Interspecies Conflict/african conflict


hi there bk. seeing as all these animals coexist i thought i'd ask you these match ups.20ft rock python vs 70kg male leopard.70kg leopard vs large hyena.20ft rock python vs 140kg lioness.honey badger vs 20ft rock python.two 140kg female lions vs 250kg male lion.large hyena vs 20ft rock python.large warthog vs leopard.large warthog.vs 20ft rock python.large warthog vs large hyena.250kg male lion vs three warthogs.hoep not too many questions for you there bk.thanks again:)

Hello Chris.

20ft rock python vs 70kg male leopard: Constrictors have a wide weight range, but a 20ft African rock python will likely weigh about 30% more than the leopard.  These 2 animals reportedly prey upon one another from time-to-time.  The African rock python is a superb ambush hunter, and can be quite aggressive.  Leopards are powerful predators themselves, and can drag large prey items up into trees.  As all big cats, they have great speed, agility, and killing know-how.  Pythons aren't great fighters face-to-face, and have poor mobility & stamina on land.  Positioning is very important here, and key is whether or not the leopard's teeth and claws can cause enough damage to the python before the snake can wrap the coils around in the right areas to restrict the leopard's ability to effective fight back.  The leopard will have a decent advantage on land, but will be in a war if the battle takes place in water.  A python's endurance, speed, & maneuverability will be vastly improved in water, and it will have a much better chance to acquire a favorable position against the leopard.  The rock python will try to clamp onto the leopard with its jaws (to create an "anchoring point"), and pull its coils toward the cat in an attempt to wrap it up.  The water will impede some of the leopard's movement, and its chances to dispatch the snake won't be as good.  At these sizes, the leopard will be favored on land, but the African rock python will be slightly favored in the water (the deeper the water, the better its chances).  Overall, leopard wins.

70kg leopard vs large hyena: We'll use the spotted hyena here.  These animals will weigh about the same (although some spotted hyenas have reportedly exceeded 70kg).  This battle occurs on occasion in Africa, and one-on-one confrontations usually favor the hyena.  Leopards are solitary hunters, and they can't afford to sustain an injury that would impede their ability to capture food.  Hyenas hunt in groups, and an injury to one of them isn't as devastating as it would be to the cat.  Hyenas are active scavengers as well as hunters, and an injury to one of them wouldn't necessarily mean starvation.  Hyenas are indeed very durable and have an impressive bite force, and these 2 assets are huge in ranking a hyena as one of the most formidable adversaries another animal can face.  However, hyenas aren't the most agile or graceful movers Africa has to offer (they are somewhat clumsy), and their jaws are their only offensive weapon.  Leopards, like all big cats, are very agile & quick, and are well-practiced at killing other animals solo.  Not only do they have jaws, but they have claws on each paw that can be used offensively (paw swipes, back paw kicking & raking, gripping into hide to hold another animal in place).  The ability for a cat to use its paws to grab and control opponents is huge.  If a leopard is forced to battle a spotted hyena to the finish, its abilities & weaponry will enable it to prevail more times than not.  It will definitely receive injuries in the struggle, and it will take some time to achieve victory, but the leopard will be able to secure a neck or muzzle bite to slowly suffocate the hyena while its paws hold it in place.  Hyenas are no joke, but they're slightly outmatched against big cats in their weight range.  As mentioned, the hyena will drive the leopard away a majority of the time in a realistic encounter, but a serious down & dirty battle will slightly favor the leopard.  However, once a spotted hyena begins to enjoy a little bit of a weight advantage, it will be too formidable for a leopard to handle in any situation.  Striped & brown hyenas can certainly drive a 70kg leopard away, but won't be favored against it in a serious fight.  Slight overall edge to leopard (read the entry called "question" from 11/28/2013 for more on the hyena vs leopard matchup).

20ft rock python vs 140kg lioness: The lioness will weigh almost 55% more than the African rock python.  Lionesses are battle-tested predators that routinely deal with formidable adversaries (hyenas, warthogs, crocodiles, Cape buffalo, zebra, etc.).  They have the typical big cat attributes (speed, agility, explosive action ability, finishing experience, strong jaws, sharp claws, etc.).   The African rock python won't have much of a chance against a lioness on land, and won't be large enough to be favored in anything but deep water.  The strong jaws and sharp claws of the lioness will cause serious injuries to the python, and the cat's reaction speed will keep it relatively safe from the bite/coils of the constrictor.  The lioness is simply too big, powerful, and adept at killing to lose this fight.  Lioness wins.

honey badger vs 20ft rock python: The rock python will weigh approximately 6 times as much as the honey badger (ratel).  Honey badgers are fearless & aggressive, and have strong bites & sharp claws (used mainly for digging).  The hide of the honey badger is thick & tough, and protects it from many attacks.  They often kill snakes (including venomous ones), and have tackled ones heavier than they are.  African rock pythons are formidable ambush predators, and they have the power to constrict animals heavier than themselves.  Large constrictors don't have good stamina or mobility on land, but can strike reasonably fast to land a bite.  The ratel, assuming it's set on attacking, will try to rush in and use its claws/teeth to subdue the python.  However, the snake will be a lot stronger than the honey badger, and will likely dominate positioning if the mammal tries to remain attached to it.  The honey badger will need to use its mobility to avoid the bite/coils of the python, but doing this while simultaneously mounting an offense will be somewhat problematic.  If the African rock python latches onto the fur of the honey badger with its backward-pointing teeth, it will have a decent chance to encoil the mustelid before the mammal's violent resistance can free itself.  The honey badger can succeed if its initial actions can tire the python out, but its giving up a lot of weight & strength here, and it might not have the patience to utilize a proper strategy.  It can certainly overcome an African rock python if it catches one at less than 100% (injured, feeding, fatigued, or otherwise encumbered), but facing one that is on top of its game will be a formidable challenge.  The honey badger will be in trouble if the battle takes place in water, and will be facing an uphill battle on land if the snake is a healthy & active one.  Edge to African rock python.

two 140kg female lions vs 250kg male lion: Lionesses are better hunters than male lions, but aren't better at cat vs cat combat.  Male lions battle other male lions for control/defense of a pride, and do this with regularity.  Lionesses are great at teamwork, though, and 2 of them can be very effective against a single foe.  The lionesses will have the edge in quickness & agility, but it won't be enough to offset the greater strength & combat abilities of the male.  They might be able to drive the larger cat away if his heart isn't really in it, but they will risk injury if they persist with an angry, determined one.  Each of these lionesses are a little bit heavier than the average lioness, but they will need to be close to the maximum weight of one to have a decent chance against a maximum-sized male.  Male lion wins.

large hyena vs 20ft rock python: The rock python will weigh approximately 30% more than a spotted hyena.  Spotted hyenas are very durable animals with great endurance and amazing jaw power.  They are accustomed to conflict, regularly engaging in confrontations with lions, leopards, African wild dogs, and other hyenas.  African rock pythons are fearsome predators that utilize ambush to capture large prey items.  A python is certainly capable of constricting a spotted hyena, but getting to that point won't be easy if the battle occurs on land.  The spotted hyena has 2 big advantages on land: mobility & stamina.  The rock python will probably be able to drive the hyena away in a realistic situation (with defensive strikes), but a determined hyena will have a decent chance of tiring the snake with its persistence.  Constrictors aren't good face-to-face fighters on land, and the python here won't be favored without an ambush or the benefit of water.  The striped hyena and the brown hyena are smaller (and less powerful) than the spotted hyena, but still have a decent chance on land against the python if they're careful (but still may become lunch).  Edge to hyena.

large warthog vs leopard: A large warthog can tip the scales at 150kg, which is 2/3 heavier than a large leopard.  Warthogs are nimble animals with long, sharp tusks.  They are capable of seriously injuring an attacker.  Any animal battling a warthog will need to mount its offense while avoiding these tusks, and it won't be easy for one weighing less than the suid.  Leopards have the quickness, agility, and finishing know-how to succeed here, but it won't be easy without an ambush.  The leopard's smaller size will make it hard to control the larger warthog with its forepaws, and this increases the likelihood of it getting slashed by the tusks.  A large leopard can defeat an average warthog face-to-face, but not one weighing almost 60kg more (not impossible, just very improbable).  Warthog wins.

large warthog vs 20ft rock python: A large warthog will weigh approximately 2/3 heavier than a 20ft African rock python.  Rock pythons are aggressive, capable hunters, but have the same limitations on land shared by all large constrictors (poor mobility & endurance).  The warthog will be mobile enough to mount an offense with its tusks, and will be large enough to struggle effectively as the python attempts to bite & coil it.  The python can win by ambush or with the benefit of water, but will have trouble subduing a warthog face-to-face.  Warthog wins.

large warthog vs large hyena: The warthog can be twice as heavy as a spotted hyena (the heaviest kind of hyena).  Hyenas are tough, durable animals with strong jaws, but they don't have the lateral quickness of, let's say, a wolf.  It won't be able to avoid getting tusked by the warthog (as warthogs can be nimble) if it tries to clamp on with its jaws.  The warthog will stand its ground and face the hyena, and will charge if it gets too close.  The slashing tusks can cause grave injury to the hyena.  A spotted hyena won't be favored against a warthog at parity, and will stand little chance against one twice its size.  The hyena will need some help from other members of the clan to pull this off.  Warthog wins.

250kg male lion vs three warthogs: The male lion will weigh 2/3 heavier than a large warthog (and about 40% taller at the shoulder), and 2 1/2 times heavier than an average one (and about 65% taller at the shoulder).  Because 250kg is generally considered to be the maximum weight for a male lion, we'll use the maximum weight for the warthogs (about 150kg).  Male lions are charged with protection of the pride, and commonly battle rival males.  They also join in on prey capture from time-to-time if the quarry is large (like a giraffe or Cape buffalo).  Warthogs can be quite dangerous (good lateral quickness, long tusks), and have injured lions on occasion.  Even a single warthog isn't a guaranteed meal for a lion or a lioness.  The lion will need to grab it with it paws to arrest its movements and pull it to the ground, and this isn't always easy.  In reality, if 3 warthogs se a large male lion, they will hide or flee.  If forced to fight, they can easily drive the male lion away.  The lion will have trouble focusing on all 3 warthogs if they attack at once, and will be at risk of sustaining serious injuries.  A pair of warthogs (male & female) may strategize to defend their young from an invading predator, but it's not a given that the 3 warthogs here will automatically do exactly what they need to do to most effectively repel this lion.  If all parties are determined to fight, the warthogs will win.  If the warthogs don't cooperate, the lion can kill them one-by-one (or attack one while the other 2 flee).  Edge to 3 warthogs.

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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