African buffalo and the bison are dangerous animals, but the water buffalo of Asia has been domesticated as a farm animal. They live in different parts of the world – bison live in North America and Europe, buffaloes live in Africa and Asia. The bison has a heavier coat because it needs protection against the cold in winter. They both eat plants and wallow in the ground.


  1. There are two species of bison. The American bison is native to North America and the European bison, often called the wisent, is native to Europe.
  2. The buffalo is native to Africa and Asia. The African buffalo is a dangerous creature, but in Asia the water buffalo is tame.
  3. Bison have heavy coats of shaggy fur that they shed in the summer. They have short horns. The coat of the buffalo is smooth and glossy and they have longer horns.
  4. Both the bison and buffalo are herbivores, travel in herds and are nomadic.


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