wild buffalo vs bison
Wild Buffalo vs Bison

Overview: Bison vs Wild Buffalo

Bison’s and wild buffaloes are often misattributed as the same animals but they are wholly distinct animals. Both are beasts when it comes to strength; they both belong to the Bovidae family. Bison and buffalo have different strengths, habitats, lifespan, characteristics, temperaments, and lifespan. To know which is powerful and if a duel happens between these two beasts then who would win; we have to know about their traits to determine the winner.

Physical Traits:

Bisons live in cold regions, they have a furry coat to protect themselves in winters; they shed their coat in summers. Buffaloes don’t have furs as they live in a hot climatic region. Bison’s have sharp and pointed horns growing up to 2 feet whereas buffaloes have curved and big horns which can reach the size of about 5 feet.

Bison’s are mostly famous for their beards which circle their upper body continuing till back but buffaloes do not have any beards. Bison’s are very aggressive animals when threatened whereas buffalo’s aggression varies depending on the species. Asian buffaloes are quite peaceful whereas African Cape buffalo have a very high temperament. Bison’s can grow up to 6 feet of height while buffaloes can reach height up to 5 feet. Buffaloes are heavy and stocky and outweigh their rivals easily; an adult buffalo can weigh up to 1400 kg while the weight of bison is between 800-1200 kg.


Bison’s are limited in distribution; they are mostly found in the grasslands and savannahs of North and South America.  The true buffaloes (Cape buffalo and water buffalo) are intrinsic to Africa and Asia. However, some species of buffaloes are domesticated all over the world but bison are un tameable therefore not domesticated. Bisons are evolved to live in rugged conditions and are adapted to survive in extreme climatic conditions.


Bisons and Buffaloes are herbivorous animals and generally eat grass, shrubs, and small plants. They consume a large amount of food equivalent to their weight.


Bisons rarely attack humans but the fight between bisons would be too deadly. They are extremely agile, dominant, and strong animals. Bisons are only hunted by humans and wolves except them; their is no known predator of bisons. Buffaloes are highly aggressive known for attacking poachers and hunters. Buffaloes are audacious animals; when they feel any threat they become aggressive and even attack their predators including a lion.

Amazing Facts:

  • Except for one or two species of buffaloes, all buffaloes are domesticated whereas bison are not domesticated anywhere.
  • Buffaloes are all used for their meat and for milk to make dairy products. Buffaloes are used as working animals and are used in fields while bison mostly live in wild.
  • The bison population is estimated to be around 2 million. Buffalo’s population is quite high in comparison to bison; there are around 150 million buffaloes in the world including both domesticated and wild.
  • Despite their heavyweight, these beasts can run at a remarkably high speed. A bison can run at speed of 40 mph and can easily outrun a horse. With their strong muscular hind legs, buffalo can spring at a speed of 35 mph.
  • Bisons have a lifespan between 10-20 years whereas wild buffalo live around 20-25 years. Domesticated buffaloes can live up to 30 years.

Combat: Animal Duel: Who would win?

There is no chance of battle between these two beasts as they both live in different habitats. But, still, we have to choose out the winner so that in a hypothetical situation if the fight happens between the two then who would win? If an animal duel happens between American bison and Cape buffalo, we predict Cape buffalo would win. 

On the one side, cape buffalo is large, strong, and extremely aggressive animals with horns of about 5 feet; on the other end, the stocky and muscular bison have 2 feet longhorns and 6 feet height. The small horned bison can challenge a cape buffalo but cannot defeat it as the cape buffalo has thick skin, big head size, and strong hind leg muscles. Bison stand no chance to win against cape buffalo.

Comparison Chart: Bison vs Wild Buffalo

Comparison HeadsBisonBuffalo
Genus  BisonBubalus (Water Buffalo) Syncerus (Cape Buffalo)
Population2 million150 million
DomesticatedNoSome species are domesticated.
HabitatPlains and Savannahs of North and South AmericaLive in all habitats except cold and harsh climates.
HornSharp and SmallLong and Curved
FurThick FurLight Fur
Weight700-2,200 lbs2000-2,640 lbs
Lifespan10-20 years20-25 years

Bison vs Wild Buffalo Infographic

Comparison Video: Bison vs Wild Buffalo

FAQ’S: Frequently Asked Questions

Can a bison mate with a buffalo?

Yes, Both are from same Bovidae family hence, can bred together and offspring is called a Beefalo but it is Infertile.

Bison vs. Beef ? which is better

Bison is leaner than beef and may be a healthier choice.

Is Buffalo better than beef?

Yes, Buffalo Meat is lower in calories and fat, high in protein; hence Better than Beef.

Do bison have beards?

Yes, Bison have thick coats of fur around rib-cage referred to as “beard” .

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