Interspecies Conflict/question


Hi Jonathan,

Another question.
Female Spotted Hyena of 75KG agianst a Male Grey Wolf of 65KG.
How would the fight turn out? Can you describe a scenerio?



Hello Henk.

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

female spotted hyena (75kg) vs male grey wolf (65kg):

Spotted hyenas are hardy predators/scavengers that have bone-crushing power in their jaws. They have a muscular neck & shoulder area as well.  Hyenas compete with lions & leopards at kills on occasion, and can usually hold their own against similar-sized predators that cross their paths.  Hyenas are notoriously durable, and can take a lot of abuse from an adversary without yielding their position.  They have survived attacks from lions, leopards, and African wild dogs that would have dispatched most other animals their size.  Toughness & jaw power are the main tools the hyena carries into a fight.  Its movement is somewhat clumsy & awkward compared to many other 4-legged animals, but they make up for that with their other assets.

Wolves are superb hunters, and work well as a team to overcome large, formidable prey (elk, moose, bison, etc.).  They have incredible stamina, and have quick lateral movement.  As a group (after they chase a prey item until it tires) they will utilize a method of attack where they will latch onto the victim with their jaws to hold it in place (and create wounds), and eventually bring the animal down to be devoured.  As a one-on-one fighter, the wolf is not quite as adept, but it still brings a lot to the table.  Its jaws aren't as strong as a hyena's, but they can still cause damage (as well as crush some bones).  It's not as resistant to injury as the hyena is, but it will aggressive fight even if it sustains injury on many occasions.  The main tools it carries into a fight are quickness, endurance, & its bite.

The spotted hyena would have the edge in this fight.  The wolf might be able to use its better movement to land more bites initially, but the hyena's jaws will eventually find their mark when the wolf comes into range.  The bites of both animals will do damage, but the hyena will be able to take more punishment.  The hyena will be the more powerful animal, and should be able to latch onto the wolf's neck with a strong bite.  The wolf will amass more injuries over the course of the battle, and will eventually get worn down by the spotted hyena.  Female spotted hyenas are larger & stronger than male spotted hyenas, and she will overpower the wolf before too much time passes.  The weight advantage enjoyed by the hyena here helps to further seal the wolf's fate.  Even if the weights were reversed (a 75kg grey wolf vs a 65kg spotted hyena), I would still favor the spotted hyena, but it would be somewhat closer.

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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