Interspecies Conflict/giants and weapons


He bk, i have some questions
If american lions were alive today, would they survive in north america?
some fights
lion vs tiger at parity
hippo vs white rhino
songhua river mammoth vs tyrannosuarus rex
south american short faced bear vs black rhino at average size and parity
black rhino vs gaur
Pachycrocuta brevirostus vs mountain gorilla
mountain gorilla vs sloth bear
on a scale of 1 to 100 how would you rate the amount of defense the hide of the following animals would provide?
brown bear
polar bear
cape buffalo
saltwater crocodile
great white shark

Hello Johnny.

American lions would be able to survive as long as there was no interference from man.  Sadly enough, the agenda of humans frequently comes into conflict with the survival of many species (and has led to the extinction of many of them).  American lions would have a reasonable variety of prey available to them (mainly cervids & suids), and would be large enough individually & have the advantage of pride numbers to overcome any animal on the continent.

lion vs tiger (at parity): I will use a previous answer to this question here.

"Lion vs Tiger has been the topic of heated debate between lion fans and tiger fans for quite some time.  Many opinions are biased, and supporters of each side have used anything from sensationalism to red-blood cell count in an attempt to bolster their views.  The bottom line is that these are 2 very similar creatures biologically, and there are only subtle differences between the two.  

The main points to consider are size and behavior/habits.  Tigers are typically larger than lions, and this would make a difference.  Before hunting/deforestation reduced the number and size of the Siberian tiger, their weights were listed at 300kg.  Bengal tigers have been listed as 250kg, and lions are generally listed between 230-250kg as their top weight.  The reduced size of today's tigers probably puts them right into the lion's current weight range, however, so it would be plausible to consider the sizes/weights comparable.  Many sources consider the Siberian tiger to be the largest of the these 3 cats on average, followed by the Bengal tiger, then by the African lion.

Lions form prides, and this aids them in hunting.  The lionesses do the majority of the hunting (the males seldom join in), but the male lion is charged with the protection of the pride.  Other male lions will attempt to invade the pride to gain territory & females, and the leader of the pride must do battle to keep his throne.  As a result, male lions are constantly fighting other male lions.  This is a big reason that the average lifespan of a male lion is 5 years less than the average lifespan of a lioness.  Even at kills, lions will fight amongst themselves for their share of the food.  Tigers are usually solitary hunters (hunting in pairs has occurred), but males will fight over territory.  In regards to prey items, tigers can ambush and kill large prey on its own (gaur & buffalo).  The male lion isn't as practiced a hunter as the tiger (lioness do most of the hunting for it), but there is a big difference between hunting and fighting.  For example, the cheetah is a fantastic hunter, but is a poor fighter.  In fighting skill, I would probably give the lion the nod over the tiger.

The lion's mane is also worth mentioning.  Although its main purpose is for intimidation & attracting females, it can soften the impact of blows from another cat, so it probably can be considered an advantage.

Many accounts in the past of fights between these animals have surfaced (some favoring the tiger and some favoring the lion), but I don't consider them to be reliable.  Many don't take into consideration the size, age, or condition of either animal (or the objectivity of the source), so the validity must be questioned.

At equal weights, I slightly favor the lion.  At average or max weights, I favor the tiger.  There's not enough difference in these 2 cats to promote one to a "better" status.  In some big cats there are major differences (jaguar, leopard, puma, cheetah) but not so with a lion & a tiger."

hippo vs white rhino: These animals will weigh about the same.  The hippopotamus won't be able to make the same movements on land as well as the rhino.  Rhinos are adapted to a terrestrial lifestyle, and their legs are solid enough to support their weight and allow it to make powerful lunges and turns to effectively use their meter-long (or more) frontal horn.  Hippopotamuses' legs are smaller in comparison to their large bodies, and they can't carry the load of the hippo's body for extended periods of time without fatiguing the animal.  Hippos have large jaws and tusk-like teeth that can cause quick, fatal wounds, but it will have a hard time reaching any vital area on the tough-skinned rhino without being met with the long, sharp horn.  The rhinoceros will have greater reach with its weapon, and can use it offensively while avoiding the chompers of the hippo.  The hippopotamus would have a better chance in shallow water once the water took some of the load off of its legs, but the rhino would still have the advantage as long as its mobility wasn't impeded by the water depth.  White rhinoceros wins.

songhua river mammoth vs tyrannosaurus rex: The Songhua river mammoth is no longer considered a valid species of mammoth (its remains were assigned to another type of mammoth), but we'll use it here as it was once known.  The Songhua river mammoth was believed to have stood over 5 meters at the shoulder and weigh close to 19 tons (over twice the weight of T-rex).  The outcome of this battle depends on how they would react to each other if they encountered one another.  Assuming the mammoth decided to stand its ground and fight, it would have the ability to generate a great deal of power with its charges.  Its tusks weren't curved in such a way to easily be able to impale an adversary, but the contact made by their curved edges would have enough impact to break bones.  Tyrannosaurus was generally believed to be an intelligent, savvy predator, and couldn't be counted out in a contest with the mammoth.  The predatory know-how of the theropod to tackle large ceratopsians would come into play, but the massive size advantage of the Songhua river mammoth would make it an uphill climb for Tyrannosaurus.  The Tyrannosaurus can win if its careful, but most of the time it will be run over by the huge mammal.  Songhua river mammoth wins.

south american short-faced bear vs black rhinoceros: These animals will weigh about the same (around 1500kg), so parity & average size matchups will produce the same result.  The South American short-faced bear (Arctotherium) was believed to be similar to the spectacled bear, but over 8 times as heavy.  The bear would have likely been almost 2 meters at the shoulder (taller than the black rhino).  Black rhinos have front horns measuring 1.5 meters in length, and this would pose a real problem for the bear.  Bears are very powerful, but they don't have a high enough level of lateral quickness to avoid the charges of a similar-sized animal.  The bear would normally try to use its paws & great strength to control the head area of an opponent to neutralize horns or antlers, but the rhino's long horn will have the reach to impale the bear when it gets into range.  The tank-like body of the rhino will be hard to control, and the horn will be almost impossible to avoid.  Black rhinoceros wins.

black rhinoceros vs gaur: Black rhinoceroses are usually heavier than gaurs (by about 50&), but some gaurs have reportedly reached weights close to the black rhino's.  The tank-like build, lower center of gravity, tough hide, & more readily-used weaponry of the black rhinoceros will give it a definite advantage against the bovid.  Gaurs are muscular & powerful, but the rhinoceros is on another level.  The black rhinoceros would be able to mortally wound the gaur with a horn thrust before too much time had passed.  Black rhinoceros wins.

pachycrocuta brevirostus vs mountain gorilla: Pachycrocuta brevirostus (giant hyena) weighed almost as much as the mountain gorilla, and was over 1 meter at the shoulder.  The long, powerful arms of the gorilla would aid in controlling the hyena's motion if it attacked, but the bone-crushing jaws would eventually find their mark.  The gorilla would probably succeed in driving the giant hyena away with an intimidating display or charge, but a determined giant hyena would have ability to cause serious wounds to the ape while its toughness & durability gave it some protection against the gorilla's blows/bite.  This would be a reasonably close fight, but the advantage goes to Pachycrocuta brevirostus.

mountain gorilla vs sloth bear: The mountain gorilla will be a little bit heavier than the sloth bear.  Sloth bears have stocky bodies & short, powerful limbs armed with sharp claws.  Both animals here are strong and have dangerous bites, but the bear's claws give it a distinct advantage.  The gorilla attacks with hand swipes or clubbing arms swings to try to knock an opponent over, and then will try to land a bite.  The sloth bear's claws will cause a lot of damage to the gorilla's hide, and the gorilla won't be able to reciprocate with similar offense of its own.  Sloth bear wins.

Ranking the defense of hides (1-100) * this is approximate *

walrus 80 --- extremely tough skin over thick blubber
rhino 70 --- very tough durable hide
hippo 60 --- very thick skin; takes time to penetrate
brown bear 44 --- thick fur
polar bear 45 --- fur over layer of blubber
elephant 60 --- very tough thick hide
cape buffalo 40 --- tough hide, but not extremely thick
saltwater crocodile 90 --- leathery hide covered in bony osteoderms
great white shark 55 --- many hard scales that provide good protection

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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