Early American settlers called bison “bufello” due to the similar appearance between the two animals, and the name "buffalo" stuck for the American variety. But it's wrong.
The American bison (Bison bison) lives only in North America, while the two main buffalo species reside in Africa and Asia. A small population of bison relatives called the European bison (Bison bonasus) lives in isolated parts of Poland.
Like buffalo, bison belong to the Bovidae family, which includes more than 100 species of hoofed mammals, called ungulates — buffalo, bison, antelopes, gazelles, cattle, sheep and goats. Two main buffalo species exist: African cape buffalo and Asian water buffalo.