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Interspecies Conflict/american lion speed, saber tooth cat strength,


Do you think that the american lion's proportionally longer legs and larger muscles could have made it faster than modern lions?
How strong was smilodon? do you think they dominated the terror birds like in "walking with beasts"
i also have some fights i was wondering about.

550 lbs african lion vs 600 lbs black bear
Kodiak bear vs smilodon populator
Mesembriornis vs Gastornis
short faced bear vs rodeo bull
Brontornis vs 700 grizzly bear or 800
Brontornis vs smilodon populator
900 lbs grizzly bear vs 1,000 lbs hyenadon gigas
Smilodon gracilis vs dire wolf
megatherium vs therizinosaurus
kodiak bear vs utahraptor
600 lbs smilodon fatalis vs 800`lbs american lion
770 lbs american lion vs 800 lbs grizzly

Hello Johnny.

The American lion was probably faster than the lions of today for the reasons you stated.  Usually a larger version of an animal won't be able to run proportionately faster due to its increased weight, but the shape and build of the American lion was made for running moreso than the modern lion.  

Smilodon populator was probably the strongest cat pound-for-pound ever to exist.  It was believed to be capable of subduing very large prey, and had a stout, muscular body made for such a task.  It was probably much stronger (pound-for-pound) than any modern cat (but not as quick), and probably not too far behind the strength level (pound-for-pound) as modern bears (but somewhat quicker).

Any encounter between an adult Smilodon (populator or fatalis) and any terror bird would have likely been a domination by the cat.  The Smilodon would only need to leap upon the bird (avoiding beak & claws) and pull it to the ground.  Even Smilodon gracilis would have been able to overtake all but the largest terror birds on most occasions.

550lb african lion vs 600lb black bear: The black bear will have the strength & endurance advantage, but the lion will have the edge in quickness, agility, and killing experience.  The lion is more predatory, and is used to fighting with other animals (including it own kind) more than the bear is.  Tough fight for the African lion, but it should win more times than not.

kodiak bear vs smilodon populator: The Kodiak bear will be large & strong enough to keep the Smilodon from getting into a favorable position to use its sabers.  The Smilodon is used to subduing large animals, but a large Kodiak bear can be approximately 35-50% heavier, and will have the means to effectively use paw swipes & bites whenever the cat engages it.  The Smilodon has a decent chance to win, but most of time it will have too many factors against it.  The Smilodon would win if the weights were at parity or reasonably close.

mesembriornis vs gastornis: The Gastornis was probably the larger bird (heavier at equal heights).  The Mesebriornis had the sharper beak, whereas the Gastornis had a thicker beak (with greater bite force).  Knowing exactly what each bird would do in a conflict would be helpful in determining a winner, but I would favor the heavier Gastornis.

short-faced bear vs rodeo bull: This depends on the size of the bull.  The short-faced bear will be a little bit heavier than the heaviest rodeo bull, but the bear isn't well-versed in tackling large, mobile opponents that fight back.  If the bear weighs 2000lb (believed to be close to its max), it should be strong & durable enough to handle any bull under 1700lb or so.  Any bull heavier than that will have a decent chance of causing injuries to the bear with its quick, powerful turns and sharp horns before the bear can gain control of it.

brontornis vs 700lb grizzly bear (or 800lb): Brontornis was as tall as an ostrich and weighed 2.5 times as much.  It's speculation on how these large, prehistoric birds fought, but it probably used its feet for kicking and its strong beak for biting (or striking like a hammer).  It would outweigh the bear (at either weight), and would have been able to land some good kicks on the ursid (as it wouldn't have been able to dodge them readily).  If the bird had the ability to attack as previously speculated (kick, bite, strike with beak), it would have had a decent chance to repel the bear in most encounters.  However, if a grizzly bear was close enough to the weight of the bird, it would be a much stronger animal.  A determined grizzly would be able to withstand some injuries and pull the tall Brontornis to the ground.  I would give the edge to an 800lb grizzly, but a 700lb bear would probably be an even matchup for the terror bird.  If by chance the terror bird's array of offense was less diverse (wasn't able to kick or didn't use its beak as a hammer), it would lose to either bear.

brontornis vs smilodon populator: The Brontornis was close in weight to the Smilodon populator, but it would have been outmatched.  The Smilodon's ability to leap upon the terror bird would have given it a sizeable advantage.  The cat would have been agile enough to avoid most of the bird's offense, and once the Smilodon closed the distance and grabbed the Brontornis, it would have been able to pull it to the ground and subdue it.  A well-placed kick from the Brontornis would probably seriously injure the cat, but the bird wouldn't have consistent precision against this particular opponent.  I would probably favor a Smilodon fatalis against a Brontornis.

900lb grizzly bear vs 1,000lb hyaenodon gigas: This would be close to even.  I favored the Hyaenodon over a 800lb grizzly, and favored the grizzly at parity.  This would put the weights about right for an even battle.  The grizzly is strong, durable, and can cause grave injuries with its powerful paw swipes.  The huge, crushing bite of the Hyaenodon gigas will be its chief asset.  50/50.

smilodon gracilis vs dire wolf: The dire wolf was as large as the largest modern wolves, but it had a more muscular body and a stronger bite.  The Smilodon gracilis was the smallest of the 3 most popular species of saber-tooth cats (weighing as much as a large puma).  The Smilodon would have the size advantage, and its ability to use its forepaws to slash or grip would be the trump card for the feline in this matchup.  A well-placed bite from the dire wolf would spell trouble for the Smilodon, but the cat's superior agility & quickness would diminish that possibility.  The Smilodon will have a better chance to finish the dire wolf with a bite than the other way around.  A feline will be favored on most occasions against a canine it outweighs, and that is the case in this matchup.  Smilodon wins.   

megatherium vs therizinosaurus: This would an incredible battle of the swinging claws!  The Megatherium was the larger animal (over 50% heavier) and had skin that was reinforced with small pieces of bone that served as a type of armor.  The Therizinosaurus had long, slightly curved claws (over 2ft long) that could be used to slash at adversaries, but it didn't have the same level of protection against blows as the giant sloth.  When standing upright, the Megatherium would be a little taller than the Therizinosaurus.  Some estimations of Therizinosaurus' weight put it on par with Megatherium, but these figures probably aren't reliable.  The Megatherium would have too many advantages in this battle (and would actually be favored at parity).

kodiak bear vs utahraptor: The Kodiak bear would be somewhat heavier than the Utahraptor.  The Utahraptor is well-armed (sharp claws for kicking/jaws & teeth) and could inflict serious injuries to the bear in a short amount of time.  However, the durable bear has the strength advantage and has use of its forepaws to grab and manipulate the position of the Utahraptor.  Once the bear gets close enough, it will be able to overpower the theropod with paw strikes or brute strength if it hasn't received too many bad wounds.  Bears can take a lot of punishment and still fight effectively, and its great endurance will aid it in any long, drawn-out battle.  Closer at parity, but here the Kodiak bear wins.

600lb smilodon fatalis vs 800lb american lion: The Smilodon fatalis was more robustly built and had better weaponry, but it's giving up too much weight here.  The American lion would win the "battle of the paws" and have the size & strength to dictate the positioning throughout most of the conflict.  The Smilodon has a small chance, but it won't be favored here.

770lb american lion vs 800lb grizzly bear: I consider an African lion and a grizzly bear to be a very close matchup at parity.  The American lion was built a little differently than the African lion, but they were close enough to be on par in terms of fighting ability.  30lbs isn't a large weight advantage at all, but it would probably make enough of a difference to favor the grizzly bear.  It's difficult for a bear to be overcome due to its solid build and powerful claws (it can counter-attack from most positions), and its great endurance is a huge edge in a long fight.  It's unlikely the lion will be able to finish the bear before running out of steam itself.  Slight edge to the grizzly bear.

Best regards.

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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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