The bison and the buffalo are two different species. There is the American bison, which lives only in North America, and there are two main buffalo species, native to Africa and Asia. A small population of European bison also lives in isolated parts of Poland.
Both buffalo and bison belong to the Bovidae family. Although the term "buffalo" is also used to refer to the American bison, the two species have stark differences. For instance, the American bison has a large shoulder hump and a massive head, giving it a burly appearance. The male African cape buffalo, on the other hand, has a head shield from which horns sprout, and the Asian water buffalo sports crescent-shaped horns.