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" Balance of Power " African Buffaloes in bronze on walnut

Tuesday, Aug 02, 2011

African Buffalo, affalo, nyathi, Mbogo or Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer)

The African buffalo is a very robust species. It is up to 1.7 metres high, 3.4 metres long. Buffaloes weigh 500–900 kg, with males, normally larger than females, reaching the upper weight range. The horns of African buffalo are very peculiar. A characteristic feature of them is the fact that the adult bull's horns have fused bases, forming a continuous bone shield, called the “Boss” which can not always be penetrated even by a rifle bullet. From the base the horns diverge, then bend down, and then smoothly curved upwards and outwards. The distance between the ends of the horns of large bulls can be more than a meter. The young buffalo horn "shield" forms fully only upon reaching the age of 5–6 years. In cows the horns are, on average, 10-20% less, and the "shield" is usually absent.