- 香港早晨Lv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
The Water Buffalo is a very large ungulate and a member of the bovine subfamily. The Arni or Wild Buffalo survives in the wild in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Vietnam, China, Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Thailand. The domestic Buffalo are very widespread in Asia, South America, North Africa and Europe. They are feral in northern Australia. Wild-living populations also exist in much of South-east Asia but their origins are uncertain. They may be descendants of wild Water Buffalo, formerly domesticated ferals or a mixture. In Asia, the population of wild Water Buffalo has become sparse, and there is fear that no pure-bred wild water buffalo exists. Adult Water Buffalo range in size from 300 kg to 600 kg for the domestic bred, but true wild water buffaloes can grow larger. Adult females typically weigh around 800 kg, and males up to 1200 kg. The average weight of an adult male is 900 kg, and the average height at the shoulder is about 1.7m. One distinction between wild buffaloes and domesticated version is that the wild species lacks the round belly found in domesticated buffalo. Due to interbreeding with feral and domestic species, weights can vary greatly even in populations which are in close proximity. Interbreeding with domesticated buffaloes is the major cause of extinction of wild buffaloes. Buffaloes are believed to have originated in South Asia.
The classification of the Water Buffalo is uncertain. Some authorities list a single species, Bubalus bubalis with three subspecies, the River Buffalo (B. bubalis bubalis) of South Asia and the Carabao or Swamp Buffalo (B. bubalis carabanesis) of the Philippines and Southeast Asia, and the Arni, or Wild Buffalo, (B. bubalis arnee). Others regard these as closely-related, but separate, species. The Swamp Buffalo is primarily found in the eastern half of Asia and has 48 chromosomes. The River Buffalo is mostly found in western half of Asia, and has 50 chromosomes. Fertile offspring occur between the two. It does not readily hybridise with cattle which have 60 chromosomes.
Milk from both of these animals is used by many human populations, and is the traditional raw material for mozzarella cheese and curd due to its higher fat content. The chief dairy breed of Buffalo is the Murrah breed. Buffalo meat, sometimes called "Carabeef", is often passed off as beef in certain regions and is also a major source of export revenue for India which has the largest population of buffaloes in the world. However, in many Asian regions, buffalo meat is less preferred due to its toughness, however, recipes have evolved (Rendang for example) where the slow cooking process and spices not only make the meat palatable, but also preserves it; an important factor in hot climates where refrigeration is not always available. Water buffalo hide provides a tough and useful leather often used for shoes and motorcycle helmets.Source(s): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_Buffalo