Interspecies Conflict/asker


Hey Jim,

Welcome back! Hope you had a great time there! in the meanwhile, I've compiled several match-ups:

1.   325 kg black bear vs 375 kg female polar bear.
2.   75 kg wolf vs 70 kg s hyena.
3.   95 kg cougar vs 2 75 kg wolves.
4.   100 kg jaguar vs 4 baboons.
5.   135 kg jaguar vs 7 m long anaconda in shallow (but swimmable) and deep waters.
6.   Large Zebra vs 3 large horses.
7.   Large zebra vs 5 apbts.
8.   1500 kg GW shark vs 3 large bull sharks.
9.   Lioness vs 3 chimpanzees.
10.   35 kg baboon vs 45kg brown hyena/wolf

You always favor a SF bull over a buffalo. But Iíve a 100 year old article which should clear the myth. Iím not sure if it was a buffalo or bison. Thanks and regards.
The buffalo vs. bull fight
By Nancy Johnson
For the Deming Headlight
It all started late one night after Christmas, 1906, with a drunken conversation in a Pierre, South Dakota bar. Three old friends were discussing buffalo which led to buffalo bulls which led to a question. "Could a buffalo bull beat a Longhorn bull?" which led to, "Could a buffalo bull beat a Mexican fighting bull?" Shortly afterward the men departed for their respective homes.
The question persisted when each awoke the next morning. A few days later one sent a telegram to a friend who owned the Coney Island Bar in El Paso, which everyone knew was right across the border from Juárez, home of a fine bull ring. The El Pasoan spoke to Robert Felix, a matador and manager of the Juárez Bullring and they cut a deal. There was a raging blizzard on Jan. 7, 1907, when two buffalo bulls, an old one and a 4-year-old, were put aboard a reinforced boxcar for their trip to El Paso. The three men rode in the caboose.
There were posters all over El Paso and Juárez announcing the event, scheduled for Jan. 14. A buffalo bull versus a proud Mexican bull whose breeding for many generations had but one purpose in mind: Fight with pride to the death.
There were four fights between bulls to warm up the crowd. During the long wait to see the buffalo, many people became restive, certain the gringos had lost their nerve. When the door to the arena opened the old buffalo bull limped out to the center of the ring and stood there, his head bowed probably in pain. The fetlock of his left hind leg had been injured during the train ride. The crowd politely applauded.
The door opened again and a Mexican fighting bull rushed out ready for battle. Seeing a strange animal in the center of the ring, he pawed the ground, snorted a few times, then charged. The buffalo never moved. His body was at a quartering angle to the bull. Cattle pivot on their hind legs. Few know a buffalo pivots on his forelegs.
At the moment of contact the buffalo's hindquarters miraculously disappeared as he met the bull's charge head to head with a crack heard throughout the arena. Again the bull charged and this time the buffalo realized the pest meant business so he put a little more force into defense knocking the bull on his haunches. When the bull charged a third time the exasperated buffalo met him head to head. The bull collapsed then rose to his feet and staggered to the ringside barrier looking for escape.
Robert Felix demanded another chance. There had, after all been no real fight. A second bull was brought in. He too charged three times before running off to the barrier searching for escape. A third bull met the same fate.
Now three prize Mexican bulls frightened into submission were circling the ring. The 'Pride of Pierre' had lost all interest in the game. He laid down where he'd stood since walking into the arena and took a nap. The crowd went wild cheering and clapping for the bored buffalo.
After a long wait a fourth bull was brought in. This time the buffalo, his nap interrupted, was really aggravated. Before the bull could even charge, the old buffalo began chasing him and the other three bulls around the arena. He couldn't catch them because of his injured fetlock but finally sympathetic workers opened the gate so the bulls could escape from the now very angry buffalo.
At the end of the day the question remained. "Could a buffalo bull beat a Mexican fighting bull?" North of the border the answer was a resounding 'yes.' South of the border the answer was 'quien sabe.' After all, there had been no real fight.

Nancy Johnson is a local columnist. Her column appears in the Deming Headlight on Wednesday.

Hey Gaurav,

1. I would imagine even a female polar bear would be far too powerful for a black bear. No certainty though.

2. Slight nod towards the wolf here I think. 5kg might not seem like much, but these are pretty evenly matched animals, so it could be all the difference.

3. These ones are so tough. Does a 75 kg stand a chance against a 95 kg cougar? Not at all. But will the cougar be some dominant as to dispose of one wolf quick enough to avoid the other doing life-threatening damage? Very hard to say. There's no way a cougar would have anything to do with these two in reality, it's too dangerous. I'll go with the wolves.

4. Jaguar.

5. Could go either way, depends how it plays out. Doesn't take much for an anaconda of this size to strangle the life out of something. And conversely, this jaguar would need one well placed bite to end it.

6. Horses you would think.

7. I think the zebra would succumb to the numbers. It will kick and flail around, but I think there's enough pitbulls that the zebra would eventually be brought down.

8. Here I always go with the multiple sharks, simply because of the damage sharks can do in the blink of an eye. Bull sharks are no joke either.

9. Everything going perfectly, the chimps would win. In reality, they just won't have the nerve for it and the lioness will calmly pick them apart.

10. Absolutely no certainty, but I have to go with the baboon. Hands are a huge advantage here and a baboon of this size would have the confidence to use them well.


Very good find Gaurav, though not enough to change my mind. The age of the article, the lack of info regarding size (remember I'm talking at parity or near to) and even though it might seem weak, the Meixcans were right in saying no fight too place. No bull is going to win a charging contest with a bison. Good read though.

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Jim Wilson


I can answer most questions relating to real or hypothetical situations. I have a better understanding of animal behavior and specifically predatory behavior and interspecies predatory relationships. Mammals is my field of expertise but I can do my best in answering questions regarding other animals. Small mammals are my favourite matchups. One or two prehistoric match-ups is OK, but please do not focus on them as they are outside my expertise.


Even before completing my degree I considered myself an expert in mammal behavior. Doing my degree only furthered my interest and knowledge in the subject. After uni I got the opportunity to spend 6 months in South Africa and Kenya where I spent nearly every day basically observing and studying the animals of the savanna.

BSc Degree in Zoology from the Melbourne University, Australia.

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