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, city, United States

Buffalo, city (2020 pop. 278,349), seat of Erie co., W N.Y., on Lake Erie and the Niagara and Buffalo rivers; inc. 1832. With more than 37 mi (60 km) of waterfront, it is a major commercial and industrial port and railroad hub. Buffalo is a diversified manufacturing and financial center, with a large health-care industry. It is the second largest city in New York state.

In 1803 a village was laid out on the site by Joseph Ellicott for the Holland Land Company. Almost destroyed by fire (1813) in the War of 1812, it recovered slowly until the opening (1825) of the Erie Canal, after which it became a major Great Lakes port. The city developed as a flour-milling center and later thrived on steel milling, automobile and locomotive manufacturing, and other heavy industries. These all fell into decline, however, and by the 1980s Buffalo had lost its traditional economic base. The area has since benefited from the free trade agreement (1988) between the United States and Canada, attracting Canadian investment in real estate and manufacturing, but the city's population has continued the decline that began after World War II. By 2003 the decline led to a city financial crisis, and the state established an oversight authority to restore the city to fiscal health. In 2017, Tesla opened a major battery manufacturing plant in South Buffalo. The city's largest employer is the State of New York.

Buffalo's educational institutions include the State Univ. of New York, with campuses at Buffalo and suburban Amherst; Canisius College; and D'Youville College. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery and Buffalo Museum of Science are well known. Notable buildings include the city hall (1932) and the Guaranty Building (1895–96; formerly the Prudential Building), designed by Louis Sullivan. Buffalo has a music hall and a philharmonic orchestra and a noted park system created by F. L. Olmsted. The city is home to the National Hockey League's Sabres, and the National Football League's Buffalo Bills play in nearby Orchard Park. The Peace Bridge (1927) connects Buffalo with Fort Erie, Ont.

Grover Cleveland became mayor of Buffalo in 1882. Here in 1901, at the Pan-American Exposition, President McKinley was assassinated; Theodore Roosevelt took the presidential oath in Buffalo. The McKinley monument and the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site (see National Parks and Monuments (table)) commemorate the two events. Millard Fillmore's home was in Buffalo. Current mayor Democrat Byron Brown was first elected in 2005; he was unexpectedly beaten in the primary vote in 2021, but successfully won reelection through a write-in campaign for a fifth term that November.


, in zoology
buffalo, name commonly applied to the American bison but correctly restricted to certain related African and Asian mammals of the cattle family. The water buffalo, or Indian buffalo, Bubalus bubalis, is found in S Asia. It is a large, extremely strong, dark gray animal, standing nearly 6 ft (180 cm) at the shoulder and weighing up to 2,000 lb (900 kg). Its widely spread horns curve out and back in a semicircle and may reach a length of 6 ft (180 cm). For many centuries it has been domesticated as a draft animal, but wild forms still exist in Borneo and herds descended from domesticated animals live in a wild state elsewhere. Water buffalo live in swampy areas and near rivers, where they wallow in the mud. Wild water buffalo are extremely fierce and have been known to kill fully grown tigers. The domestic forms are somewhat more docile. They are used throughout S Asia to pull plows and carts; they are of little importance as dairy animals, as their milk is scant. Their diet consists chiefly of grass. The anoa, Anoa depressicornus, also called dwarf buffalo or wood buffalo, is the smallest of the buffalo, standing only 40 in. (100 cm) high at the shoulder; it is found in Sulawesi. Its slightly larger relative, the tamarou, Anoa mindorensis, is found in the Mindoro region of the Philippines. Both are forest dwellers. The large, fierce cape buffalo is found in Africa. Buffalo are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Artiodactyla, family Bovidae.


See D. A. Dary, The Buffalo Book (1974).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



ruminant mammals of the family Cavicornia of the order Artiodactyla, similar to oxen. Buffalo have a heavy and bulky torso, a short neck, and short strong legs. The head is wide. The forward part of the upper lip is hairless and has on it the bare moist “nose mirror.” The skin on the lower part of the neck and chest on males forms a hanging fold (the so-called dewlap). The tail is long, with a brush of long hair on the end. The females have two pairs of teats. In distinction to oxen, the horns of buffalo have a triangular form in cross section. The hair on buffalo is short and sparse, and toward old age it disappears almost completely. Wild buffalo are found in southern Asia and in Africa (south of the Sahara). The ranges of wild buffalo are varied. They are herd animals, feeding on vegetation. The gestation period is about 12 months. The females bear one calf. There are three genera of buffalo, of which there are four species.

The Indian (water) buffalo, or arna (Bubalus arnee), is also known as the Asiatic buffalo and belongs to the genus Bubalus. It is a large animal, up to 180 cm tall at the withers and weighing up to 1,000 kg. They are distinguished by their extremely long (up to 2 m) horns, which are bent within one plane. Their color is dark, almost black. They live in moist, swampy forests and in undergrowths along river banks and reservoirs. They are found in India, on the Indochinese peninsula, and on the islands of Ceylon and Kalimantan. As a result of intense hunting by man, the wild water buffalo is rare. The second species of this genus, the Philippine buffalo (B. mindorensis) is distinguished by its much smaller size. (Height at the withers is up to 100 cm.) They are distributed only on the island of Mindoro (in the Philippines). They are very close to the Indian buffalo and are sometimes considered a subspecies of them.

One species, the anoa, which lives on the island of Sulawesi, belongs to the genus Anoa.

The African, or cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer), is the only example of the genus Syncerus. The base of the animal’s horns is broad and forms a caplike covering on the upper part of the head. They are widely distributed to the south of the Sahara. There are several geographical races, differentiated by size and coloring of the body. The largest of these buffalo are as large in size as the water buffalo. Formerly they were found in large herds. They are game animals and have been badly hunted out in places, and their numbers are small in a large part of their range. They live in the forest-steppe and on the open plains.


The Indian buffalo has been tamed by man since ancient times. In domesticated form they are distributed in southern Asia, Africa, and southern Europe. In the USSR they are raised in the Azerbaijan, Georgian, and Armenian SSR’s and in the Northern Caucasus. The buffalo are large animals, up to 130 cm high at the withers, 135 cm along the flank, and 190 cm around the chest. Their coat is most frequently black, and occasionally dark brown or dark gray; albinos can be found. The buffalo have a strong, coarse, wiry constitution. The liveweight of bulls is up to 700 kg; of cows, 450 kg (occasionally up to 600 kg); of castrated bulls (kyali), up to 500 kg; and of calves at birth, 30-40 kg. Buffalo are late-maturing animals. The first issue appears at an age of four years, and full development is reached at seven or eight years of age. Buffalo are used in agriculture until they are 20-30 years old, mainly as milk animals, often as draft animals. They are used for breeding until age 15-16. The fertility of cows is to 100 percent, and twins are rare. A technique of artificial insemination has been developed.

Buffalo are basically raised in regions with warm climates near rivers, irrigation canals, and other reservoirs. Buffalo eat coarse plant fodder, which is poorly utilized by other animals. The basic product of buffalo is milk. The yield of cows on kolkhoz and sovkhoz farms is 1,400-1,600 kg of milk, with a record of 3,500 kg. The fat content is 8.0-8.8 percent. Mechanical milking is used in farming. Butter, cheese, and brynza are made from buffalo milk. The meat is used for food; in working animals it is tough, but in calves it is more tender. When fed and fattened on rations with corn silage or sugar beet pulp mixed with concentrates and coarse fodder, buffalo show a weight gain of 750-850 g, and the dressed weight is 45 percent. The skin is tough, heavy (25-50 kg), porous, and thick (0.4-0.9 cm). Buffalo are resistant to haemosporidiosis and malignant anthrax, easily endure foot-and-mouth disease, and the females do not abort during brucellosis. Planned breed work with buffalo is carried on in the Azerbaijan SSR, where the Dashiuzskii Breed Farm has been organized and where kolkhoz breed farms have been created.


Agabeili, A. A. “Problema razvitiia molochnogo buivolovodstva.” In Trudy nauchnoi sessii Akademii sel’skokhoziaistvennykh nauk Azerbaidzhanskoi SSR. Baku, 1960.
Agabeili, A. A. Buivoly. Moscow, 1967.
Lydekker, R. Wild Oxen, Sheep, and Goats of All Lands, Living and Extinct. London, 1898.
Lydekker, R. “Catalogue of the Ungulate Mammals in the British Museum.” In Natural History, vol. 1. London, 1913.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(vertebrate zoology)
The common name for several species of artiodactyl mammals in the family Bovidae, including the water buffalo and bison.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


heraldic symbol of unselfishness. [Heraldry: Halberts, 21]


heraldic symbol of power. [Heraldry: Halberts, 21]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. a member of the cattle tribe, Syncerus caffer, mostly found in game reserves in southern and eastern Africa and having upward-curving horns
2. short for water buffalo
3. US and Canadian a member of the cattle tribe, Bison bison, formerly widely distributed over the prairies of W North America but now confined to reserves and parks, with a massive head, shaggy forequarters, and a humped back


a port in W New York State, at the E end of Lake Erie. Pop.: 285 018 (2003 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005