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Camels have a hump as an adaptation to the heat. They store fat so that it minimizes the insulating effect the fat would have if distributed over the rest of their bodies.

Why do buffaloes/ oxen/ bulls have a hump then? The climates they are found in, I assume, are not as hot as that of the camels.

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Bison humps are made of muscles, huge muscles. According to this and this pages bisons use their heads for snowplowing. This hump provides head support. It seems that also other animals have structures like that: giraffes, rhinoceroses, elasmotheriums,... this list can go on since this structure should be homologous of other animals'. From this page rhino humps made from muscles, nuchal ligament, fat, and dermis. And from the page, probably fat quantity depends on the nutritional state of animal.

I searched nuchal ligament, the remarkable structure of hump according to rhino page. This is a ligament spans from upperback vertebra to neck vertebra and to skull. Can be found on humans too. Also muscles of hump should be homologous to humans' notice that vertebras have spines not just for supporting ligaments they also for muscles. Human skeletons just don't have vertebra with long big muscle connection points and huge neck/back muscles connecting huge bones, this is why we don't have a hump or an obvious large hump. And I think even camels do have slighly bigger muscular humps but theirs are covered with big fat hump.

Bison skeleton and elongated spines supports huge muscles and ligaments.

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Horse's nuchal ligament

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Human nuchal ligament

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Human nuchal ligament drawn with red lines and muscles (bison hump also consist of muscles).

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Giraffes' this is an energy saving feature. Giraffes don't need to use muscles to hold their neck. They just use when flexing their necks down, when drinking water etc.

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According to Wikipedia, for an alternative hypothesis Ouranosaurus have a hump. (Other hypothesis is display sail or termoregulation sail of course. Also spinosaurus have this kind of alternative hypotesis but this hypothesis not accepted much as sail. and spinosaurus' spine different from bisons. Bison spines concentrating at shoulder but spinosaurs' not at the shoulder. You can find spinosaurus info from this page.)

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! But how does the hump help the bull? $\endgroup$ – Polisetty Nov 8 '16 at 9:56
  • $\begingroup$ bull hump provides all same of other animals'. and at the same time they are fighting for females. www.zoochat.com/community/media/the-skeleton-after-a-successful-bull.189073/full?d=1339424780 see from the picture if bull pushed their head to his opponent neck needs supported to pull head up. spines also connecting point of shoulder blade muscles. so maybe hump also gives extra strength on forelimbs too. i think ox humps are similar purpose but today ox hump provides pulling cart without slipping yoke from neck. i read, probably hump growth of bulls related to testosterone. @polisetty $\endgroup$ – hfc Nov 8 '16 at 12:59
  • $\begingroup$ but in some cases some cattles have fat hump at their backs this is from selective breed or something like that. if last link doesnt work www.zoochat.com/community/media/the-skeleton-after-a-successful-bull.189073/ $\endgroup$ – hfc Nov 8 '16 at 13:04
  • $\begingroup$ seems my answer/comments are needs to be improved a little. but because i think my answer and comments too much detailed for a desired answer anyways. so i can leave it unedited for not to spend extra time. if you confused ill leave a brief correction: correcting first comment: bull humps are for fighting for females and also provides support just like as in other animals. second comment: indian bulls etc. $\endgroup$ – hfc Nov 8 '16 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ 9gag.com/gag/aAwKGgo i guess this is can be explained with hump. hes not got an very obvious hump but hes have one. $\endgroup$ – hfc Dec 7 '16 at 8:28

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