You are here:

Interspecies Conflict/animals past vs present


hey bk,
Why is the bison a better battering ram than a rhino?
how is a tiger able to kill a gaur? I as this because the gaur is so massive and i did not think a tiger is able to kill something that big.
Bison latifrons vs javan rhino
Bison latifrons vs black rhino
protoceratops vs dire wolf
Styracosaurus vs javan rhino
Pachyrhinosaurus vs elephant
albertosaurus vs allosaurus
utahraptor vs daeodon
Nothronychus vs giant short faced bear
Segnosaurus vs Ursus maritimus tyrannus

Hello Johnny.

Q: Why is the bison a better battering ram than a rhino?
A: When 2 bison face-off in a contest for dominance, they often charge toward each other and ram their skulls together like an actual battering ram.  Rhinoceroses will charge, but they tend to use their horn as a stabbing weapon.  However, the bison is a better battering ram than the rhino in style only.  A rhinoceros is typically over twice a bison's weight, and is a much more powerful animal.  Regardless of what kind of collision the rhino has with another animal, it will almost always be more effective than anything a bison can dish out.  That's why I ranked the rhinoceros ahead of the bison on the list.

Q: How is a tiger able to kill a gaur?
A: With great difficulty, and almost exclusively by ambush.  If a bull gaur is aware of a tiger's presence, it will ready itself to drive the predator away, and will have a high success rate in doing so (most of the time they will be in a group).  A tiger has very little chance of taking on a gaur face-to-face and prevailing.  A gaur can be over 5 times as heavy, and can easily kill the tiger with its horns.  A tiger is a superb hunter, and is capable of ambushing a bull gaur and killing it, but even this is an uphill battle.  The tiger must leap upon the gaur from behind, hold on tightly with its claws, and maintain a position on the bovid from where it can deliver a throat bite to slowly suffocate it (or bite through the spinal cord on the neck).  The tiger must be able to avoid getting thrown away from the gaur by its struggles, and must be clinched to its body in a spot where the gaur can't effectively use its horns to counter-attack.  Tigers are experts in finding the right position on a prey item to complete the kill while remaining (to some degree) out of harm's way, but taking on a gaur larger than a sub-adult is very risky.  A tiger can't afford to get injured (a hurt cat can't hunt well), and it knows the risks involved trying to tackle a bovid that can weigh well over a ton.  Big cats don't kill prey by overcoming it with brute strength, but with technique & precision.  So, yes, a tiger can kill a full-grown gaur with ambush, but it is not easy at all for the cat to pull off.


Bison latifrons vs Javan rhino: Both animals weigh about the same.  Bison latifrons (giant bison) had long, wide-spreading horns.  The Javan rhinoceros is a strong, stout animal with a short horn on its nose.  The Javan rhino is similar to the Indian rhino in that it bites.  Bison latifrons will have the better weaponry, but the rhino will have a little bit more strength.  Javan rhinos aren't as physically imposing as white & black rhinos for their size.  Slight edge to Bison latifrons.

Bison latifrons vs Black rhino: Bison latifrons will have a small weight advantage over the black rhinoceros.  The horns of the giant bison stick out to the sides and aren't as ideal for combat as the sharp frontal horn of the black rhinoceros.  Rhinos are very strong and are built like tanks, and a black rhinoceros' frontal horn can reach almost a meter in length (1.5 meters in extreme cases).  Close fight, but the better-positioned horn of the rhino gives it the advantage.  Black rhinoceros wins.

Protoceratops vs Dire wolf: Protoceratops was well over twice as heavy as the dire wolf.  Protoceratops had a small, somewhat-protective neck frill and a strong beak-like mouth used to crop vegetation (and possibly snap at potential threats).  The dire wolf was definitely more agile, though, and would have been able to bite the Protoceratops from the side (to avoid the bite of the dinosaur) and eventually wear it down.  Dire wolf wins.

Styracosaurus vs Javan rhino: The Styracosaurus has a weight advantage & a better nose horn for combat.  Its large frill had protrusions on the edges, and this apparatus may have offered some protection for its shoulder & neck area.  Styracosaurus wins.

Pachyrhinosaurus vs Elephant: A large African elephant would weigh about 50% more than Pachyrhinosaurus.  The horns of Pachyrhinosaurus weren't that impressive compared to some other ceratopsians, and this dinosaur would have found it hard to mount an offense against an African elephant.  The elephant could use its great weight to dictate the positioning of the battle, and its tusks would be an asset as well.  Edge to the elephant.

Albertosaurus vs Allosaurus: Albertosaurus was typically a bit heavier than Allosaurus (by about 25%), and had a light build (suggesting it may have been able to pursue fast prey).  The jaws of Albertosaurus were armed with sharp teeth designed to cut like steak knives, and its stocky head (with reinforced skull bones) rested on a thick neck.  Allosaurus had a massive, deep skull (but not a heavily built one) with jaws armed with serrated teeth.  The Allosaurus had a huge gape, and could have used it bite in a slashing motion.  The Allosaurus' bite was probably more effective & diversified overall than the Albetosaurus', but the weight advantage here would be enough to favor Albertosaurus (although at parity I would favor Allosaurus).  Edge to Albertosaurus.

Utahraptor vs Daeodon: Daeodon weighed about twice as much as Utahraptor.  Daeodon would have used its strong jaws to bite & its dangerous tusks to slash.  Utahraptor would have kicked with its lower claws to slash, and used its jaws to bite.  Daeodon would have been heavy enough to charge in and knock Utahraptor to the ground, and its larger size would have enabled it to dish out more damage than it would have taken.  Daeodon wins.

Nothronychus vs Giant short-faced bear: The South American giant short-faced bear (Arctotherium) was probably the largest carnivorous mammal to ever walk the earth, and may have weighed 1.75 tons.  It was likely close to 2 meters at the shoulder when standing on all fours, and was closest in kin to the spectacled bear.  Nothronychus had forearms (actually front legs) armed with long, sharp claws that could have been used to slash at adversaries, but no other offensive weaponry.  The much heavier bear would have been able to overpower the dinosaur on most occasions with a biting/clawing/grappling attack, but would need to be wary of the dangerous claws of Nothronychus.  Giant short-faced bear wins.

Segnosaurus vs Ursus maritimus tyrannus: These animals would be similar in weight, but very different in build.  Not a lot is known about Segnosaurus, but it did have forearms (actually front legs) that had long, sharp claws used to aid in feeding (may have eaten plant & meat).  Ursus maritimus tyrannus (tyrant sea bear) would have a great advantage with its ability to use its forepaws to grab & control, and had the strength to wrestle the dinosaur into a compromised position.  The giant polar bear would need to be wary of the Segnosaurus' claws, but should have the tools to overcome it more times than not.  Ursus maritimus tyrannus wins.

Best regards.

Interspecies Conflict

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




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.

©2016 All rights reserved.