The water buffalo or domestic Asian water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) is a large bovid found on the Indian subcontinent .
The origins of the domestic water buffalo types are debated, although results of a study indicate that the swamp type may have originated in China and domesticated about 2,000 BCE, while the river type may have originated from India and was domesticated about 3,000 BCE. Water buffaloes were traded from the Indus Valley Civilization, to Mesopotamia, in 2500 BCE by the Meluhhas. The seal of a scribe employed by an Akkadian king shows the sacrifice of water buffaloes.
Water buffaloes are especially suitable for tilling rice fields, and their milk is richer in fat and protein than that of the Terran cow. A large feral population in Australia became established in the late 19th century CE, and there are smaller feral herds in New Guinea, Tunisia and northeastern Argentina.