Wild Fact #877 – These Buffalo Don’t Need Water Wings – Water Buffalo

Photograph by Bruce Dale

Welcome to Thursday’s edition of Wild Facts where not only do you get an interesting animal fact but you also get the pleasure of seeing a cool picture of a Water Buffalo.  Come on, how many other blogs could you go to and see a cool picture of a Water Buffalo?

So is a water buffalo any different then a normal buffalo? Maybe it is just a regular buffalo that likes the water. Well, I will clear that up right now!  The water buffalo is indeed a completely different animal than a regular ol’ land buffalo. The water buffalo, also known as the Asian Buffalo, is the largest of the Bovini tribe which also includes the yak, African Buffalo and bison. The water buffalo stands tall at about 1.5-1.9 m (5 -6.2′) and can weigh between 700-1200 kg (1500-2650 lbs).  If that wasn’t enough the horns on the male Water Buffalo can grow as much as 5′ in length. Wow! Their horns are only about 10″ shorter than I am!  That is crazy!

So what do these large water buffalo do all day? Well, they spend most of their day in the water.  Why else do you think they are called Water Buffalo!  Yep, they just wade around in warm, muddy, tropical waters all day long. The water buffalo have evolved wide-splayed hooved feet to assist with their water activities.  Anyone know how these hooves help this particular buffalo? Okay, I guess I can tell you.  These specially adapted hooves ensure that the buffalo doesn’t sink too far down in the mud while they are wandering around the wetlands all day.  They kind of act like snowshoes… well, I guess they would be mudshoes! Although, there is a ton of aquatic vegetation that the water buffalo will feed on they actually prefer the grass on dry land. It makes you wonder why they spend all day in the water if the food they want isn’t in there? That’s right, they are just like us on hot, humid days.  They just want to go for a swim to cool off!

The water buffalo has been domesticated for human use, however, the wild water buffalo are considered to be endangered and only a small population of them live in protected areas around India, Nepal, Bhutan and Thailand.

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  1. Jen 8 years ago
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