Interspecies Conflict/grizzly vs croc


Hello BK,
Who would you give the edge to in a land battle? A full grown male grizzly or a 12ft to 14ft crocodile? I eagerly await your answer.

Hello Mike.

Grizzly bears are large, powerful mammals with muscular shoulder & head areas and long, sharp claws.  The weight of these animals varies with location, but the larger representations of the species can exceed 1000lb.  Crocodiles have large jaws that can close with a tremendous amount of force, teeth that grip onto prey like cleats, and long bodies covered in osteoderms (bony formations on the skin) that offer protection from attack.  Crocodiles 12-14ft in length may weigh anywhere from 600lb to over 1000lb.  The grizzly bear is probably the most formidable bear (pound-for-pound), and may be the most aggressive.  In a land battle against a crocodile, the bear will have 2 major advantages: mobility & endurance.  Crocodiles have limited movement on land (but they can make quick lunges and turn their heads rapidly to either side to bite), and they can't engage in a struggle on land without quickly becoming fatigued.  The crocodile's bite is it's best weapon, but the robust body of the bear will make it difficult for the crocodile to land a bite that will disable it (this assuming the weights of the combatants are close).  Crocodiles kill by drowning, and will not have much success subduing a large grizzly bear without the benefit of water.  Even if the crocodile clamps onto the bear, the bear will be strong enough to free itself by using its claws & teeth to rip into the head or sides of the reptile.  Most animals the crocodile grabs in its jaws don't have any means other than pulling away to obtain their freedom (some have horns, but depending on where the crocodile grabs them, they probably won't be able to utilize them), but the bear will have options.  A bite on the skull might be trouble for the bear, but even then the bear's paws & claws will be in range to cause serious injuries to the crocodile.  The "death roll" the crocodile employs in the water won't have nearly the same effect on land (water enables the crocodile to use its tail to power its spin), and the bear's weight will make it difficult for the crocodile to complete this action on land.  Bears have phenomenal endurance, and it will still be able to fight fiercely long after the crocodile is completely exhausted.

In short, the crocodile on land doesn't have the endurance to sustain an attack on the bear long enough to subdue it.  The bear's claws can cause damage to the head, sides, or belly of the crocodile, and its paws can control the head of the crocodile while it bites the reptile.  A crocodile would need a decent weight advantage to be favored against a grizzly bear on land, and at close weights would need the fight to occur in shallow water to have a chance.

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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