Interspecies Conflict/big cat match-ups.


QUESTION: i myself am a big cat expert. so i wanted to see how my opinions vary to another experts. i would like to see what we agree on and what we differ on. most answers will be obvious agreements but a few might differ. i would like to know your opinions on these match-ups and then i would like to tell you mine and i would like to see what you think. and this is just for fun, for the both of us. i love to hear other experts opinions on big cats and other predatory species. have fun. and thanks

here we go

african lion vs Siberian tiger
african lion vs bangle tiger
leopard vs Asiatic lion
jaguar vs leopard
jaguar vs clouded leopard
leopard vs south china tiger
leopard vs african lion
jaguar vs african lion
jaguar vs asiatic lion
asiatic lion vs african lion
bangle tiger vs leopard
clouded leopard vs jaguar
clouded leopard vs cheetah
cheetah vs snow leopard
siberian tiger vs asiatic lion
bangle tiger vs siberian tiger
jaguar vs south china tiger
jaguar vs siberian tiger
cougar vs jaguar
cougar vs cheetah
african lioness vs cougar

and u seem to know alot about dogs. so this one is just because its a hard choice for me and u are probably a bit more of a expert in this area.

German shepard vs pit bull.
German shepard wolf mix vs pit bull

and might have some big cats vs bears and others after this if u are up for it. have fun

ANSWER: Hello Caleb.

african lion vs siberian tiger: The Siberian tiger will be heavier, and these cats are reasonably close at parity.  Edge to the Siberian tiger.

african lion vs bengal tiger: The Bengal tiger will be a bit heavier, and the small weight advantage will be enough to swing this into the tiger's favor.  I give the lion the slightest of edges at parity, but the heavier tiger has the edge here.

leopard vs asiatic lion: Asiatic lions will be over twice as heavy, and will have little trouble defeating the leopard.

jaguar vs leopard: Jaguars are typically heavier (sometimes around 50% more) and stockier.  These 2 are generally considered to be the strongest cats pound-for-pound, and the jaguar has the strongest bite force for its size than any of the big cats.  The heavier jaguar wins this battle.

jaguar vs clouded leopard: Clouded leopards have the longest upper canines in proportion to their body of any feline today.  The clouded leopard can compete with many animals within its weight range, but the jaguar will be several times heavier.  The jaguar easily wins.

leopard vs south china tiger: The South China tiger will be about 50% heavier than the leopard, which should ensure its victory.

leopard vs african lion: Leopards are good fighters, but lions weigh almost 3 times as much and would overwhelm the spotted cat one-on-one.

jaguar vs african lion: Jaguars are very stocky, powerful felids.  However, lions are almost double their weight.  Lion wins.

jaguar vs asiatic lion: Asiatic lions are a little smaller than their African counterparts, but they are still considerably heavier than jaguars.  Lion wins.

asiatic lion vs african lion: African lions get a little larger than Asiatic lions.  The size advantage will be enough to grant it the victory.

bengal tiger vs leopard: Bengal tigers can get 3 times the weight of the leopard, and would overwhelm the smaller cat.

clouded leopard vs jaguar: The clouded leopard is too small to deal with the jaguar.  A large jaguar can be anywhere from 4-6 times heavier, and would have no problem winning this matchup.

clouded leopard vs cheetah: This is a good matchup.  Even though the clouded leopard is only one-third of the cheetah's weight, it is a much more formidable fighter (pound-for-pound).  Cheetahs are built for speed, and their bodies are not made for effective combat.  Many predators much smaller than the cheetah (baboons, African wild dogs, etc.) can drive them from their kills.  The cheetah can't afford to fight other animals because any injury they receive might hinder their ability to hunt.  In a typical confrontation (assuming they could meet), the clouded leopard would probably succeed in driving the cheetah away (unless it was defending cubs).  If the cheetah was determined to fight to the finish, it would have the size and killing experience to control the smaller cat and finish it with a throat bite more times than not (but it wouldn't be easy).  Slight edge to the cheetah, but it will sustain injuries.

cheetah vs snow leopard: These 2 cats will be similar in size, but the snow leopard has a much more powerful build and is better suited for combat.  The non-retractable claws of the cheetah aren't very sharp (used like cleats), and wouldn't be nearly as effective in a swipe/grab action as the snow leopard's.  Even an average-sized snow leopard would be capable of defeating a max-sized cheetah a vast majority of the time.

siberian tiger vs asiatic lion: The Siberian tiger would enjoy a decent weight advantage, and would be able to win on most occasions.

bengal tiger vs siberian tiger: The Siberian tiger has traditionally been the larger cat, but the sizes are a lot closer now than they once were.  The thick fur of the Siberian tiger would afford it some protection from the paw strikes of an adversary, but it's not a huge advantage.  Any decent size advantage by the Siberian tiger would make it the favorite in this matchup, but an equal-sized battle would probably favor the more aggressive Bengal tiger.

jaguar vs south china tiger: This would be a close fight.  The jaguar can probably defeat any other big cat at parity, but it will be giving up enough weight to the tiger (10-20%) in this battle to even out a few advantages it might otherwise enjoy.  The South China tiger will have a greater reach (for paw swipes), and it's larger size would help to even out the strength & bite advantage of the jaguar.  Edge to the South China tiger.

jaguar vs siberian tiger: The tiger is over twice as heavy as the jaguar and will be able to dominate this matchup.  I would favor a jaguar, at parity, over any other big cat, but the Siberian tiger is way too big.

cougar vs jaguar: These 2 cross paths at times, but the larger jaguar would dominate any physical encounter (would chase the cougar away).  The jaguar can weigh 40-50% more, and is much more powerfully built.  The cougar would have a "reach" advantage, but would still be overwhelmed once the jaguar got a hold of it.

cougar vs cheetah:  The cougar will be somewhat larger, and it is a lot more suited for battle than the gracile cheetah.  Cheetahs are built for acceleration & speed, but aren't equipped to deal with predatory adversaries anywhere close to their weight range.  The cougar will easily defeat the cheetah.

african lioness vs cougar: The lioness will weigh twice as much as the cougar, and will completely outmatch it.

german shepherd vs pitbull: The game-bred American pitbull terrier is one of the the most formidable dogs in the canine world.  Even though it will be outweighed here (by over 35%), it will have the strength, endurance, & tenacity to wear down the larger dog.  German shepherds are used for a variety of tasks due to their intelligence & trainability, but they don't quite stack up to pitbulls in terms of fighting.

german shepherd wolf mix vs pitbull: This depends on the weight of the wolfdog, and the likely result can be a hybrid weighing somewhere in between the parent's weights (and possibly more than the heaviest parent).  This can also depend on several other factors (genetics; gender of the wolf in the mix, etc.).  The wolfdog will have some characteristics of both parents, and will probably be infused with (among other things) the taller skull and wider cheekbones of the wolf (which indicates a strong bite).  Assuming the wolfdog has ample characteristics from each parent, it will need to weigh at least double the pitbull's weight to compete with it (this assuming it can be trained to enter into combat with another).  While German shepherds are very trainable, wolves cannot be fully tamed and their trainability is more in question.

Any more questions you have are welcome.  Best regards.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: african lion vs Siberian tiger - i defianatly agree on this one
african lion vs bangle tiger - same
leopard vs Asiatic lion - this is where it gets a little hard. the leopard will be much quicker than the lion but the lion will be much heavier. and will have the maine to protect its neck somewhat. it would be close fore me just given the leopards speed and amount of strength pound for pound. but to me about 60/40 to the lion
jaguar vs leopard - i agree on this one the leopard is fast but the jaguar is like a tank and is just to strong, once it gets a hold of the leopard its over. not saying the leopard wont have a chance but it would be vary slim in my oppinion.
jaguar vs clouded leopard. the clouded leopard is completely outmached. agree
leopard vs south china tiger - i agree but i think the leopard will put up one heck of a fight. but its still outmached
leopard vs african lion - this confrentation happens all the time. obvious answer aferican lion
jaguar vs african lion - here is where it gets fun. most people consider weight in a match up like this. which does have a big factor. but there is only one downside for the big male lion. its vary lazy. and despite its large size its not nearly as strong as the smaller jaguar. jaguars are vary vary smart and are thought to be the best hunters of all the big cats because of this. both animals are not the fastest if it were to be a lioness i would actually have a tougher time on my decision because it is much faster than the males. a smaller sized jaguar wouldnt be able to take on a male and come out victorious much of the time but a large one i actually have to give the slight advantage to the jaguar. and my reason is lions are supposed to be known for there strength. but they are really not that strong especially pound for pound. 4th on the list. and the jaguar will have more to fight for its smaller so its going to be fighting to the end. and the lion just wont have enough aggression to be able to handle that. its to lazy. it would be to me probably the most epic fight among the big cats. but i am giving it to the jaguar. it has to many advantages. its the strongest of all the big cats pound for pound, its slightly faster than the african male, unlike the males female counterpart. and it has the strongest bite force among all big cats and all it would take is one bite from the jaguar to the neck or skull despite the lions mane to probably end it or do some serious damage. and getting bit anywhere else would probably hinder the big male, especially if bit on one of the limbs or towards the spine. i just have to give it to the jaguar 55/45 on this. but it would be a real fight
jaguar vs asiatic lion - this would be another slight advantage to the jaguar even though its outweighed and smaller. but still a great matchup. the reasons are somewhat the same but there are a few other reasons. it would be tough the lion would be a little more agressive in my oppionion but its a little smaller than the aferican male it would be close everytime, but i still have to go on the jaguar on this.
asiatic lion vs african lion -  same
bangle tiger vs leopard - i completely agree on this one
clouded leopard vs jaguar - agree
clouded leopard vs cheetah - close. leopards are so strong. the cheetah is meant for speed not power. a large male should will or a female protecting her cubs. because she has more to fight for then. it would be tough everytime in my oppinion. but i do give it to the cheetah to
cheetah vs snow leopard - same
siberian tiger vs asiatic lion - same good fight but the lion is to slow and outweighed
bangle tiger vs siberian tiger - this would be really tough. supposably  new studies have found that tigers are 2nd in strength pound for pound but in my opinion that can be argued. in my studies i have found the leopard and tiger to be extremely close pound for pound. agression would win this one more times than not. not much difference in size so i agree on the bangle tiger winning this one more times than not.
jaguar vs south china tiger - i agree on this being a close fight. but i do dissagree that the jaguar would lose but either way it would be close everytime though.
jaguar vs siberian tiger - the jaguar is outmatched the tiger is to big and fast despite the jaguars strength. tigers and jaguars have the same build so advantage tiger .
cougar vs jaguar - same
cougar vs cheetah - same
african lioness vs cougar - same

thanks for replying and thanks for the info on the dogs. i have seen a german shepard take down a pit before but i know pits reputations in strength so i wanted to see what u think. thanks for your answers. would like to hear what u think of mine then i would like to ask a few more hope to hear you opinions soon

Hello again Caleb.

Big cat matchups are very interesting and it's intriguing to see how each cat and their unique abilities stack up.  I enjoyed reading your analysis on these matchups, and I am ready to field any big cat vs bear questions (or any others) you may have.

I have some follow-ups regarding some of your answers!

leopard vs asiatic lion: Leopards are definitely impressive animals (pound-for-pound strength, ability to drag large prey items into trees, etc), but it would have a tough time competing with an Asiatic lion.  The lion may be slower (due to its greater bulk), but any big cat weighing twice as much as another will have a pretty hefty advantage in a conflict.  Once the 2 cats engage, the absolute strength of the bigger cat will dictate the positioning with relative ease.  I've seen a video of a single leopard bravely defending itself against 4 lionesses for an extended period of time before making its escape.  This says a lot about the ferocity & tenacity of the leopard, and I rate leopards highly in conflicts against similar-sized foes, but this lion will be large enough to be easily favored.

jaguar vs african/asiatic lion: I rate jaguars highly, and will back it to defeat anything its weight or less.  Against these lions, however, it will be outmatched.  Lions seem lazy (will sleep or rest 75-80% of the time), but they are impressive fighters because they do it all of the time.  Male lions fight other male lions (sometimes to the death) to protect territory & females, and fight each other at kills to get the best piece of the meal.  Jaguars are stronger than lions pound-for-pound, and have a stronger bite force in proportion to their bodies, but they are not as practiced as fighters.  Jagaurs have short, stocky legs that are great for grappling & controlling, but it would have a reach disadvantage in a "swipe war" with a lion (even an equal-sized one).  At equal weights I would favor a jaguar over a lion (in spite of the lion's fighting experience) due to its physical attributes (pound-for pound strength and jaws adapted to crush through skulls), but here the lions will weigh anywhere from 25-50% more.  That's just too much of a weight advantage.  The lion will be stronger, and have much longer limbs for striking.  I would probably back a jaguar against a lion with a small weight advantage (perhaps 10-15%) some of the time, but giving up this much weight to another big cat makes success in a conflict very unlikely.

jaguar vs south china tiger: Although I give the tiger the slight edge (due to its weight advantage), the powerfully-built jaguar can certainly pull it off.

I think we agree on everything else!  You have many good opinions.

In regards to pound-for-pound strength, I've always considered the jaguar at the top closely followed by the leopard (and some will say it's the leopard).  However, the tiger is capable of great feats of strength (like dragging a gaur carcass for a long distance; bringing down large prey solo), and I think it is very plausible to consider them being right at the top.  Leopards dragging prey up trees to protect it from scavenging lions & hyenas is impressive, as well as jaguars dragging prey items into trees to avoid rising water.  Big cats are among my favorite animals, and I have always been impressed by them.

A good German shepherd can beat a sub-par pitbull, but a top-of-the-line representation of each breed will see the pitbull prevail a majority of the time.  A sittin'-on-the-porch pet pitbull can easily lose to a working German shepherd.....this usually depends on what each dog is trained for.  Trained German shepherds are trained to attack & subdue humans (and not other dogs) on most occasions, but some pitbulls are trained specifically (sad to say) to battle other dogs.  

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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