Wildebeest vs Buffalo
Wildebeest and buffalo could be sometimes difficult to understand as who is who, for any untrained or unfamiliar person. However, there are many distinguishable characteristics between buffalo and wildebeest, which are important to know despite they both being bovid species. Although there are many buffaloes known as Cape, Asian, Eurasian, Water, American, and Dwarf buffaloes, the water buffalo is the one referred without an adjective. Therefore, this article reviews literature on water buffalo and wildebeest before the comparison between them, which is presented at the end.
Wildebeests are unique animals among all the members in the animal kingdom because of their characteristic appearance. There are two different species of wildebeests belong to the same genus known as Connochaetesgnou (black wildebeest) and C. taurinus (blue wildebeest). Gnu is another name referred for these animals that have been the basis of the black wildebeest’s species name. The two species have diverged before 1,000,000 years from one ancestor, and the blue gnu has only few variations from the ancestor compared to the black gnu. Interestingly, the black gnu has no subspecies, but there are five subspecies of blue gnu. Wildebeests are significantly taller than a metre and have a weight range from 120 to 270 kilograms. They are active grazers of the African savannahs, and their lawnmower-like muzzle helps them to graze the shot and nutritious grasses successfully. Wildebeests are known for their great migrations around Africa in search of new grass year round. When the drought climates are reached, the fresh grass are dried out, which forces them to move away in search of new food sources, usually in May and June each year. In addition to the feeding on high quality food year around, scientists claim that wildebeests benefit from reduced predation due to their migrating behaviours. These interesting animals live for about 30 years in captivity, but only 20 years in wild.
Buffalo is an important member among the bovines with a black colour cattle-like appearance. Usually, the term buffalo refers to the domestic buffalo or the water buffalo, despite there are few other referred species including Cape buffalo and Eurasian buffalo. However, there are different types of water buffaloes raised for milk, meat, and work purposes. Usually, all the types are black in colour and larger in physique compared to other cattle species. There are distinct types of coats according to the climatic conditions that they live; a long coat in temperate climates and short fur in tropical climates. Usually, most of the buffalos have horns, but shapes and sizes vary according to the species. Cape buffalo has its own characteristically shaped, thick horn with special downward and upward curves, while Wild Asian buffalo has slender horns with an upward curve. One important observation about them is the absence of the sweat glands on their skin, which makes them have more heat inside their bodies. Therefore, they prefer to stay around water during the daytime. In addition, they put mud on their body, so that their bodies would be cooled. Usually, the swamp buffalos are raised for both meat and work purposes, as they are very strong, whereas the river buffalos are raised for milk purposes. However, the term buffalo is colloquially used to mention the American bison in North America.
What is the difference between Wildebeest and Buffalo?
• They both are bovine animals, but wildebeest is unique among many animals than buffalo.
• The number of buffalo species is higher than the two wildebeest species.
• Wildebeest is distributed in African savannahs, whereas buffaloes are found in any continent except in Australia.
• Wildebeest is a wild animal while buffalos are mainly domestic.
• Wildebeests are migratory animals, while buffaloes are not.
• Buffaloes could be heavier and larger than wildebeest.
• Buffalos stay around muddy swamps during daytime, but not the wildebeests.
• Wildebeests live longer than buffaloes usually.