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Interspecies Conflict/Strength of primates


the bat wrote at 2009-02-06 21:33:14
Please add to the fact that having your arm torn off at the shoulder is also not a good way to gauge the strength of the animal that has so bountifully brought us here.  Us being human, that is.  How about this:  an arm-wrestling contest, 4 yo chimp vs Mr. man.   Since the great apes use the trees to access survival 24/7, I would hope that God, in His great plan of Life on this thing called Earth, would give us a bit more way other then the large amount of our brain.  We've been ditching the wild life for 100,000 yrs.  We still are. Climbing up trees is our motto.  Bear means run and climb.  As far as is concerned, you stay on your side, I'll stay on my side:  unless I get REAL hungry.  

your friend,          the bat

Logos wrote at 2009-02-27 23:55:07
Fady is definitely on track.  Jim you simply cannot quantify the strength of an ape or primate the same way that you would quantify the strength of a human.

I have witnessed a mountain lion weighing approximately 150 pounds pulling the carcass of a wild buffalo that probably weighed 800-1000 pounds up the side of a mountain incline that was easily 40 degrees.  The mountain lion used a violent jerking motion with it's neck which worked like a steel piston.  step after step, it dragged the massive carcass up the slope tirelessly.  In the Canadian Yukon, I have seen lots of amazing things like that.  

The biologic engineering and structure of a mountain cat is definitely not like a humans.  They are far more capable at exerting anaerobic effort with aerobic efficiency.


h-bomb666 wrote at 2009-04-23 15:42:03

I can help with superman, Consider that he is able to fly and therefore must be able to produce force without pressing against an object (he flies in a stationary pose) Still breaks the laws of physics but does allow him to stop trucks trains etc while standing on a surface of low friction

Random wrote at 2009-07-08 03:39:27

But the "five times" figure was refuted 20 years after Bauman's experiments. In 1943, Glen Finch of the Yale primate laboratory rigged an apparatus to test the arm strength of eight captive chimpanzees. An adult male chimp, he found, pulled about the same weight as an adult man. Once he'd corrected the measurement for their smaller body sizes, chimpanzees did turn out to be stronger than humansóbut not by a factor of five or anything close to it.

Repeated tests in the 1960s confirmed this basic picture. A chimpanzee had, pound for pound, as much as twice the strength of a human when it came to pulling weights. The apes beat us in leg strength, too, despite our reliance on our legs for locomotion. A 2006 study found that bonobos can jump one-third higher than top-level human athletes, and bonobo legs generate as much force as humans nearly two times heavier.

So the figures quoted by primate experts are a little exaggerated. But it is a fact that chimpanzees and other apes are stronger than humans. How did we get to be the weaklings of the primate order? Our overall body architecture makes a difference: Even though chimpanzees weigh less than humans, more of their mass is concentrated in their powerful arms. But a more important factor seems to be the structure of the muscles themselves. A chimpanzee's skeletal muscle has longer fibers than the human equivalent and can generate twice the work output over a wider range of motion. In the past few years, geneticists have identified the loci for some of these anatomical differences. One gene, for example, called MYH16, contributes to the development of large jaw muscles in other apes. In humans, MYH16 has been deactivated. (Puny jaws have marked our lineage for as least 2 million years.) Many people have also lost another muscle-related gene called ACTN3. People with two working versions of this gene are overrepresented among elite sprinters while those with the nonworking version are overrepresented among endurance runners. Chimpanzees and all other nonhuman primates have only the working version; in other words, they're on the powerful, "sprinter" end of the spectrum.


kkcrotty100 wrote at 2009-08-22 19:44:19
The idea that someone can't move a weight more than you weigh due to fiction it is ridiculous.  I train with weights and use pull sleds that weight 2-3 times my body weight. I have nothing to pull against other than the ground.  I can easily drag a 400# weight towards me on a rope without being strapped to the ground and I weigh under 200 lbs. You somehow must think that the friction "holding" the weight to the ground is completely = to the friction I can develop between my feet and the ground?  Your science is bunk because I can change both the force and angle applied to my feet and body and give myself more mechanical advantage.

I have seen some fun contests where 130lbs female apes beat 400lbs sumo wrestlers in a rope pulling contest.  Both side sides had a board to push there feet against and the Orangutan used only one are and won.  To motivate the orangutan the rope was tied around its waist and it would have been pulled into a pool of water if it lost.  Apes do not like water.  I doubt this kind of contest would be allowed in the US but it was interesting to see.

mike wrote at 2009-11-12 17:01:35
Its a question of biomechanics I would assume overall, where the primates mentioned have far better mechanical advantage over any resistance to to great leverage via more advatageous insertion points of tendosn onto bones. So, all else being equal pound for pound, the primates can exert much more force on the outside world due to leverage.

For example, the average human has a 30 cm forearm with a bicep tendon inserted 1 cm down. The quick math means that 600 lbs of force must be produce in the bicep to exert 20 pounds of force at arms length. Now take the primates who may have bicep tendones inserted 5-10 cm down the forearm and you can see mathmatically why the primates can produce far more force than we can. Not to mention the shear size of gorrilas and the relitive density of the muscle fibres compared to humans. Push or pull doesnt matter, as muscles/tendons only pull... "pushing" mechanically speaking does not occur within the musculoskeletal system. it only seems that way in outward manisfestation of force.

N.O.M.A.D. wrote at 2010-10-09 15:58:46
Fady, I just need to point out that your responses are highly speculative, based purely on your own assumptions and, as a result, entirely useless toward satisfying a scientific question, such as the one made by Jim.

Bauman's tests were shown to be erroneous, with more recent tests producing a strength difference factor of roughly two, when adjusted for body mass differences.

Also, Jim, there is reportedly plenty of difference between the muscles of a human vs. that of an ape, with longer fibers capable of generating roughly twice the work output.

There are also a number of pro-performance genes possessed by apes that are not actively present in humans, save a select few, and only in certain people.


Jack Thiessen wrote at 2013-07-27 07:17:59
When in Indonesia in 1975 I chanced upon a group of men trying to capture an oran-utang. Since I am very strong and adventurous, I came to their aid.

The primate was in a tree and a lasso had been attached firmly to his arm.

We,all sixteen of us thought we had him where we wanted him and were going to take him to a waiting vehicle. The ape had other intentions. It suddenly grabbed a sturdy branch and with one mighy heave,it knocked us all over. We gave up. Of course we claimed a good time was had by all and cleared out in a hurry before the ape decided to corral us for his fun.

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Fady D. Isho


I can answer questions relating to species interaction, as well as hypothetical faceoffs. Questions relating to hypothetical interaction can be answered as well, including other aspects of interspecies conflict.


To date, I'm still finishing up high school. Although, I've had experience with animals both in and outside of the field. I've also read about animals (wild) most of my life.

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