Interspecies Conflict/varied


hi there bk.going back to the last question i asked you,now lets' scale things up for the land predators  all weight he same as the titanaboa?and what about if a silverback was 2500lb that would be a very powerful animal i think,face to face fight with the snake?thanks bk.

Hello again Chris.

Titanoboa was probably a little bit more sluggish on land than the green anaconda is today due to its larger size.  For battles on land vs equal-sized predators, the Titanoboa wouldn't fare any better than today's anaconda would.  Anacondas are superb ambush hunters, but are poor face-to-face fighters against predators close to their own weight range.  They just don't have the mobility or endurance to make a decent showing.  Scaling the tiger, lion, polar bear, & Kodiak bear up to Titanoboa's size would create an adversary too formidable for the snake to overcome.  The snake could pull it off, but the chances are small.  Many other predators could be scaled up to the size of Titanoboa and defeat it (all big cats, wolverines, hyenas, ratels, etc.).  A crocodile/alligator on land at parity would be a good contest because there it no real mobility/endurance advantage over the snake.  A crocodile and a boa at equal weights makes for a good contest on land or in the water.

Now let's put these equal sized predators in the water with Titanoboa.  Let's say the water depth is 2.5 - 3ft (enough to completely cover the snake):

Polar bear vs Titanoboa: Very close contest.  A 2500lb bear will be close to 6ft at the shoulder.  The polar bear's ability to operate in the water will serve it well here.  It can dish out a lot of damage, and its tremendous strength and robust build will make it hard for the constrictor to control.  If the boa gets a favorable position early on, it can win, but even in water the bear will have greater endurance.  Close to 50/50.

Kodiak Bear vs Titanoboa: Another very close contest.  The Kodiak bear has longer claws and a stronger swipe than the polar bear does, but the overall strength of each bear is close.   Close to 50/50.

Lion/Tiger vs Titanoboa:  Both cats will be around 6.5 ft at the shoulder at 2500lbs.  It is imperative the cats deliver a neck bite or skull bite early on in this fight because their claws will not do as much damage as the bears' claws will (cat claws are more of a tool for holding prey in place than an offensive weapon).  If the coils of Titanoboa latch on, the cats are in deep trouble.  The lion/tiger may not instinctively know to bite the skull/neck area, and their first attack point may not be on a place that keeps the snake from launching a counter-attack.  Edge to the Titanoboa, but the tiger's chances might be better than the lion's because it is more accustomed to the water.

The only land predator I would favor in an equal-sized matchup against a Titanoboa in 2.5 - 3ft of water is the jaguar.  This cat loves the water, and is an expert in dispatching reptiles.  It instinctively knows to attack the skull and crush it with its tremendous bite force (most of any big cat pound-for-pound).  It won't be easy, but I would favor the jaguar.

2500 silverback gorilla vs Titanoboa: The silverback gorilla will be over 5.75ft at the shoulder when standing on all fours.  Gorillas have a natural fear of reptiles, so this may affect his effectiveness as a combatant.  On land, it will have the mobility advantage and the endurance advantage (as most animals will).  If it is intent on dispatching the constrictor, it will have a decent chance of doing so.  It will not have the know-how to proceed in the safest way possible, but its strength and dexterity should enable it to keep the coils at bay while it launches its offense (bites and clubbing forearms).  Reptiles have an advantage over mammals in that they can sustain injury and continue to function well (mammals will often get thrown off their game when an injury occurs), but the gorilla's best bet is to survive for the first minute while the boa wears down.  If Titanoboa latches onto the ape with its jaws, the gorilla will probably have the strength to the snake, but it's no guarantee.  The gorilla's constant motion, strength, and grip should allow it to survive long enough for the Titanoboa to tire out, but it's a question of whether or not the gorilla will actually do what it's physically capable of.  Boas don't fare well on land against similar-sized predators (without ambush), and the gorilla should prevail here more times than not.  In the water, the situation changes.  Gorillas don't do well in water, and mobility & endurance will no longer be an advantage.  The Titanoboa will quickly get into a favorable position and constrict the silverback gorilla a majority of the time.

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.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]