Home Animals Buffalo Vs Ox: All The Difference

Buffalo Vs Ox: All The Difference

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ox-picture

Ox and buffalo are both animals that are often misunderstood by humans. Though they may appear similar, they are actually two different species. The average person probably doesn’t think twice about the difference between an ox and a buffalo. After all, they are both large, four-legged animals that are commonly used for labour or meat. However, these two animals actually belong to different species. In this article, we will tell you all the facts related to Buffalo vs x.

OX

buffalo Vs ox

The ox is a large, horned bovine that has been bred for hard work in farming and transportation. Like camels and horses, they have big ears and are very strong. Oxen are considered adults at the age of four and have been used for labour and food for thousands of years. They are an essential part of many cultures, and their meat is considered a delicacy in some parts of the world. Oxen are also used in many religions, particularly in Hinduism and Buddhism. Also, to their usefulness, oxen are also known for their docile nature and loyalty to their owners.

Buffalo

buffalo 1

Buffalo is a type of cattle that is native to Asia and Africa. They are part of the same family as yaks, cattle, and bison. Buffalo comes in different sizes and shapes, and they can be found in a variety of environments. The African buffalo is one of the most common types of buffalo. They are often seen grazing on plains and grasslands. Buffalo are timid animals that are often hunted for their meat and hide. In some cultures, the Buffalo is considered to be a sacred animal.

The Main Difference between Buffalo VS Ox

The most important difference between an ox and a buffalo is that an ox is smaller than a buffalo and has less hair. The male animal cow is called an ox. It doesn’t have mammary glands, and when it grows up, it is castrated. A male buffalo that hasn’t been castrated is called a “buffalo.”

The Key Differences Between Ox vs Buffalo

If we take a closer look, we can find many ways in which these two animals are different in comparison and contrast. These similarities and differences exist on several levels: genetic, behavioural, and physical. Let us explore some of the other differences between the two animals.

Ox sitting

Buffalo vs Ox: Size Difference

Oxen are a type of cattle that are bred to be bigger and stronger than other male cattle. They can weigh up to 2400 pounds and grow to a height of 68 inches. In some cases, they may even grow to 100 inches tall. Buffalo, on the other hand, only weighs 2000 pounds and reaches a height of 67 inches. However, there are occasions when buffalo can have more weight or size, but this is rare. Oxen are typically used for agricultural purposes, such as ploughing fields or pulling carts. Buffalo are not well-suited for these tasks due to their smaller size.

buffalo standing

Buffalo vs Ox: Scientific Name Difference

The scientific name for the common domestic ox is Bos taurus. Buffalo, on the other hand, is classified under the Syncerus genus and goes by the name Syncerus caffer. Even though both animals are herbivores, they belong to different phylogenic families. Oxen are grouped together with cattle and bison under the Bovinae subtribe, which is a part of the Bovidae family.

While the word “buffalo” is sometimes used to refer to any member of the bovid family, it is actually the name of a specific group of animals within that family. The buffalo is part of the Bubalina subtribe, which also includes the African and Asian bovids. Within the Bubalina, there are two genera: Bubalus and Syncerus. The best-known buffalo is probably the African buffalo, which is often simply called “the buffalo.” However, there is also the water buffalo, a popular Asian bovid.   

Buffalo vs Ox: Horns Difference

Oxen have relatively small horns that grow mostly upwards. This helps them to protect their head from being injured by branches and other objects when they are moving through brush or forested areas. Buffalo, on the other hand, have much larger horns that grow outwards from their head. This gives them a wider field of view, which is helpful when they are scanning their surroundings for predators. Texas Longhorn cattle are a special breed that combines features of both oxen and buffalo, with massive horns that can reach over 8 feet in length. 

Buffalo horns are rooted directly next to each other, forming a bone plate that is referred to as a boss. Oxen, on the other hand, do not have a boss. African buffalo have horns that reach about five feet in length from tip to tip, but water buffalo horns can get much longer. In fact, a record-setting rack of water buffalo horns measured about 13 feet and 10 inches. The exact purpose of these large horns is still unknown, they undoubtedly give buffalo a distinct advantage while fighting.

buffalo in farm

Buffalo vs Ox:  Colors Difference

Oxen are often thought of as being brown or black, but they can actually come in a variety of different colours. Gray, white, and tan oxen are not uncommon, and some even have patterns on their fur. Buffalo, on the other hand, is usually a single colour. Their fur is typically very dark brown or black, but it can start to grey as they age. If you see a light brown bovine, it is likely not a buffalo.

Buffalo vs Ox: Uses Difference

Due to their size and strength, oxen are commonly used as work animals in the agricultural sector. They are trained from a young age to follow the commands of farmers, and once their training is complete, they can be used for tasks such as ploughing fields and pulling carts. While buffalo are not typically domesticated, water buffalo can also be used for agricultural purposes. These creatures are known for their strength and resilience, making them well-suited for manual labour. 

ox in open

Buffalo vs Ox: Sex Difference

Oxen are a member of the Bos family, which includes cows, bulls, steers, and heifers. The term “ox” is generally used to refer to a castrated male, but it can also be used to describe a bull that is used for draft purposes. Buffalo, on the other hand, is a term that is often mistakenly applied to multiple species and subspecies. There are three different kinds of buffalo in Africa, one in Asia, and the American Bison. Buffalo can have cows and bulls, females and males. But, the term “buffalo” does not specifically refer to any one sex.

Final Words

Though they may look similar at first glance, oxen and buffalo are actually quite different creatures. Oxen are domesticated animals that have been used by humans for thousands of years, while buffalo are wild animals that have never been domesticated. Buffalo is also much larger than oxen, weighing up to two thousand pounds more. And while both animals have horns, the shape of their horns is different: oxen have curved horns, while buffalo have ones that curve inward and then back out again.

Finally, another way to tell these two animals apart is by their habitat: buffalo live in grasslands and woodlands, while oxen are found in farmyards and pastures. Though they may be members of the same biological family, the differences between oxen and buffalo are quite striking.

References:

https://wild-wings-safaris.com/blog/6-reasons-buffalos-may-be-the-snarkiest-beasts-on-the-planet
https://nhm.org/stories/year-ox

Author Profile
Zahra Makda
Wildlife Enthusiast | Explorer at Animals Research

Growing up enjoying the beauty of my village, a good passion for nature developed in me from childhood. Following my passion for the natural world, I have chosen zoology for my graduation, during my undergraduate degree, I participated in many nature trails, bird watching, rescues, training for wildlife conservation, workshop, and seminars on biodiversity. I have a keen interest in invertebrate biology, herpetology, and ornithology. Primary interests include studies on taxonomy, ecology, habitat and behavior.

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