Ice Age carabao found in Cebu

The remains of a 100,000 year old carabao (buffalo) has been identified as a new dwarf species. The dwarf carabao may be indicative of a biological phenomenon known as “island dwarfism”, where animals living in areas with limited resources (eg. islands) adapt to be smaller.

20 November 2006 (The News Today) – The remains of a 100,000 year old carabao (buffalo) has been identified as a new dwarf species. The dwarf carabao may be indicative of a biological phenomenon known as “island dwarfism”, where animals living in areas with limited resources (eg. islands) adapt to be smaller.

The News Today, 20 Nov 2006

Ice Age carabao found in Cebu

Unknown to science until now, a new species of carabao has been discovered — 100,000 years late.

During the Ice Age, Bubalus cebuensis stood 2.5 feet and weighed about 160 kilograms. It was a mini copy of today’s adult water buffaloes that stand 6 feet and weigh up to a ton.

The dwarf buffalo is to a typical carabao as a pony is to a horse. And it is about a fourth smaller than its living relative, the hundred or so tamaraws that remain in Mindoro Island and nowhere else.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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