Interspecies Conflict/Triceraton


Hi there BK, I have a mythical creature to use in combat, the mighty Triceraton (an anthropomorphic triceratops from outer space that is a villain in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).

General description: A large adult male triceraton stands about 6' high and weighs circa 200 kg. It has a very low fat content; all of its weight is in its armored hide, its muscles, and its dense bones. Counting the tail, it is around 11' long. Although an exclusive herbivore, it is very aggressive and territorial, and is very intelligent. It is equally quadripedal and bipedal (it is bipedal while feeding/traveling; it is bipedal in combat). In build, it is like a heavily muscled (particularly in the legs) man with a powerful, alligator-like tail. It has the tough, leathery frill of a triceratops, a massive, crushing beak, and the normal horns (one short, somewhat swept-back nose horn and two longer forehead horns). Its entire body is very heavily armored, similar to rhino skin, with a thick, osteoderm-covered hide and parts of it (the outer surfaces of the arms and legs especially) are essentially impenetrable. The only "weak" areas are its joints and, particularly, the back of its neck, behind its frill.

Weaponry: First and foremost, the triceraton runs at full speed at its opponent and rolls up into a ball, hurtling into them with great force. It needs at least 100 feet to do this with optimum impact. In close quarters, it uses its massive, swift, and powerful tail to stun and knock down its foe. It can also, by crouching down and taking a deep breath first, emit, via glands in the back of its throat, a noxious cloud whose effects are similar to tear gas. The effective range of this gas is about 10 feet with maximum breath. However, the most devastating weapon of the triceraton is, by far, its monstrous bite. Its beak (whose edges are made of a constantly-growing rim of self-sharpening bone) has a tremendous gape, close to 20", and at parity the triceraton has about three times the bite force of a spotted hyena. Since triceraton is about three times the size of a spotted hyena, it has nearly nine times the jaw force of a hyena. It can easily bite a human cleanly in half, as well as nearly anything else it can fit its jaws around. When it feels very threatened or trapped, the triceraton is capable of leaping high into the air and landing repeatedly on its enemy's head. Triceraton does not normally swipe/slash with its arms (albeit it has fairly sharp claws normally used for grasping vegetation, and it does try to grab and grapple in close quarters with them similarly to a bear). It does not use its horns much in serious combat either, albeit sparring males use them to joust.

Attributes and weaknesses: The triceraton can run as fast as a lion for moderate distances and has about the same endurance as one, and is just as ferocious when threatened. Its durability is on par with a rhino, if not more, and no creature can withstand a direct bite. Even if it doesn't get its mouth around its victim's torso or throat, it will cleanly snap off any legs in its way. However, it is not particularly agile in close proximity, about the same as a spotted hyena. Most fit humans should be able to avoid its cannonball attack by moving to the side at the last moment. It always seeks to stun its opponent (by hitting them in its cannonball attack, with its tail, or with its cloud of noxious breath) before getting into position and finishing them off with its killing bite. The majority of agile animals, even though they can do little or nothing to harm triceraton, should be able to dodge its attacks long enough to escape (if they want to).

How would triceraton do against the following at parity:
1--battle-hardened alpha male lion

How would it do against the following, scaled-up, at parity?
6--normal triceratops

Thank you!

Hello Martin.

Triceraton is a well-rounded creature with unique abilities that would make it a formidable adversary for a variety of animals.  The fact that no present-day animal will have evolved to counter Triceraton's offense will present a huge problem for them.

triceraton vs battle-hardened alpha male lion (at parity): The lion will be agile enough to dodge some of Triceraton's charges, but the tough hide will make it hard to gain much headway with its claws & teeth.  The lion could feasibly get into a good position to bite Triceraton in the nape of the neck, however, and force Triceraton to release a cloud of noxious gas to repel & disorient the big cat.  This would certainly open up an opportunity for Triceraton to land a devastating bite or two to the lion's hide, and should turn the tide with these actions.  Triceraton wins.

triceraton vs grizzly bear (at parity): Grizzly bears are brutally strong, but they don't have the same level of lateral movement a lion does.  It would make the grizzly bear vulnerable to the powerful rolling impact of Triceraton.  Even if the rolling attack didn't connect, the could of gas emitted from Triceraton would seriously hamper the bear's agenda.  The bite of Triceraton would cause great injury after a few of them landed, and would shift the battle well into Triceraton's favor.  Triceraton wins.

triceraton vs alligator (at parity): Triceraton's tail attack will be an effective tool here.  Both animals will have powerful tails to swing, but Triceraton will have greater mobility, and should be able to easily land blows with its tail while avoiding the tail of the alligator.  The jaws of the alligator will be relatively easy to avoid, but even if the jaws of the gator latch on, Triceraton should well-protected enough to avoid injury & bite back.  In shallow water the alligator will have better chances, but the muscular Triceraton should still be able to bite the gator several times during the battle to gain the upper hand.  In deep water, the alligator will be right at home, but Triceraton won't be without hope. The fact it can roll up in a ball speaks to its flexibility, and it should still be able to land a few good counter-bites most of the time.  The gator will try to bite & drown Triceraton (and might employ a death-roll), but a deep-water contest could go either way.  Overall, though, Triceraton wins.

triceraton vs wild boar (at parity): Wild boars have reasonably good lateral movement, and can make quick turns & lunges to utilize their sharp tusks.  The hide of a boar is tough as well.  Triceraton will probably rely on its osteoderm-covered skin & its cloud of gas to gain an initial advantage, and should be able to use its tail & shearing bite to overcome the boar.  Triceraton wins.

triceraton vs hippopotamus (at parity): Triceraton need only worry about avoiding the massive jaws of the hippo, but that shouldn't be a problem.  The hippo will have a hard time getting away from the rolling attack (even if it doesn't make a direct hit, it will still impact some of the hippo's body).  Triceraton will ned to bite & retreat (and repeat), and should be able to wear the hippo down.  Triceraton wins.

triceraton vs triceratops (at parity): The Triceratops will try to face Triceraton head-on and charge when it can to drive its sharp horn into the body of its standing opponent.  Triceraton should be able to avoid these charges, but it will put itself in danger each time it lands a bite (or attempts to do so) from Triceratops turning into it.  Triceraton will need to be creative here.  A rolling charge might be effective, but the risk of rolling into the Triceratop's sharp horns is ever-present.  The tail swing of Triceraton might be its best bet.  It won't be easy, but Triceraton's intelligence will aid it in solving the conundrums in this battle.  The lack of grabbing claws hurts Triceraton's cause, but it should be able to vary its offense enough (with noxious gas, tail swings, & quick bites) to overcome the Triceratops.  Slight edge to Triceraton.

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.

©2017 All rights reserved.