When it comes to large mammals that have roamed the grasslands and savannas of the world, there are a few that come to mind. Four of the most notable ones being the Bison, Buffalo, Yak, and Ox. But what are the differences between them? Which one weighs the most? Which one has the best meat? Let’s talk about these four iconic animals.
Also known as the American Bison, the Bison is native to North America. They used to roam the Great Plains in vast herds but were hunted to near extinction in the late 1800s. They have since made a comeback and currently number around 500,000.
Bison weigh between 1,000 to 2,200 pounds and stand around 6 feet tall at the shoulder. They have a shaggy dark brown coat and a massive hump on their back which is made of muscle. The hump is what makes their head appear lower than it actually is, which in turn gives them incredible speed and maneuverability.
Bison are primarily grazers, meaning they feed on grass. They also eat shrubs and tree bark in the winter when the grass is scarce. Bison meat is leaner and has a slightly sweeter flavor than beef. It is also high in protein and low in fat and cholesterol, making it a healthier alternative to beef.
The term buffalo is actually a misnomer. When Europeans first arrived in North America, they saw Bison and thought they were buffalo, which is actually a different animal native to Africa and Asia. However, the name buffalo has stuck.
Like Bison, Buffalo are large, shaggy animals with humps on their back. But, the two animals differ in a few key aspects. Buffalo are larger, weighing up to 2,000-2,200 pounds. They are also darker in color, ranging from dark brown to black. Their horns are also different, they are smaller and thicker than Bison’s.
Buffalo meat is a red meat and has a deep, rich flavor. The meat is also high in protein and low in fat and cholesterol.
Yaks are native to the Himalayas and can be found in Tibet, Mongolia, and Central Asia. They are often referred to as the “boats of the Himalayas” because of their large, wide hooves which make them excellent at traversing steep, rocky terrain.
Yaks have two types of hair, a course outer layer and a fine inner layer. The inner layer is used for insulation and the outer layer is used for protection from the elements. They are also covered in a layer of thick fat which acts as insulation.
Yaks weigh between 600 to 1,300 pounds and stand around 5.5 feet tall at the shoulder. They are herbivores, feeding on grasses and small shrubs. Yak meat is leaner than beef and has a mild, sweet flavor. It is also high in protein and low in fat.
Ox is a term used to describe a domesticated bovine used for work, such as plowing fields or pulling carts. They are a hybrid of a domestic cow and a wild bovine such as the Bison.
Oxen are larger than domestic cows and can weigh up to 2,000-3,000 pounds. They have a broad, muscular body and are covered in a thick coat which varies in color from black to brown to white.
Oxen are primarily used for work but their meat is also edible. The meat is leaner than beef and has a slightly sweeter flavor. It is also high in protein and low in fat and cholesterol.
In conclusion, each of these four animals differs in some way. Bison and Buffalo are similar in appearance but differ in size, color, and horn structure. Yak is a Himalayan herbivore that has adapted to harsh environments while Oxen are domesticated bovines used for their labor. All four animals have been important to human societies in different ways, whether through food, clothing, or transport. They all offer unique characteristics that make them special in their own way.