Interspecies Conflict/chimp vs baboon


Hello, Jim.  Hope all is well.

In a recent question I asked you(regarding wolves,chimps & baboons), you indicated a chimp would have the upper hand against a baboon even if it gave up a few kilos.  This surprised me somewhat, as I felt the baboon would have the upper hand at parity.  

I think both animals have advantages, and as you mentioned, the chimp is stronger and more intelligent.  I believe the baboon has a more formidable bite with its 2-inch fangs, and has the ability to cause more injury to the chimp in a given time period with them than a chimp could cause with its bite.  Granted, the chimp has a nasty bite of its own, but I think this is one area in which the baboon has a sizeable advantage.

Admittedly, I can't think of any other advantage the baboon would have over a chimp(at parity) other than its bite, but I am curious to know if it is enough to offset the ape's strength and smarts.  I don't think the chimp's skin and fur is going to be an effective barrier against multiple bites from those sharp baboon teeth.  

Several weeks ago you gave an excellent comparison breakdown of the leopard vs puma fight.  Would you do the same with the baboon and the chimpanzee?  I would like to learn more about this matchup.

Thank you very much.  No rush on this; take as much time as you need and answer in any format you choose.

Hey Brad. All is well, hope it is for you as well.

Basically, in answer to your question within the question, no I don't think the baboon's bite is enough to offset the chimp's other advantages. And let me also say that I don't think this is a one-sided match by any stretch of the imagination; a baboon could beat a chimp at parity on ocassion.

For me it comes down to strength. These two animals will grapple, of that I am quite sure. The chimp's strength will be overwhelming, I see it controlling the baboon quite convincingly. Sure the baboon can sink in a few bites, but they will be defensive, and lacking any real direction or intent. Due to it controlling the baboon's body, the chimp's admittedly less dangerous bites will have more effect.

For the baboon to win I think a bit of luck would be needed. We both know how formidable those canines are, and if they land in the right spot they can do huge damage. But lacking the arm, shoulder and back strength of the chimp, I can't see the baboon being able to get in position to do this all that often.

Cheers Brad. Thanks for your flexibility, really eases the pressure.

Interspecies Conflict

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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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