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Any of three subspecies of oxlike bovid (species Bubalus bubalis). Two have been domesticated in Asia since the earliest recorded history. The animal is named for its ability to work on waterlogged land and in humid climates. The largest breeds stand 5–6 ft (1.5–1.8 m), is up to 9 ft (2.8 m) long, and may weigh over 2,000 lb (900 kg). The dull black or dark gray body has little hair. The horns spread outward and upward, measuring up to 7 ft (2 m) across. One subspecies, the swamp buffalo, is the principal draft animal of southern China and South and Southeast Asia. Another, the river buffalo, is used for dairy and meat production and draft work in southern and South Asia and Egypt. The third subspecies is the wild water buffalo, of which only a few dozen herds remain. It is larger than domestic buffaloes and is sometimes referred to as a separate species (B. arnee).
Variants of WATER BUFFALO
water buffalo or Indian buffalo
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on water buffalo, visit Britannica.com.