Interspecies Conflict/queries


hi there jonathan more queries than questions if you don't i've seen many documentaries on the amazon and especially the green anaconda,and i have to say they make these snakes out to be qoute was no matter what the animal is as soon as they make there first loop the animal is my question is jonathan if that was  say a 1000lb kodiak bear or 600lb siberian tiger?would they not be able to escape?i think they would.and secondly we have spoke about the power of a large silverback.i was watching worlds storngest man the other night and they look every bit as big if not bigger than a silverback so my query there is how is it known a big gorilla is so much stronger?thanks jonathan

Hello Christian.

Your question was sent to the question pool; I hope you don't mind if I pick it up.

Many documentaries about certain animals want to make the production as interesting as possible, and tend to go a little overboard in describing the animal's abilities.  With typical prey items captured by the green anaconda (medium-sized herbivores; caiman, etc.), the victim doesn't have the means to effect an escape because they can't make the necessary movements to do so.  One loop may be enough for the anaconda's usual prey, but there are animals out there that the anaconda never encounters that could escape even if one coil was already secure (including bears & tigers).  Even the jaguar (which the anaconda sometimes encounters) would have the ability to escape from an anaconda's first coil (and it usually weighs what the snake does or less).

A 1000lb Kodiak bear has great endurance & power, and has the range to move its shoulders & legs to a much higher degree than, let's say, a deer or a pig.  If an anaconda wrapped one coil around a bear, the bear's violent resistance with its claws & teeth would injure the snake very quickly, and its forelimbs could be used to force the snake's body where the bear wanted it to go.  It would be very difficult for an anaconda to suffocate an animal over twice its weight, and it typically doesn't dare take on animals that big.  The ensuing struggle would rapidly tire the anaconda, and it would lose the ability to apply any further offense.  Even in shallow water the bear would have the weaponry & mobility to cause enough injury to the snake to prevent it from continuing its coiling attack.

A 600lb Siberian tiger would also have a good chance to escape the first coil of an anaconda.  Even 2 coils wrapped around a tiger (or bear) wouldn't guarantee the snake a meal.  Tigers can easily lacerate the anaconda with its 5" long claws, and a bite on the snake's head or neck could be fatal.  Big cats are extremely supple & agile, and can make powerful, quick motions to gain advantages in any situation.  A fully-wrapped up tiger would be in trouble, but getting to that favorable position would be a freak occurrence.  In shallow water the anaconda has the power & movement to match up against most adversaries in its weight range, but a 600lb Siberian tiger would be too much for it.

The muscles in a gorilla's body are "higher quality" in regard to strength than in humans.  Even strongmen competitors with huge muscles are weaker in comparison to a gorilla because of how evolution has given that particular species (and other apes) the right muscles to survive in their habitats over the years of their existence.  Wild animals, in general, are much stronger than humans.  Even working out to make our muscles as strong as they can possibly be doesn't close the gap.  Silverback gorillas can exceed 460lb in weight, but even one the same weight as a strongman competitor would be much, much stronger.

Best regards.  

Interspecies Conflict

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Questions regarding animal conflicts within realistic or unrealistic settings are welcome; my strength lies in medium-to-large species. Small animals (including birds of prey), prehistoric animals, sea creatures, and domestic dog breeds are usually within my scope, but to a lesser degree. I can't confidently answer hypothetical questions about human vs animal, arachnids, insects, or amphibians, but I am willing to field them nonetheless.


From a young age, I have been interested in animals. Starting with the original Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and World Book Encyclopedias, I have seen many animal shows and documentaries and have read multiple books on the subject. I have a solid understanding of the physiology of many animals and interspecies conflict in general.

Associate degree in unrelated field; biology classes in college.

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