Interspecies Conflict/Close Match ups



Following below are some categories with close and similar match ups (according to me). Weight and gender are written in brackets, like it is (M 100) means a male of a species weighing 100 Kg. please rearrange the group according to the best to worst fighter in case of battle for the death/survival (you can consider battle for the child in case of female species). Please provide some explanation as to why you think an animal can prevail over others.
If the weight given by me is very far from the range for the species with that gender please correct me.

Eg - Rat (M 1) Elephant (M 6300) Cat (F 6) will be arranged as
    Elephant (M 6300) Cat (F 6) Rat (M 1)

So here are the Groups

A. African Elephant (F 3300) Asiatic Elephant (M 3000) African Forest Elephant (M 2600) Asiatic Elephant (F 2600) White Rhino (M 3200) Hippopotamus (M 2400) Indian Rhino (M 2700)

B. White Rhino (F 1600) Hippopotamus (M 1500) Black Rhino (M 1400)
Indian Rhino (M 1800) Giraffe (M 1200) Java Rhino (F 1500)

C. Gaur (M 1200) Java Rhino (M 1100) Black Rhino (F 1000) Indian Rhino (F 1300) American Bison (M 1000) Cape buffalo (M 900) Asian Buffalo (M 900) Sumatran Rhino (M 800) Hippopotamus (F 1000)

D. Kodiak bear (M 380) Kodiak bear (F 270)Polar Bear (M 360) Siberian Tiger (M 260) Bengal Tiger (M 250) African Lion (M 210)

E. Bengal Tiger (M 200) African Lion (M 200) American Black Bear (M 200) Siberian Tiger (F 185) Siberian Tiger (M 205) Asiatic Lion (M 185)

F. Bengal Tiger (F 160) Asiatic Lion (M 170) Jaguar (M 150) African Lion (F 150) Asian Black Bear (M 150)

G. Jaguar (M 110) Sumatran Tiger (M 110) Bengal Tiger (F 125) Puma (M 105) Sloth Bear (M 110)

H. Eland (M 650) Moose (M 600) Wisent (F 500) Zebra (M 450) Asiatic Buffalo (F 500)

I. Jaguar (F 80) Leopard (M 80) Puma (M 80) spotted Hyena (F 80) Spectacled Bear (F 80) Bully Kutta (M 80)

J. Leopard (F 50) Cheetah (M 65) Snow Leopard (M 45) Gray wolf (M 55) Spotted Hyena (F 55) Striped Hyena (M 45)

K.Gray Wolf (F 30) Clouded Leopard (M 30) Eurasian Lynx (M 30) APBT (M 25) Wolverine (M 25)Cheetah (F 40) Bobcat (M 25)

In shallow Water - Hippopotamus (F 1000) Nile crocodile (M 900) Saltwater crocodile (M 1000) Black caiman ( M 450) American Alligator (M 450)

In Air - Harpy eagle (F 9) Philippine Eagle (F 9) Eurasian Eagle Owl (F 4) Golden Eagle (F 6) Bald Eagle (F 6) Andean Condor (M 12)


Hello Ravi.

Group A: White Rhino, male Asiatic elephant, African Elephant,  African Forest Elephant, female Asiatic Elephant, Indian Rhino, Hippopotamus.  I slightly favor a white rhino over an elephant at equal weights primarily because the rhino's horn is positioned better than the elephant's tusks for effectively fighting an opponent. Male elephants are favored over the heavier females here due to larger tusk size & aggression.  The Indian rhino is not as formidable (pound-for-pound) as the white rhino, which is why it isn't ranked higher.  I don't rate hippos well on land against well-armed opponents close to their size due to somewhat inferior overall mobility (in comparison).

Group B: White Rhino, Black Rhino, Indian Rhino, Javan Rhino, Hippopotamus, Giraffe.  White & black rhinos are the most formidable (pound-for-pound) of the rhinos due to aggressiveness and better weapons.  Javan rhino vs hippo could go either way, but the sturdier build & better mobility give the rhino the slightest of edges.  The hippo is more aggressive, so it has a good chance.  The giraffe can injure many animals with a well-placed kick, but it would need some luck against this group.

Group C: Black Rhino, Indian Rhino, Javan Rhino, Gaur, Bison, Cape Buffalo, Water Buffalo, Hippopotamus, Sumatran Rhino.  The bison is more robust than the cape buffalo, the cape is more aggressive than the water buffalo, and all of the bovids will have a mobility advantage against the hippo and weigh a similar amount.  The hippo can easily win with a well-placed chomp, though.  

Group D: Male Kodiak Bear, Polar Bear, female Kodiak Bear, Siberian Tiger, Bengal Tiger, African Lion.  Kodiak bears & polar bears are close at equal weights, lions & tigers are close at equal weights, and these bear types & big cats are close at equal weights.  The biggest advantage a bear has over a cat is endurance; the cat's best asset against a bear is speed/agility.

Group E: male Siberian Tiger, African Lion, Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Lion, female Siberian Tiger, Black Bear.  Black bears aren't as formidable (pound-for-pound) as brown bears or polar bears.  I give big cats the edge over a black bear even if it gives up a little bit of weight.

Group F: Asiatic Lion, Bengal Tiger, Jaguar, African Lion, Asian Black Bear.  The Bengal tiger and the jaguar are close.  I consider the jaguar to be the strongest cat pound-for-pound, and its bite force will exceed any cat in its weight range.

Group G: female Bengal Tiger, Jaguar, Sumatran Tiger, Sloth Bear, Puma.  The sloth bear, like the black bear, is not as formidable as an equal-sized brown bear.  The sloth bear & puma make for a good matchup here, and it could go both ways.  The sloth bear has better endurance than the puma.

Group H: Wisent, Asiatic Buffalo, Moose, Eland, Zebra.  The wisent & the asiatic buffalo are too strong & stocky for the others; the moose edges the eland due to more combat-effective weaponry, the zebra wouldn't be able to deal with the horns/antlers on these particular animals.

Group I: Jaguar, Leopard, Spectacled Bear, Spotted Hyena, Puma, Bully Kutta.  The jaguar is too powerful for the others here, and the leopard isn't too far behind.  The last 4 are quite close.  The bear will be able to use its claws and its stout build to overcome the hyena, puma, & the mastiff.  The hyena & the puma are really a dead heat.  The cougar will dominate from the onset, but it will find the very durable hyena tough to finish.  The hyena's crunching jaws will keep the agile puma in constant danger, so the cat will have to exercise
caution.  I give the leopard the edge over the hyena due to being very strong pound-for-pound (probably 2nd behind the jaguar among big cats) and having a large head and jaws capable of killing the hyena more effectively.  The bully kutta can compete against any of these animals (except the jaguar), and is one of the best-suited dogs for combat against another animal, but is slightly out-gunned here.

Group J: Leopard, Spotted Hyena, Snow Leopard, Striped Hyena, Gray Wolf, Cheetah.  The cheetah is made for speed, not fighting.  It is outmatched here.  The spotted hyena and the snow leopard are just about dead even.  The striped hyena will shy away from confrontation some of the time, but will fiercely engage most of the time.  It is a close match for the slightly larger grey wolf.

Group K: APBT, Clouded Leopard, Wolverine, Eurasian Lynx, Bobcat, Gray Wolf, Cheetah.  Once again the poor cheetah is outmatched.  Many close matchups here.  A game-bred american pitbull terrier is probably the most formidable canid pound-for-pound there is.  It is very strong, tenacious, durable, and will continue fighting despite injury.  It will face stiff competition from the clouded leopard and the wolverine, though.  The clouded leopard has long, sharp upper canines that can end a conflict quickly, and the powerful wolverine has a strong bite, sharp claws, and a relatively tough hide.  The top 3 here are very close.  I give the edge to a wolverine over a clouded leopard at equal weights, but 5kg advantage here gives the edge back to the cat.  The lynx and the bobcat can defeat the others here on occasion with agility & rapid clawing & biting, but they wouldn't hold up to the offense of the animals in the top 3 most of the time.  The gray wolf is too close to the size of the lynx & the bobcat to be favored against them, but its big bite & endurance give it a chance.

In shallow water: Hippopotamus, Saltwater Crocodile, Nile Crocodile, American Alligator, Black Caiman.  Hippos typically bully smaller crocodiles in Africa, but these similar-sized crocs will be no pushovers.  The hippo's tusks can still do big damage, and its rotund build would leave the reptiles gape-challenged (the crocs would find it hard to secure a good bite on the hippo's body).  Salties & niles are close at equal weights; this saltie is slightly larger, and both crocs would dominate the smaller alligator & caiman.  The alligator vs caiman would be close.  The alligator's more robust body would probably hold up to an assault better, so it gets the slight edge.

In air: Harpy Eagle & Phillipine Eagle (tie), Golden Eagle, Bald Eagle, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Andean Condor.  The harpy & phillipine eagles are powerful predators and 2 or the 3 most imposing birds-of-prey (along with the Steller's sea eagle).  The harpy has slightly larger talons and stouter build.  The slightly leaner phillipine eagle might be a tad faster.  The golden eagle is a brash hunter that seldom get intimidated.  Slight edge over the bald eagle.  The condor is not much of a hunter or a fighter compared to the others here.  Its talons aren't nearly as powerful as the eagle's are because they don't need to be.  The condor is a scavenger, and simply lands on carcasses to eat.  Even though it weighs (in this scenario) 3 times as much as the owl, the owl is a top-notch hunter with better weapons and would likely be favored in the air.

If you need more clarification/detail on a particular matchup, submit a follow-up and I will be happy to oblige.

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.