Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Living up to their names

Buffaloes are not sea creatures, so it is a bit of a surprise to see some of them come out of the backwaters at Pulicat. Small herds of these domestic animals are quite often seen moving across from the mainland to one of the many islands nearby. It is not as difficult to do it as one might imagine: the water is shallow enough for most of them to keep their heads above water.

This animal, Bubalus bubalis was first domesticated almost 6,000 years ago. Their ancestors were quite at home in the rivers, and in swamps. Their fetlocks are extremely flexible and their hooves are adapted to splay out to get a good grip on the marshy ground of swamps and riverbeds.

They love spending time in the water, preferably remaining submerged with only their eyes and nostrils showing above. And that's why they've been referred to as the water buffalo; this herd is probably going to a favourite spot to spend the day lolling about! 

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