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Interspecies Conflict/Raccoon vs Emperor Penguin

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Question
Hello again BK,who would win between a raccoon and an emperor penguin?Could penguins fight?I don't know, but I do know it has a great size advantage over a raccoon.Interesting fight to me so I would like your opinion.

Thank You

Answer
Hello Gian.


Raccoon vs Emperor Penguin: An emperor penguin can weigh 3-4 times as much as a raccoon.  Raccoons typically predate upon grasshoppers, crickets, fish, voles, mice, crayfish, frogs, and other small animals.  These omnivores also eat fruits and nuts.  Emperor penguins primarily feed upon fish & squid.  This is an unusual matchup to assess because emperor penguins never encounter anything like a raccoon (no terrestrial mammals indigenous to Antarctica), and raccoons don't encounter penguins (and won't have any reason to pay attention to one).  Determining how a penguin will react to something it's never seen or encountered before is largely guesswork.  Raccoons are fierce fighters (can inflict bites with sharp teeth), but won't readily attack something much larger than themselves without a threat being present.  Some penguins may hit each other with their "wings" (flippers) in squabbles and actually have the ability to peck & bite effectively, but one would probably ignore a raccoon if they were placed in the same location (assuming climate was a non-factor).  Assuming these 2 animals hypothetically have a beef with one another, the more aggressive raccoon will likely drive the penguin away by baring its teeth and rushing toward it, but an actual attempt to land a bite will put it in range of the penguin's sharp beak.  I doubt the raccoon will stick around if it receives a good peck or two, and the mammal will likely realize it won't make much headway if it tries to overpower the much heavier (and stronger) bird.  Raccoons aren't equipped to do this.  Emperor penguins don't have the greatest lateral movement on land, and the raccoon will be quick enough to stay away if it chooses to, and a stalemate may result.  Realistically, these animals just won't have any interest in each other.  I favor a penguin to get the better of the raccoon in a serious (but hypothetical) battle at normal weights, but an unusually large raccoon will probably have the mobility & fighting experience to prevail from time-to-time against an average-sized penguin.  Overall edge to emperor penguin.


For additional information regarding emperor penguins, I highly recommend Dyan deNapoli in the "Wild Animals" section of AllExperts.


Best regards.

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BK

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Education/Credentials
Associate degree in unrelated field; biology classes in college.

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