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Interspecies Conflict/Clash of gigantic Bovids


Dear BK,

Would you be so kind as to give your opinion about this fight? Thank you very much.

Bison latifrons vs Pelorovis antiquus (males, same weight)

Hello, Antonio.

Bison latifrons and Pelorovis antiquus bore a strong similarity to 2 bovids living today, the American buffalo (or bison) and the Cape buffalo.  These 2 prehistoric beasts, by most estimations, were twice as heavy as their present-day counterparts.  Bison latifrons looked like a bison with longer horns, and Pelorovis antiquus looked like a Cape buffalo with longer horns.  We can assume that the prehistoric versions behaved somewhat like the present-day ones, but there's no guarantee.  Bison latifrons probably preferred to use its head as a battering ram over using its horns as stabbing weapons (like current bison do), but we can't be sure.  Pelorovis antiquus probably favored the use of horns as weapons to gore with (like Cape buffalo do) over the use of its boss (bony covering of its skull where the horns are joined) as a battering ram.  Again, we can't be sure.  I think it's reasonable to say that an equal-weight battle between these 2 ancient giants would be similar to an equal-weight battle between a bison and a Cape buffalo.  The bison's massive head & shoulder area would give it the ability to generate more power in its attacks than the Cape buffalo, and I don't think the higher level of aggression in the Cape buffalo would be enough to swing the advantage back in its favor.  Because the longer horns of Bison latifrons and Pelorovis antiquus were probably not as effective to deliver accurate stabs as the ones of today's bison and buffalo, it's possible both prehistoric animals preferred to ram opponents.  Regardless of which method was used, the Bison latifrons seemed to be better equipped to deliver damage (and take damage due to its shaggy coat) between the 2.  As I would favor a present-day bison to edge a present-day Cape buffalo at equal weights, I favor Bison latifrons to edge Pelorovis antiquus at equal weights.

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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