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Water Buffalo

Water buffalo bathing in a sinkhole in Taiwan.Water buffalo in SrilankaWater buffalo in India.An Asian water buffaloWater buffalo in Sumatra, Indonesia.
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Water Buffalo Facts

Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
Scientific Name:
The name of the animal in science
Bubalus Bubalis
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
2-3m (6.6-9.8ft)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
400-900kg (880-2,000lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
48km/h (30mph)
How long the animal lives for
15-25 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Brown, Tan, Grey
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Favourite Food:
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
Marsh and swampland
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from
Grass, Leaves, Aquatic plants
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Human, Wild cats, Crocodile
Special Features:
Characteristics unique to this animal
Large head and body and wallow in water holes

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Water Buffalo Location

Map of Water Buffalo Locations

Water Buffalo

The water buffalo is thought to have originated in Asia but has since been introduced to Australia, Africa, Europe and North America. The wild Asian water buffalo is now considered to be an endangered species.

The water buffalo has been domesticated by humans for thousands of years and is used to pull heavy machinery and to carry heavy loads. Buffalo are farmed in most countries for their meat.

The water buffalo lives in herds with anywhere from a few buffalo to bigger herds in Africa that commonly have hundreds of buffalo per herd. The buffalo is common prey for larger predators such as tigers, crocodiles and lions.

The buffalo belongs to the same family of animals as wild cows. This group also includes the African buffalo and the American bison along with the yak and the zebu. Male water buffaloes have very distinctive, large curved horns on the tops of their heads. The male water buffalo is also about a third large than the female water buffalo and the male water buffalo is therefore more commonly used as an agricultural aid.

Water buffalo spend most of their time submerged in the muddy waters of Asia's tropical forests. By doing this, the water buffalo is able to keep itself cool in the hot and humid jungle conditions. The hooves on the water buffalo's feet are spread out which allows the water buffalo to stop itself from sinking into the mud on the river beds and swampland.

The water buffalo is a herbivorous animal and the water buffalo therefore has a purely vegetarian diet. Water buffalo munch on aquatic plants when they are in water but water buffalo seem to prefer to leave the water to find grassland where the water buffalo can graze on grasses, leaves and herbs.

Female water buffalo produce one water buffalo calf every couple of years. After a gestation period of up to 11 months, the female water buffalo gives birth to her buffalo baby. The baby water buffalo stays with its mother and is dependant on her for its first couple of years. After about three years, male water buffaloes leave the mother water buffalo to join all male water buffalo groups. The female water buffalo will often remain in the same water buffalo herd as it's mother.

Although the wild Asian water buffalo is now considered to be an endangered animal, the commercially farmed water buffalo can be found all around the world. There are thought to be more than 150 million commercially farmed water buffalo across the globe today which are farmed for their milk, meat and leather.

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First Published: 5th December 2008, Last Updated: 8th November 2019

1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 05 Dec 2008]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. David W. Macdonald, Oxford University Press (2010) The Encyclopedia Of Mammals [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2010]
4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 05 Dec 2008]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 05 Dec 2008]