American Bison Vs Indian Gaur

This time, we are going to explore who would win a fight between these two wild cows of the Bovidae family.

American bison are big mammals that are also known as bison, buffaloes, or American buffaloes. However, these names are confusing as they don’t bear much resemblance to the Asian buffalo species. This doesn’t mean that calling them buffaloes is wrong, but it does create confusion.

Gowers are big wild cattle found in S. Asia. They are the largest species of wild cows and even the largest in the bovidae family they belong to. They simply out measure the different species of buffaloes, musks, and ox.

These big mammals are also going by the name “Indian Bison”.

Their Body Structure

American bison are massive beasts, and males are usually slightly bigger than females.

Their body stretches 6.6 to 11.5 feet or 2 to 3.5 meters long, with a tail length between 12 and 36” or 30 to 91 cm. Their weight also ranges from 700 to 2200 pound or 320 to 1000 kg.

Both females and males have short bending horns that measure up to 2 feet or 61 cm long. Their horns are used for fighting, for achieving status within the group, and also for counteracting the attacks of their predators.

The American bison’s body is coated in fur, although it varies in density and length. The head, shoulders, and legs on the front are evidently more covered than the backside of the animal.

The huge head of the American bison falls lower than its shoulders, which are the highest part of the animal.

Their height is on average between 5 and 6 feet or 1.5 to 1.9 m. Despite their bulky figure, American bison are solid swimmers and runners that can hit speeds between 38 miles and 62Km per hour. Impressive, right?

At their biggest, Indian gowers measure 8 to 12 feet or 2.5 to 3.6 m long, 2.2 meters tall, and weigh on average 3300 pounds or 1500+ kilograms.

Females are smaller than males. This wild cow also has a huge head, a bulky body, and strong limbs. The coloring of their body ranges from reddish brown to dark brown and black, while their limbs are lighter.

Both genders of gowers have upturned horns which usually stretch 40 inches long or 1 meter from the rears of their skull.

Their horns have a yellowish bottom and a dark tip. These animals also bear a hump on their shoulders, which is typically prevailing in mature males. Moreover, they have a prominent overlap of skin that covers the area between their throat to their forelegs.

Habitat and Distribution

Bison at one time were broadly found from Alaska to N. Mexico. The mass slaughtering of American bison herds has led to the extinction of wild bison from the largest part of their former habitat.

Bison are now preserved on private and guarded lands in the western U.S. and Canada. The most famous of the preserved buffalo herds are those of the Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and the Wood Buffalo Park in NW Canada.

The American bison are typically located on open ranges. They also gather near rivers, valleys, grasslands, and prairies.

Historically, these species have also resided in semi-wooded spots but they are no longer found in wooden territories nowadays. Some can also be spotted in mountainous regions and foothills, even though they are not the type of animals you can spot in high altitudes.

The Indian gaur, on the other hand, is much more widespread than its Western cousin. They have a preference for evergreen and humid deciduous forest areas. However, they can live in dry forests as well.

They do not inhabit the Himalayas though as the altitude exceeds 61800 meters. They just remain in the foothills. Likewise, they also have a preference for soils that contain salts and various minerals.

Their Nutrition

American bison are vegetarian or herbivorous animals which means that their diet is plant-based. They are grazers for the most part, munching on grass rather than going for fruit, veggies, or other plants. This implies that during the cold season, they don’t have easy access to their grassy food as it may be covered in snow. When this happens, these big wild cows use their bulky necks and heads to scrape and reach the buried grass.

The presence of water is a key aspect of their lives. They just can’t survive long without access to water.

Indian gowers seem to have more diverse diets, even though they are also herbivores. They graze grass, but they can also eat leaves, shrubs and other plants. They do show a preference for some plants over others. It also depends on the season. Among their favorite food are the elephant apple plant, the Indian boxwood, the Indian screw tree, and the cashew plant.

Their Daily Habits and Lifestyle

The American bison is a daytime animal that is mainly active from dusk till dawn. However, they are fairly passive and spend a great deal of their time cleaning their coats or grooming. They also rub their heads and necks on the sides of tree trunks. Bison are able to be constantly on the go, walking long distances as long as there’s food and water close by.

Female bison are the leaders of their family herds, while males drift apart into smaller herds or choose to move alone. When the mating season approaches, males enter female herds. The males tend to compete against one another and get loud to win the affections of the females. However, a study has found that females actually prefer less noisy males.

Typically, gowers are mainly active in the evening and morning times. These sociable creatures form herds between 8-11 or more animals.

The Agawa herd has many females and one prevailing male. The home scope of each group spans 78 square kilometers or 30 square miles. The males often gather into single male herds, while more mature bulls like to live alone.

When faced with a threat, the bull drops its head and hindsight, attacking their predator from the side with its robust horns.

When in danger, these species will also give out an alarm sound called “whistling snort”.

Now, let’s return to our main question: who would win the battle? The American bison or the Indian Gower?

Both species are interesting to watch and among the biggest in their cow family.

When it comes to size, the Indian gower wins hands-down. Let’s keep it real though, it can surpass the weight of the bison by nearly 500 kilos, which is a great determining factor.

These species will not likely meet each other under normal circumstances, so involving them in a fight would be extra hard. In the unlikely case that you put them close to each other, they will most likely become buddies and make a herd together.

One study has found that the American bison is more dangerous than its opponent aggression-wise. On the other hand, the Indian gaur can be domesticated, which implies it’s not as fierce as its American counterpart. But, both these species have to face predators which are equally if not more dangerous.

The Indian bison battles big predators like tigers and crocodiles. The American bison also battles grizzly bears, wolves, and mountain lions.

In case we forced these animals together, and they start to become defensive, I believe the Indian gower would be the winner, based on its size alone. It’s the king of the Bovidae family.

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