African Cape Buffalo vs American Bison

Who would win in a fight between these two mammoth beasts?

A bison is an animal that most Americans refer to as a buffalo.

Bison can be found in North and South America, while buffaloes can be found in Africa and South Asia.

The buffalo and bison are both members of the Bovidae family, which also contains goats and other cloven-hoofed ruminants.

The Cape Buffalo, sometimes known as the African Buffalo, is an African bovine species that is known for its large body and unpredictable violent and revengeful disposition, making it a hazardous animal.

This is also why man has never attempted to domesticate these creatures.

The American bison is a symbol of the Great Plains which are massive creatures native to North America.

The Native Americans’ recognition and admiration for this species have resulted in its current status.

Size and Body Description

The Cape buffalo isn’t particularly tall—it measures 51–59 inches (130–150 cm) tall and has short legs—but it’s a large animal, weighing 935–1,910 pounds (425–870 kg).

Bulls weigh about 220 pounds (100 kg) more than cows, and their horns are larger and wider, measuring up to 40 inches (100 cm) across, with a broad shield protecting the forehead.

The coat is thin and black, except for young calves, which have black or brown coats.

The body is heavy-set with stocky legs, a huge head, and a short neck.

The American bison is the biggest mammal in North America, with no distinguishing marks on the body and enormous, drooping ears.

It measures from 7 to 11.5 feet (2.1 meters to 3.5 meters) long, with a tail that adds another 20 to 23.5 inches.

They range in weight from 930 to 2,200 pounds (422 to 998 kilograms).

The shoulder hump and the massive head of bison are two distinguishing features.

The animal’s fur is brown, and it varies somewhat from front to rear.

The hair in the front is longer than in the back.

Males have the most significant difference in hair length.

The horns are black with a pointed tip that curves upward and inward.

The hooves are black and shaped like a circle.

Habitat and Range

The Cape buffalo is one of Africa’s most successful wild ruminants, thriving in practically every type of grassland environment in Sub-Saharan Africa, from dry savanna to marsh, lowland floodplains to montane mixed forest and glades, as long as the water is within commuting distance.

It is resistant to several diseases that affect African domestic cattle, including bovine sleeping sickness, which tsetse flies spread.

On the other hand, the Cape buffalo is susceptible to diseases spread by cattle.

In the 1890s, a rinderpest epidemic swept the African continent, killing up to 90% of buffalo and numerous antelopes from Ethiopia to the Cape of Good Hope.

The open plains are the most prevalent habitat for this species.

River valleys, grasslands, semiarid regions, and prairies are all places where they can be found.

Although they are not considered high-altitude species, some will go into foothills and hilly places.

Only 15,000 animals are thought to be truly wild and free-range on private land, even though there are around 500,000 animals housed on private land.

Historically, this species ranged from northern Mexico to Canada, but it is now confined to a small land area.

The United States, Mexico and Canada has several fragmented herds.

Diet and Nutrition

The Cape buffalo must consume a lot of grass to maintain its size. Thus quantity is more important than quality.

It can digest higher and coarser grass than most other ruminants, has a wide nose and a row of incisor teeth that allow it to take large bites, and can bundle grass before cropping it, all of which are bovine characteristics.

Buffaloes will graze woody vegetation when the grass is limited or of poor quality.

Bison are herbivorous mammals, meaning that they eat mostly plants.

They are grazers who prefer to consume grasses and sedges rather than fruit or other vegetation.

While a result, food might be scarce during the winter as the area is coated in snow.

When the grasslands are covered in snow, these gigantic beasts scrape down to the hidden food below with their powerful necks.

Bison consume 1.6 percent of their body weight in dry grass each day.

Bison similar to humans require water daily.


Savannah buffalo are found in massive herds of 50 to 500 animals, with smaller subgroups of bachelor males, females, and their young or juveniles.

Older males are usually solitary.

African buffalo can be active at any time of day or night; on average, they spend 18 hours foraging and moving.

Lions are the main predators.

When one of the herd members is attacked, the rest of the herd will rush to its defense.

A group of buffalo is more than capable of repelling an attack by an entire pride of lions.

Hunters perceive a wounded buffalo bull as the most deadly, which is why this animal is included in the so-called “big five.”

Many hunting exploits, tales, and legends are based on this feature.

Bison are social creatures who congregate in groups based on sex, age, season, and environment.

Females, males under the age of three, and a few older males make up cow groups.

As the rut approaches, more males join these gatherings.

Males can live alone or in groups of up to 30 individuals.

The bulls have a straight hierarchy of dominance.

Bulls with a higher social status reproduce more frequently than those with a lower social rank.

Grazing occurs at various times throughout the day and is done in loose groupings.

Bison create a line while they travel.

The terrain and ecological conditions influence bison migration patterns.

Bison are fast swimmers and runners, attaining speeds of up to 62 km/hr.

Copulation is fast and started by the bull.

Bulls fight amongst themselves during the rut.

During the rut, the amount of wallowing and tree horning also increases.

Now back to the Important question!

Which would win in a fight between the American bison and the African Cape buffalo?

Both creatures are bovids, as previously indicated, although their physical appearances differ.

Buffalo are often much larger than bison, and in any battle, size matters a lot, especially for massive beats like these.

Buffalo are also more active and can withstand a greater variety of challenges.

Buffalo struggle with wild dogs, who are arguably a bigger threat than wolves, as well as lions and leopards.

They are, without a doubt, better prepared to deal with predatory threats.

The buffalo will most likely win a fight with a bison due to its aggressive and unpredictable behavior, although the bison is more muscular, stalky, and has a stronger bone structure.

If we compare pound for pound strength they are about equal, but the buffalo has an advantage due to its aggressiveness.

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