Are Buffalo and Bison the Same Thing?


Quick Answer

Buffalo and bison are not the same animal, although people often mistakenly refer to the American bison as a buffalo. Buffalo and bison are both ungulates but are different species.

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Full Answer

According to LiveScience, the confusion stems from the earliest European settlers in North America as they did not know the difference between the two species. Bison live primarily in North America, although there are a small number of European bison as well. Cape buffalo live in Africa, and water buffalo live in Asia. A noticeable difference between buffalo and bison is the bison's large shoulder hump. The ungulate family includes cows, sheep, deer, elk and antelope among other hooved mammals.

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