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Interspecies Conflict/dogs, rats, cats, and dinosaurs


QUESTION: hey bk
Can you think of an extinct elephant that would be a match for Tyrannosaurus rex?
approximately, how strong is an orca's bite?
saltwater crocodile vs great white shark
Titanoboa vs colossal squid
gorgonopsid vs postosuchus
common wombat vs honey badger
wolverine vs pitbull (who has been bred for dog fights and fought in them all his life.)
I create an animal. The "devil rat". It is basically a 900 pound version of a normal rat. It has all of the smaller rat's physical characteristics (teeth, paws, etc), with proportionally larger red eyes, and a mouth that can open twice as wide.
devil rat vs muskox
devil rat vs tiger

ANSWER: Hello Johnny.

Q: What extinct elephant would be a match for a Tyrannosaurus-rex?
A: I believe a close match for T-rex would be the Columbian mammoth.  It weighed up to approximately 10 tons (about 25% more than a large T-rex), and had large tusks that would have enabled it to give the Tyrannosaurus a good battle.

Q: How strong, approximately, is an orca's bite?
A: I'm not certain, but the skull is large (and full of piercing teeth) and a lot of strength is required to grab & hold what orcas bite into.  A large crocodile's jaws can close with approximately 5,000lbs of force, and I'd imagine an orca's bite force is in the same neighborhood.  The orca doesn't need to have a bite force as strong as a crocodile in proportion to its weight (due to jaw usage & tooth design), but its larger size likely closes the gap on absolute bite force.

saltwater crocodile vs great white shark: The great white shark can be around twice as heavy as the crocodile.  In open water, the shark will have greater mobility, and will have a better chance to land a bite.  The bites of each animal will do different things, and their hides are different as well.  A shark's bite is meant to slice, and a crocodile's bite is to grab & hold (they mainly kill by drowning).  The hide of the crocodile is largely covered by osteoderms (bony plates), but there are some areas on a crocodile's body that can be readily breached by the razor-sharp teeth of the shark.  Sharks have tough hide as well, and their rotund bodies would make it hard for the crocodile to hold on tight because of the wide gape that would be required.  The crocodile can attack a fin, and a nose bite might be effective, but the shark will have better success in a bite war.  At equal weights I would favor a crocodile in shallow water (because the shark often relies on vertical mobility when it attacks) and the shark in deeper water (due to better mobility).  At the given weights, the shark is too large.  Great white shark wins.

titanoboa vs colossal squid: Titanoboa weighed about twice as much as a colossal squid.  Both animals would be trying to "wrap the other one up" in a struggle, and the relatively supple bodies of each would make this challenging for both.  The squid would try to use its tentacles to ensnare Titanoboa, and use its hard beak to bite the snake.  Titanoboa would latch on with its jaws & use its body to encircle the squid & squeeze.  The colossal squid is somewhat sluggish, but can quickly wrap up something that comes in contact with it.  Titanoboa will be the stronger animal (packed with muscle), and will likely be able to put its coils where it wants to regardless of the squid's attempts to resist.  If Titanoboa coils around the mantle of the squid (which will likely happen), it will have the strength to collapse it (and damage the organs within).  This is a unique battle, and one that's hard to envision, but the heavier animal would be favored.  Titanoboa wins.

gorgonopsid vs postosuchus: The largest Gorgonopsid (Inostrancevia) weighed about 2/3rd as much as Postosuchus.  Gorgonopsid was one of the early saber-toothed animals, and was built for speed to chase its prey.  Postosuchus' skull resembled that of some theropods, and it was designed to tear flesh with its sharp, serrated teeth.  Postosuchus had osteoderms (bony plates) along its back that afforded it some protection from attack, but the jaws & teeth of the Gorgonopsid were designed to penetrate tough hides.  The Gorgonopsid likely had the advantage in agility, but Postosuchus' powerful bite would cause more damage to the Gorgonopsid than the other way around.  The time it would take for the Gorgonopsid to bite through the ostoederms would give Postosuchus time to retaliate with its own bite.  A parity fight would favor the Gorgonopsid, but a Postosuchus with a 50% weight advantage will be favored.  Postosuchus wins.

common wombat vs honey badger: A common wombat can weigh almost 3 times as much as a honey badger.  Wombats have compact bodies, tough hides, and strong limbs (with sharp claws used for digging).  They can bite & claw adversaries, and have been known to knock people over by charging into them!  Honey badgers are thick-skinned & fearless, and have a potent set of jaws & claws as well.  This fight wouldn't likely end by one animal dispatching the other, but likely one animal driving the other one away.  A wombat is typically docile, and wouldn't be as nimble as the feisty honey badger.  In a realistic confrontation, the wombat would probably succeed in driving the honey badger away (using its size advantage), but a determined honey badger might have a chance to inflict an accumulation of wounds that would eventually overcome the marsupial.  However, it would be an uphill battle for the honey badger against a 40kg wombat.  I would favor a honey badger against a wombat twice its weight, but a wombat at these weights would likely have enough power to repel the ratel.  The wombat doesn't have the means to kill the honey badger (unless the fight is in a tunnel), but it can defend itself well enough to discourage the mustelid more times than not.  Slight edge to common wombat.

wolverine vs game-bred pitbull: An American pitbull terrier will weigh 50% more than the wolverine.  Wolverines are strong, fearless fighters with powerful bites, sharp claws, & thick furry hides.  A pitbull, especially one game-bred & experienced, is an aggressive & relentless foe.  The pitbull will likely rush in immediately & latch onto the wolverine (head & face area), and try to use its muscular body to violently shake its head to initiate damage to the mustelid.  The wolverine will likely try to roll on its back (a common tactic for it) and secure a bite while grabbing/raking with its claws.  The wolverine has a greater variety of weapons in its arsenal, but it simply won't have an answer for the pitbull's jaws & violent assault.  At these weights, the pitbull will eventually wear the wolverine down & subdue it.  A fight at parity would be close to 50/50, but here the larger canine will be too formidable.  Pitbull wins.

devil rat vs muskox: This will be a parity fight (both 900lb).  The devil rat will have more agility, but the compact muskox will likely have more strength.  The devil rat will try to bite the muskox with its incisors, but the thick, shaggy coat of the bovid will give it some protection.  The muskox will try to ram the devil rat with its head, but the rodent's agility will make this difficult.  However, the muskox can also hook & gore with its sharp horns by making powerful thrusts to either side with its muscular shoulder & neck area.  The horns of the muskox can cause more damage to the hide of the devil rat than the devil rat's bite can cause to it, and this would be key.  Definitely not counting the quicker rodent out, but the bovid will be slightly favored.  Edge to muskox.

devil rat vs tiger: The tiger (if we use a Siberian or a Bengal) will weigh a little more than 60% of the devil rat's weight.  The rat's bite & rotund body are its best assets, and the tiger's quickness, agility, jaws & claws, & killing experience will be its best assets.  Tigers are capable of tackling buffalo by ambush, and should be able to manage this with the devil rat.  A face-to-face encounter wouldn't be easy for the big cat, but it should be nimble enough to avoid any major bites from the giant rodent and leap onto the side or back of the rat.  Once the tiger attaches itself to the devil rat, the rodent will have great difficulty managing an effective counter-attack.  The tiger should be able to sink its canines into the neck/throat area and eventually subdue it.  The devil rat might be able to drive the tiger away, but in a fight to the finish, the tiger is better equipped to succeed.  Tiger wins.  

Best regards.

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

QUESTION: what part of a rhino's design (neck, legs, etc) would make even the lease imposing one (sumatran rhino) pound for pound stronger than even the strongest bovid (gaur)?
How is the polar bear pound for pound stronger than a kodiak bear, what parts of its makes its stronger?
Between those 2 bears, which is faster?
Marsupial Lion vs Thylacosmilus
honey badger vs king cobra
daeodon vs 5 male lions
Paraceratherium vs megatherium
Steppe Rhinoceros vs American Mastodon
Phorusrhacos vs Deinonychus
dire wolf vs mountain gorilla
Titanis walleri vs lion
Can you rank the following animal's stamina from 1-100 approximately?
grizzly bear
polar bear

ANSWER: Hello again Johnny.

Q: What part of a rhino's design (neck, legs, etc) would make even the least imposing one (sumatran rhino) pound-for-pound stronger than even the strongest bovid (gaur)?
A: The way an animal uses its muscles is one of the ways to approximate its pound-for-pound strength.  Faster animals are typically not as strong as slower animals because their muscles are geared to allow them to achieve the speeds they need to.  Rhinos have heavy, rotund bodies with thick legs, and need strength to move their large bodies around.  Bovids are typically faster & more more maneuverable, and their muscles are more geared toward allowing these actions more so than pure brute strength.  

Q: How is the polar bear pound-for-pound stronger than a kodiak bear; what parts of it makes it stronger?
A: The polar bear is a more predatory bear than the Kodiak, and has more conflicts with large prey items than does the Kodiak.  Polar bear often battle large walruses weighing more than themselves, and need great strength to control them.  Their bodies have great strength throughout, and they need this to accomplish this task.  Polar bears also do a great deal of swimming, and have muscles nose-to-tail to make this possible.  They also use their bodies to pound hole into thick ice to gain access to the seals underneath.  Polar bears also pull begula whales out of the water, and sometimes do this while hanging onto the ice with their back paws.  Kodiak bears primarily eat fish, and don't usually tackle large prey items on a routine basis.  They do use their claws for heavy digging (which, in part, explains the muscular shoulder region all brown bears have), and they may have a stronger shoulder area than the polar bear, but they are not quite as powerful when the whole body is taken into account.

Q: Between those 2 bears (Kodiak & polar), which is faster?
A: Overall, Kodiak bears are probably slightly faster.  Polar bears have a more streamlined body, but they actually don't run as fast as a Kodiak bear.  Paw swipes are probably comparable.

Marsupial Lion vs Thylacosmilus: Both of these animals weigh about the same as a large jaguar (Marsupial lion was slightly heavier).  Both had muscular bodies and dangerous bites.  The Marsupial lion was accustomed to taking on large prey items with little difficulty, and its powerful, versatile bite could dispatch adversaries quickly.  Thylacosmilus had long upper canines used to pierce tough hides.  The Marsupial lion could retract its claws; Thylacosmilus could not.  Close fight; edge to the Marsupial lion.  

Honey badger vs King cobra: The honey badger will be over 50% heavier than the cobra (in some cases twice as heavy).  King cobras can reach over 18ft in length, have a body the girth of a large grapefruit, and boast a massive venom yield.  Honey badgers have tough, thick skin than affords them protection from a variety of attacks, and has a certain degree of resistance to venom of many African snakes (not sure how the king cobra's venom will effect it).  Honey badgers are fierce fighters with sharp claws (excellent for digging) & strong jaws.  If a honey badger is determined to kill a king cobra, it will be able to do so.  It may be adversely affected by the bite of the cobra, but it can dispatch the cobra long before the venom takes effect.  Honey badger wins.  

Daeodon vs 5 male lions: Daeodon was as large & heavy as an American bison, and was 4 times heavier than an African lion.  Female lions are better at teamwork when hunting, but the males are still formidable.  If the lions work as a team, they can succeed here.  Daeodons have powerful bites & sharp tusks, and can easily injure a lion.  The lions will need to divide the giant pig's attention and began their attack from the rear.  If a couple of lions can grab Daeodon from the hindquarters to slow it down, the others can attack the front & bring it to the ground.  Once Daeodon's motion is somewhat arrested, one of the lions can finish with a throat bite.  Not an easy task, but the 5 male lions will win.

Paraceratherium vs Megatherium: Paraceratherium was likely the largest mammal to ever walk the earth.  Upper-limit estimates for its shoulder height are nearly 18ft tall (and its head towered almost 26ft off the ground).  Weights of over 20 tons have been assigned to this animal as well.  It may not have gotten quite this big, but it was still quite massive.  Megatherium (giant sloth) could stand tall enough to easily peer inside a 2-story window, and had huge forelimbs armed with sharp claws with which to swipe.  It weighed about 4.5 tons (almost as much as an Asian elephant).  Megatherium's hide was very tough, as a layer of tiny bony lumps created an armor just beneath the thick fur.  Paraceratherium didn't have to deal with adversaries once full-grown (except maybe others of its kind), and was likely a peaceful creature.  A few swipes by Megatherium would have probably driven the Paraceratherium away, but a Paraceratherium determined to attack the giant sloth would have the size to trample it.  Being over 4 times as heavy, Paraceratherium would have been too large for Megatherium to overpower if both animals were determined to engage.  Paraceratherium wins.

Steppe Rhinoceros vs American Mastodon: These animals were both about the weight of an Asian elephant, and the Steppe Rhinoceros (Elasmotherium) was about 2/3rd the height of the Mastodon.  Mastodon was built like an elephant, and had long tusks reaching 8ft in length.  The Steppe rhinoceros had a long, thick horn protruding from its forehead, and it reached lengths of over 5ft & was almost a foot thick at the base.  The Steppe rhinoceros would have been more nimble than the Mastodon, and would have been able to deliver more significant wounds with its weapon that the pachyderm could have with its tusks.  Close fight, but the Steppe rhinoceros wins.

Phorusrhacos vs Deinonychus: Phorusrhacos weighed about twice as much as Deinonychus.  Phorusrhacos was about the size of an ostrich, and had a deadly beak to bite & strike with.  Deinonychus had jaws & teeth, and had sickle-shaped claws to kick & slash with.  If Phorusrhacos had the ability to kick, it would give it an added weapon to its arsenal.  The problem faced by Phorusrhacos was being able to keep Deinonychus from leaping upon in, sinking in its claws, and biting it with its jaws.  The giant bird wouldn't have an answer for that particular attack, and would need to keep the dinosaur at bay with a combination of a snapping beak & repeated kicking.  If the Phorusrhacos did not kick, it would lose to the Deinonychus more times than not.  If the Phorusrhacos did kick (which is likely based on modern upright-walking birds), it would have a decent chance to injure the Deinonychus before it had a chance to leap upon the bird.  Even though its outweighed, its ability to leap onto an opponent is huge for Deinonychus.  Close to 50/50.

Dire wolf vs Mountain gorilla: The mountain gorilla would have weighed 2.5 times as much as the dire wolf.  The dire wolf was larger & stockier than the modern grey wolf, and had slightly shorter legs.  Its bite was powerful, and it would likely try to employ a bite & retreat method of attack on the gorilla unless it landed a good neck bite from the get-go.  The mountain gorilla is brutally strong, and would utilize its grabbing hands to control the positioning of the battle as well as using its forelimbs to strike at the dire wolf.  The gorilla's bite would likely come into play as well.  With the dire wolf having only one weapon (jaws) & being much smaller, its chances to defeat the ape aren't good.  Mountain gorilla wins.  

Titanis walleri vs Lion: Titanis walleri was about the same height & weight as a modern ostrich, but was a bit stockier.  This huge bird had a huge beak (with a strong bite), and possibly used it as a hammer to strike opponents with.  Titanis walleri also had claws it likely kicked with, adding another dimension to its combat potential.  The African lion weighs about 70& more than the Titanis walleri.  Lions are powerful & muscular, and they are well-practiced at bringing down large prey.  The lion's ability to leap upon the giant bird & use its claws & killing bite is huge in this fight.  The bird has comparable weaponry, but doesn't have the ability to consistently stop a lion from pulling it to the ground.  The lion will need to be careful, but it should be able to overpower Titanis walleri most of the time.  Lion wins.

Ranking of stamina (1-100) - these are approximate

tiger - 50
lion - 50
wolf - 85
grizzly bear  - 100
polar bear - 95
hyena - 75
rhino - 67.5
elephant - 65
buffalo - 70

Best regards.

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

QUESTION: Did leviathan have sonar location (and sonic boom) like sperm whales? If so would this give it a special edge over the megalodon?
Why is the colossal squid sluggish? Other, smaller squids can move very fast and are pretty maneuverable.
Why do dogs, and especially bears have so much more stamina than cats?
I read somewhere that a lion has more stamina than most cats because it lives in the savannah, is this true?
You said that bovids are built to be quicker than rhinos, but the top speeds are not that far apart.
Giraffe vs pleistocene polar bear
Deinosuchus vs orca
Dunkleosteus vs sarcosuchus
Dakosaurus vs sawfish
Helicoprion vs american alligator
lion vs jaguar
Bison latifrons vs allosaurus

Hello Johnny.

Q: Did leviathan have sonar location (and sonic boom) like sperm whales?
A: It's possible that Livyatan melvillei had this, but there's no way to know for sure.  It makes sense that it would have these attributes, though.

Q: If so, would this give it a special edge over the megalodon?
A: The sonar location would help Livyatan melvillei avoid getting ambushed, and the "sonic boom" and its effectiveness against Megalodon would be speculation.  If it was able to stun the giant shark, then it might give Livyatan melvillei the edge in a battle (assuming the weights were close).  The biggest obstacle Livyatan melvillei would have in a battle with Megalodon is the razor-sharp teeth of the shark that would be able to slice through flesh quite easily (and create massive avulsions).  Even though Livyatan melvillei had large teeth of its own (over 1' long), they were designed more to hold & crush than slice, and would probably be less effective overall than Megalodon's bite.

Q: Why is the colossal squid sluggish?
A: It doesn't need to be swift to survive.  Colossal squids don't eat a lot of food compared to many other animals (taking their body size in consideration), and don't have a high metabolism as a result.  They basically wait for prey to get close enough, and wrap it up in their tentacles to trap them.  The Humboldt squid (for example) is somewhat faster as it needs more speed to successfully hunt.  It weighs less than 1/10th of the colossal squid's weight, and smaller animals are usually faster than larger ones of similar build.

Q: Why do dogs, and especially bears have so much more stamina than cats?
A: Cats have fast-twitch muscles geared toward quick acceleration & lots of energy expenditure in an abbreviated amount of time.  They can make very rapid movements when they sprint over short distances, leap & turn, or make paw swipes.  In exchange for this burst of speed & energy, their stamina is compromised.  Bears & canines can't duplicate the quick speed, motion, & reflexes of the cat, but bears & dogs have greater stamina because they can accomplish their survival needs without having the same motions of the felid (and their muscles aren't made the same).  

Q: I read somewhere that a lion has more stamina than most cats because it lives in the savannah, is this true?
A: I haven't heard that, and I don't think location would be nearly as important as muscle usage (and muscle type) in determining stamina.  Most big cats are similar enough in build & behavior where there's not going to be a great deal of difference in their muscles (or stamina).  One type of big cat might edge out the other from species to species, but location won't have as much to do with it as other factors.

Q: You said that bovids are built to be quicker than rhinos, but the top speeds are not that far apart.
A: Bovids & rhinos may have similar straight-line speeds, but other movements are considered when comparing quickness.  Bovids have greater lateral quickness (making cuts, moving side-to-side) and can make sudden stops & take-offs at faster times than the stockier rhino.  Consider the motions of a rodeo bull and see if you can imagine a rhino mimicking those movements.

Giraffe vs Pleistocene polar bear: The giraffe will be about 20-25% heavier than the bear.  The Pleistocene polar bear's shoulder height (while on all fours) was about the same as the distance from the ground to the giraffe's belly.  The bear will find it difficult to avoid getting kicked by the giraffe (and the giraffe can end the fight this way with a well-placed kick), but its durability & thick layer of blubber (close to 5") will afford it some protection.  The Pleistocene polar bear was very powerful, and would have been able to grab onto the giraffe with its forelimbs and eventually topple it.  A massive giraffe weighing over 2 tons would be too large for the bear to defeat on most occasions, but at these weights the Pleistocene polar bear will have the edge.

Deinosuchus vs Orca: Deinosuchus was slightly heavier than an orca (killer whale).  The main points to consider in this battle are bites, maneuverability, & hide.  Deinosuchus was a giant alligator-like reptile with a huge bite force & teeth designed to grip, hold, & crush.  The orca's bite is designed to hold prey in place, but can remove large chunks of flesh (with 4" teeth).  Deinosuchus wasn't as mobile in open water as an orca is, but was capable of turning quickly to snap with its jaws.  The hide of Deinosuchus would make it somewhat difficult to penetrate, but the orca's jaws would be effective in areas other than the heavily-protected top side of the reptile.  The robust body of the orca would mean that a bite by Deinosuchus would need to be applied on a fin or the tail to have the greatest effect, and the agility of the killer whale in the water would make this action problematic.  Although it would take an accumulation of bites for the orca to overcome Deinosuchus, it should have the mobility (and stamina) to achieve this before receiving a serious bite from the Deinosuchus (assuming the weights are close).  If the orca weighs at least 85% of Deinosuchus' weight I will favor the mammal in open water; less than 85% I will favor the reptile.  At parity I favor the orca unless it's in shallow enough water to impede it's vertical movement.

Dunkleosteus vs Sarcosuchus: Sarcosuchus (also known as SuperCroc) weighed over twice as much as Dunkleosteus.  Dunkleosteus (giant armored fish) was covered anteriorly by armored plating, and had an extremely strong bite force that enabled it to bite through almost anything with ease.  Sarcosuchus was covered in osteoderms (bony knobs), but Dunkleosteus would have been able to breach this hide.  Sarcosuchus had long, powerful jaws of its own, but they were slender compared to the similarly-sized Deinosuchus.  Dunkleosteus was capable of moving swiftly at times to pursue prey, but it wasn't a very agile creature.  Neither animal would have a significant edge in mobility.  However, the posterior end of Dunkleosteus was unprotected, and the Sarcosuchus would have been able to clamp onto this area at some point during the fight & seize the advantage.  Both animals are capable of victory, but most of the time the larger Sarcosuchus will prevail.

Dakosaurus vs Sawfish: A large sawfish can weigh twice as much as a Dakosaurus.  Dakosaurus was shaped somewhat like a mosasaur, but was probably not as maneuverable.  The bite of Dakosaurus would cause damage to the sawfish, but it would need a few of them to overtake it.  A well-placed strike by the sawfish's rostrum (snout) would seriously injure Dakosaurus, and the chances of this happening would be good.  The larger sawfish wins.

Helicoprion vs American alligator: These animals would be close in weight.  Helicoprion was believed to be a shark, and fed on marine animals.  The American alligator has a tough hide (covered in osteoderms, or bony knobs) and a powerful bite used to grab & hold victims.  In open water, the Helicoprion would be more maneuverable, and its bite would cause greater wounds to the alligator than the other way around.  The alligator could defeat Helicoprion with a well-placed bite & a death roll (on the snout or a fin), but otherwise the bite won't generally be as effective as Helicoprion's.  In shallow water the alligator would be more at home, and the vertical movement of Helicoprion would be limited (and the gator might have the edge), but in deeper water Helicoprion would likely prevail most of the time.

Lion vs Jaguar: These are probably the 2 best combatants pound-for-pound in the big cat world, but the lion is typically about 60% heavier.  Jaguars are the strongest cat pound-for-pound and have the strongest bite force in relation to its size, but these attributes won't be enough to overcome the much heavier, battle-tested lion.  It would be a very close battle at parity, but the lion is too big here.  Lion wins.

Bison latifrons vs Allosaurus: These animals will weigh about the same.  Bison latifrons was a huge bovid that weighed twice as much as a modern-day wood bison and had much longer horns.  The Allosaurus was a skilled hunter of large animals, and was used to battling ones with decent weaponry (and this is key).  Bison latifrons would need to knock the theropod over with a charge or impale it with its horns to succeed here, but its horns were aimed to the sides and weren't in the most ideal position to wield against an Allosaurus.  The Allosaurus had huge jaws with sharp teeth, and had the height & reach to easily bite Bison latifrons as long as it avoided the bovid's charges.  Bison latifrons didn't have any armor to protect it from the theropod's bite.  Close battle, but the Allosaurus would prevail most of the time.

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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