Interspecies Conflict/question



A fullgrown Female Spotted Hyena of 75KG.
If she was higly agressive, could she beat a 140KG Lionnes?
I mean if she wants the Lionnes dead?

Waiting for your responds,


ANSWER: Hey Henk! Lovely to hear from you!

I'd always favour the Lioness. The Hyena is out-matched in terms of weight, physicality and weaponry. Have you seen a 140kg Lioness? They are absolute monsters. Their necks and upper bodies are literally embedded with thick muscle, and their forelimbs and paws look like coated leaded pipes. Lionesses will be EXTREMELY aggressive when defending themselves and have amongst the most superior weaponry of any predatory in Africa. Those dagger like canines, as well as those sharpened claws that can lacerate flesh.

Hyenas even at their largest are fundamentally unequipped to tackle a Lion solo. Unlike Big Cats, they cannot use their forelimbs offensively in battle, and they only have their jaws, which although monumentally powerful can be avoided by the Lioness's agility and speed.

It normally takes about four Hyenas to successfully defeat a Lioness in her prime, so solo it wouldn't have a great chance if the Lioness was especially determined. Hyenas are incredibly robust, muscular creatures with perhaps an even greater constitution than Lions, but the Lioness would overpower it eventually and inflict a deadly throat bite.

Hyenas do not do well against Lions solo. They work best co-operatively when their numbers are huge and they can pro-actively attack the Lion.

Lioness wins.

Thanks for the great question Henk! I love Lion/Hyena queries.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Jonathan,

Thanks for your good and fast reply.

I was asking this question because i have been on trip to the Serengeti in Tanzania. And the driver told me that a big one can take on a Lioness, but now i know better.
I had a verry few knowledge about Hyenas. So i was verry surprised when i first saw them in real in the African wild. The are much (now i know especially the Females) bigger then i fought a Hyena would be. There big heads and like you said as you know previously gave verry thick hide.
What I also noticed was that the ears are far apart unlike dogs.
I like the hyenas interesting and above all very beautiful animals, I saw it in another way before.
Could you tell me some more interesting experiences about hyenas?



Hey Henk! Glad I could help!

Hyenas really are probably the most fascinating and most complex of Africa's great predators. They are probably the most successful (alongside the African Wild Dog) of all the predators, due to their innate co-operative skills and their absolutely incredible stamina, being able to run and out-last even the most nimble footed of prey for miles. Of all the large land predators too, they have the strongest jaws, endowed with huge jawbones that enable them to bite down with bone-shattering power. Hyenas's jaws have been documented to be strong enough to crunch through a Bull Buffalo's leg.

Their societal system is remarkable too. A fully Matriachal hierachy, consisting of large, dominant females who control a clan of sometimes 50+ Hyenas. Males are much smaller, and less infused with testosterone so they are less aggressive and totally subordinate to females who are in contrast ferociously built up with testosterone. This unique lifestyle though makes them probably the most numerous and arguably most feared hunting unit when at full strength. Hyena clans far outnumber Lion prides at their respective peaks, and are capable of dominating Lionesses at kills (they only defer to large adult Males).

Hope that has given you more information about these incredible animals!

Keep asking, I love to hear from you.


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I can answer any question on land carnivores. Big cats are my main area of expertise. I can answer questions on weight, behavior, and on any possible match-up among mammals, reptiles and insects, but the latter is less preferred. I am not very well informed with dinosaurs and prehistoric animals, so please refrain from asking me questions about them. Just modern animals please. Also questions on bite force are not the best, as they vary greatly.


I am a wildlife enthusiast. I have visited countless zoos globally to observe animal behavior, and i have also seen animals such as Rhinos, Elephants and Big Cats in the wild and synthetic environments. I watch nearly every animal documentary available, and have really acquired considerable knowledge of animals and animal conflicts as a result. I know a lot.

I have written several articles on Wikipedia. I also will soon start writing blogs about Big Cats.

I have a C grade at GCSE Science. However, nothing gives you more knowledge than experiencing animals in the flesh. No qualification can give you that kind of insight.

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