Buffalo (Syncerus caffer)
Cape buffalo is the largest of commonly three, sometimes four subspecies in the family African Buffalo. They are found in the middle of the African continent in the arid biome. Different habitats are occupied; savannah woodland, grassland, desert and semi-desert (Estes 1997).
Plentiful supplies of grass, shade and water are essential requirements. Buffalos have to drink regularly at least once a day, often twice (Sinclair 1977; Prins & Beekman 1989; Estes 1997). They frequently graze in the close vicinity of water and are classified as bulk grazers. Their main diet consists of grass leaves (Field 1976; Sinclair 1977).
With their big mouths and relatively immobile lips buffalos are a fairly un-selective grazer (Hofmann 1973; Van Soest 1982; Prins & Beekman 1989) and like cattle and other bovids they must assign time for rumination. Some studies have found that buffalos include a small amount of browse in their diet. Meanwhile, others have shown that buffalos avoid browse to a large extent (C.R. Field et al. 1973; Prins & Beekman 1989).
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Last updated: 05/23/05