Many of us have heard about this at least once in our lives. animal, as buffalo, which differs from a domestic bull in its massiveness and dimensions of the body, as well as the presence of huge horns.
These artiodactyl animals are divided into 2 large species, they are Indian and African. Also included in the buffalo family are tamarou and anoa.
Each species has its own characteristics in the way and nature of life, the environment, etc., which I would like to talk about a bit in our article and show a photo each kind buffalo.
Buffalo Features and Habitat
As mentioned above, buffaloes are divided into 2 types. The first, Indian, is most often found in northeast India, as well as in some areas of Malaysia, Indochina and Sri Lanka. The second African buffalo.
This animal gives preference to places with tall grass and reed beds located near ponds and marshes, however, sometimes it lives in the mountains (at an altitude of 1.85 km above sea level). It is considered one of the largest wild bulls, reaching a height of 2 m and a mass of more than 0.9 tons. buffalo description you can note:
- its dense body, covered with blue-black hair;
- stocky legs, the color of which turns white downward;
- a wide head with a muzzle, having the shape of a square and mainly lowered down;
- large horns (up to 2 m), bending upward in a semicircle or diverging in different directions in the form of an arc. In cross section they have a triangular shape;
- a rather long tail with a stiff tassel at the end;
African buffalo dwells south of the Sahara, and, in particular, in its regions and reserves that are poorly populated, choosing areas with extensive meadows of high cereals and reed beds adjacent to ponds and forest canopy. This species, unlike the Indian one, is smaller. An adult buffalo is characterized by an average height of up to 1.5 m and a weight of 0.7 tons.
A distinctive feature of the animal are buffalo hornshighly valued as a hunting trophy. Starting from the top of the head, they move in different directions and grow initially down and back, and then up and to the sides, creating a protective helmet. Moreover, the horns are very massive and often reach a length of 1 m.
The body is covered with sparse coarse black coat. The animal has a long and hairy tail. Buffalo head, on which there are large fringed ears, has a short and wide shape and a thick, powerful neck.
Filipino is another representative of these artiodactyls. buffalo tamarou and dwarf buffalo anoa. A feature of these animals is their height, which in the first is 1 m, and in the second - 0.9 m.
Tamarou lives in only one place, namely, on the lands of Fr. Mindoro, and Anoa can be found on about. Sulawesi and they are among the animals listed in the international Red Book.
Anoa is also divided into 2 species: mountain and lowland. It should be noted that all buffalos have a well-developed sense of smell, keen hearing, but rather poor eyesight.
The nature and lifestyle of the buffalo
All members of the buffalo family are quite aggressive. For example, the Indian is considered one of the most dangerous creatures, since he does not have a fear of neither man nor any other beast.
Thanks to his acute sense of smell, he can easily smell an outsider and attack him (the most dangerous in this regard are the females protecting their cubs). Despite the fact that this species was domesticated already in 3 thousand BC. e., they are still not sociable animals, because they are easily irritable and able to fall into aggression.
On very hot days - this animal loves to almost completely immerse itself in liquid mud or hide the shadows of vegetation. During the rutting season, these wild bulls gather in small groups that can come together in a herd.
The African is distinguished by his fear of a person from whom he always tries to escape. However, in cases when they will continue to pursue him, he can attack the hunter and in this case he can only be stopped by a bullet fired into his head.
This animal is mostly silent, with fear it makes sounds similar to the lowing of a cow. Also a favorite pastime is wallowing in the mud or splashing around in a pond.
They live in herds, in which there are 50-100 animals each (there are up to 1000), which are led by old females. However, during the rut, which occurs in the first two months of the year, the herd breaks up into small groups.
Anoa living in the jungle and forests are also very shy. They live mostly singly, less often in pairs, and in very rare cases they are combined into groups. They like to take mud baths very much.
Water buffaloes feed mainly in the early morning and late evening, with the exception of anoa, which grazes only in the morning. The following components are included in the diet:
- For the Indian, large plants of the cereal family;
- For African - various greens;
- For dwarf ones, grassy vegetation, shoots, leaves, fruits, and even aquatic plants.
All buffalo have a similar process of food digestion, characteristic of ruminants, where food is initially collected in the rumen of the stomach and half-digested, burps, and then re-chewed and swallowed again.
Reproduction and longevity
Water buffaloes have a fairly long lifespan of 20 years. Already from the age of 2 they have puberty and they are able to reproduce.
After the rut, the female, who was pregnant for 10 months, brings 1-2 calves. The cubs are rather scary in appearance, covered with light thick hair.
They grow very quickly, so within an hour they are already able to suck milk from their mother, and after six months they completely switch to pasture. These animals are considered to be fully adult with 3-4 years of life.
African buffalo have an average life of 16 years. After the rut, during which there are terrible battles between the males for the possession of the female, the winner inseminates her. The female has a pregnancy lasting 11 months.
In dwarf buffalo, the gon does not depend on the time of year, the duration of pregnancy is approximately 10 months. The life span ranges from 20-30 years.
In summing up, I would also like to talk about the role of these animals in people's lives. This applies mainly to Indian buffaloes, which have long been domesticated. They are often used in agricultural work, where they can replace horses (in a ratio of 1: 2).
Dairy products derived from buffalo milk, in particular cream, are also very popular. BUT buffalo skin used in obtaining soles for shoes. With regards to the African species, it is very popular among people hunting for of this buffalo.