Tedong bonga is a black pied buffalo featuring a unique black and white colouration that is favoured by the Toraja of Sulawesi.
They’re rarely seen. Even less often photographed. Bryde’s whales rocket through Pacific shallows to gorge on fish. Dive in for more.
The loss of animal species is irreversible and potentially catastrophic, not to mention heartrendingly sad. Where do we stand? Face the facts with this quiz.
The Hawaiian monk seal is one of the oldest species of seal on the planet. But their tenure in paradise is perilously close to its end; only about 1,100 seals remain in the wild.
The rumen of the water buffalo has important differences from that of other ruminants. It contains a larger population of bacteria, particularly the cellulolytic bacteria, lower protozoa, and higher fungi zoospores. In addition, higher rumen ammonia nitrogen (NH4-N) and higher pH have been found as compared to those in cattle.
Find out what National Geographic Society is doing to save animals all over the world, and learn what you can do to help.
The water buffalo is the main dairy animal in Pakistan, with 23.47 million head in 2010. Of these, 76% are kept in the Punjab. The rest of them are mostly in the province of Sindh. Breeds used are Niliravi, Kundi, and Azi Kheli. Karachi has the largest population of water buffalos for an area where fodder is not grown, consisting of 350,000 head kept mainly for milking.
The world's first cloned buffalo was developed by Indian scientists from National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal. The buffalo calf was named Samrupa. The calf did not survive more than a week, and died due to some genetic disorders. So, the scientists created another cloned buffalo a few months later, and named it Garima.
Water buffalo milk is processed into a large variety of dairy products:
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Water Buffalo like standing in water but do not need to. They are hardy animals, much less prone to foot problems and mastitis than European cattle.
Females normally produce calves every other year, after a gestation of 9 to 11 months. Young bulls typically remain with maternal herds, which consist of around 30 buffalo, for three years after birth. They then go on to form small all-male herds.
Their hides provide tough and useful leather, often used for shoes.
The swamp buffalo has 48 chromosomes; the river buffalo has 50 chromosomes. The two types do not readily interbreed, but fertile offspring can occur. Buffalo-cattle hybrids have not been observed to occur, and the embryos of such hybrids do not reach maturity in laboratory experiments.
What the Indian Water Buffalo does People and the Indian Water Buffalo have a long history together, about 1,000 years. Water buffalo have super power to carry heavy loads and help work the rice fields. Also, water buffalo make meat and milk, and their horns and hide (skin) can be used to make seals, shoes, and so on. Today, water buffalo are very important for human survival.
They live a long time too, often 20 year olds are found even in the biggest herds.
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Water buffalo are also present in the southern region of Iraq in the Mesopotamian Marshes. The draining of the Mesopotamian Marshes by Saddam Hussein was an attempt to punish the south for the 1991 uprisings in Iraq. After 2003 and the Firdos Square statue destruction, these lands were reflooded and a 2007 report on Maysan and Dhi Qar shows a steady increase in the number of water buffalo. The report puts the number at 40,008 head in those two provinces.
During the 1970s, small herds were imported to Costa Rica, Ecuador, Cayenne, Panama, Surinam, Guyana, and Venezuela.
Some ethnic groups, such as Batak and Toraja in Indonesia and the Derung in China, use water buffalo or kerbau (called horbo in Batak or tedong in Toraja) as sacrificial animals at several festivals.
Out of the ox family, the Indian Water Buffalo is the biggest. He has beautiful horns, and when tigers come to attack, the Indian Water Buffalo can beat them!
Water buffalo spend much of their day submerged in the muddy waters of Asia’s tropical and subtropical forests. Their wide-splayed hoofed feet prevent them from sinking too deeply in the mud and allow them to move about in wetlands and swamps. These marshes provide good cover and rich aquatic plants to forage on, although water buffalo actually prefer to feed in grasslands on grass and herbs.
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Buffalo belong to the Bovidae (cattle) family but cannot be crossed with cows, unlike American Bison which can.
Water buffalo have been domesticated for more than 5,000 years. They have buttressed humanity’s survival with their meat, horns, hides, milk, butterfat, and power, plowing and transporting people and crops.
The following habitats are found across the Water buffalo distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
In Thailand, the number of water buffalo dropped from more than 3 million head in 1996 to less than 1.24 million head in 2011. Slightly over 75% of them are kept in the country's northeastern region. The statistics also indicate that by the beginning of 2012, less than one million were in the country, partly as a result of illegal shipments to neighboring countries where sales prices are higher than in Thailand.
Between 1824 and 1849, water buffalo were introduced into the Northern Territory from Timor, Kisar, and probably other islands in the Indonesian archipelago. In 1886, a few milking types were brought from India to Darwin. They have been the main grazing animals on the subcoastal plains and river basins between Darwin and Arnhem Land since the 1880s. In the early 1960s, an estimated population of 150,000 to 200,000 buffalo were living in the plains and nearby areas.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
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Water buffalo thrive on many aquatic plants and during floods, will graze submerged, raising their heads above the water and carrying quantities of edible plants. They eat reeds, Arundo donax, a kind of Cyperaceae, Eichhornia crassipes, and Juncaceae. Some of these plants are of great value to local peoples. Others, such as E. crassipes, are a major problem in some tropical valleys and water buffalo may help to keep waterways clear.
However, in uncontrolled circumstances, water buffalo can cause environmental damage, such as trampling vegetation, disturbing bird and reptile nesting sites, and spreading exotic weeds.
Swamp buffalo generally become reproductive at an older age than river breeds. Young males in Egypt, India, and Pakistan are first mated at about 3.0–3.5 years of age, but in Italy they may be used as early as 2 years of age. Successful mating behaviour may continue until the animal is 12 years or even older. A good river male can impregnate 100 females in a year. A strong seasonal influence on mating occurs. Heat stress reduces libido.
Water buffalo were introduced into the Amazon River basin in 1895. They are now extensively used there for meat and dairy production. In 2005, the buffalo herd in the Brazilian Amazon stood at roughly 1.6 million head, of which 460,000 were located in the lower Amazon floodplain. Breeds used include Mediterranean from Italy, Murrah and Jafarabadi from India, and Carabao from the Philippines.
Wild water buffalo are endangered and live only in a small number of protected areas stretching across India, Nepal, and Bhutan, and a wildlife reserve in Thailand. And populations are likely to diminish as they are interbred with domesticated water buffalo.
The Water buffalo lives on grassy plains through Nepal, India and Bangladesh.
The water buffalo population in the world is about 172 million.
Buffalo produce high quality milk (8.5% butterfat, 4.5% protein) with low (8mg) cholesterol, which is highly sought after for Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese, ice-cream, yoghurt, and for the Asian community to drink and to make into makhan, khoa and sweets.