Posts tagged ‘European Bison’

Are buffalo and a bison the same?

American Bison

No.  the true buffalo belongs to Africa and Asia.  It has neither the bison’s hump over its shoulders nor the bison’s long hair.

People often call the American bison “buffaloes,” but bison are not true buffaloes.  American bison are more closely related to the wisent or European bison.

True buffaloes are animals such as the water buffalo, common to Asia as a valuable work animal or the fieres African cape buffalo, seldom if ever tamed.  They do not have the big humped shoulders and shaggy hair of the bison.

Bisons are large, ox-like animals.  A big male bison may be six-feet tall at the shoulder and weight more than a ton, Long, coarse hair covers the bison’s head and shoulders.

At one time, enormous herd of bison roamed the western prairies of North America.  The Indians of the plains depended upon them for food and clothing.  But as the West was settled, nearly all the bison were killed.

Today, only a few thousands bison remain, mostly in protected places where they can live in safety. – Dick Rogers

 

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What is an aurochs?

The aurochs (pronounced ow roks) is an extinct wild ox that once roamed the forests of Europe.

This enormous, black-colored animal from which our domestic cattle are descended often measured six feet high at the shoulders and had long, forward-curving horns.

Aurochs

Prehistoric men of Europe hunted and ate this giant ox,.

Cave paintings from thousands of years ago record the aurochs hunt.  Later, man learned to keep herds of cattle from meat and milk and herdsmen quickly became more important than hunters.

The last of the true aurochs died in 1627.  But the aurochs left behind such present-day breeds of cattle as the Holstein, Shorthorn and Aberdeen Angus.

Since the extinction of the true aurochs, the name “aurochs” has sometimes been wrongly applied to the only other wild ox of Europe, the European bison, or wisent (a cousin to the American bison), which survived.  Another name for the aurochs is “urus”.  – Dick Rogers