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Interspecies Conflict/More Confrantations


Hello again BK here are some more animal questions and conflicts here goes.

1.How would a White rhino react to being aproached by a Saltwater crocodile?I know a white rhino would be safe from one.

2.Hypethitical-Would a wildebeest have a hard time killing a African Crested Porcupine?I think the porcupines quils would be formidable weapons.

3.Greater Kudu vs Gray Wolf?

4.Lets say Great White Sharks lived in Africa,and they lived in rivers,would they ambush and kill animals crossing the rivers?How would they do in competition with Nile Crocodiles?

5.Could a Cougar kill a Lion through ambush?

6.On wikipidia its stated that the worlds largest white rhino is 9'900 lbs.Is that really the largest weight?Do you think that's to big for a rhino or could one grow bigger?


Hello Gian.

Q: How would a white rhino react to being approached by a saltwater crocodile?
A: An adult white rhinoceros would have nothing to fear from any encounter with a saltwater crocodile.  It weighs over twice as much, and is too large & strong for a crocodile to handle (even in the water).  Because a white rhino has poor eyesight and can be spooked easily, it may move away from an approaching saltwater crocodile out of uneasiness or fear of the unknown.  A saltwater crocodile probably wouldn't attempt to approach an animal the size of a white rhino with the intention of securing a meal, but may walk by one (hypothetically) to get from one point to another.  A white rhino accustomed to the presence of crocodiles (again, hypothetically) would likely regard them with indifference.

Q: Would a wildebeest have a hard time killing a African crested porcupine?
A: A wildebeest will weigh over 10 times as much as an African crested porcupine.  Wildebeest can be rather combative, as they must deal with lions, leopards, hyenas, African wild dogs, crocodiles, etc. quite often.  They primarily use their horns to defend themselves.  A porcupine is well-protected by long, sharp quills.  These quills can be a major deterrent to any animal trying to attack it with jaws or claws.  A wildebeest won't have any reason to attack a porcupine, but if it did, it would have the ability to do so without too much trouble.  A strong swipe of its head (with its 2' horns) could cause serious injury to the porcupine, and the quills won't neccesarily get stuck into the antelope (most of the quills point backwards; some out from the sides).  The wildebeest can also kick with its hooves, and this action can also dispatch the porcupine without being a real threat to imbed any quills in the larger animal.  Hypothetically, a wildebeest can do this without too much difficulty.

greater kudu vs gray wolf: The greater kudu will weigh about 5 times as much as a grey wolf and measure about 2/3 taller at the shoulder.  Greater kudus have long spiral horns (up to 4' in length); only the horns of the sable antelope & oryx are longer among antelopes.  Gray wolves are excellent pack hunters, but can occasionally tackle larger animals solo.  The gray wolf has strong jaws, good lateral movement, and great endurance.  Greater kudus prefer to run from danger rather than fight.  A wolf is certainly capable of pulling one down, but will have trouble doing so if the kudu is willing to stand its ground.  Because the kudu will likely run in a hypothetical encounter with a wolf, it will be in danger of being run down (the wolf can run greater distances without tiring), grabbed from behind, and pulled to the ground.  If it doesn't run, it should be able to offer enough resistance to make the wolf break off its attack.  Close fight, overall edge to the much larger greater kudu.

Q: Let's say great white sharks lived in Africa and they lived in rivers.  Would they ambush and kill animals crossing the rivers?  How would they do in competition with Nile crocodiles?
A: Sharks require a lot of room and a lot of water depth in their habitats, and living in a river will pose problems for it.  They generally ambush from below, and this will be difficult to do in most rivers.  A shark can definitely kill most animals that cross the river (zebra, wildebeest, etc.) with a single bite, and can kill larger ones (hippos/crocodiles) if the river is deep enough to allow for ample vertical movement.  A shark won't be able to snare a drinking animal from the river's edge like a crocodile does because its body is too heavy (up to 2 1/2 tons) and rotund to get close to land.  Although a great white shark will get the better of a crocodile in a one-on-one situation (it weighs over twice as much), it won't have the know-how or the favorable conditions at its disposal to compete with the expert hunters of the river (crocodiles).  The crocodiles will learn to avoid the great white shark as much as possible (but will predate on small ones), but will outcompete them with experience.

Q: Could a cougar kill a lion through ambush?
A: The cougar will have almost no chance of succeeding here.  Lions weigh about 2 1/2 times more than cougars, and have similar physical abilities.  Cougars are terrific at ambush, but the animals it targets (like cervids) don't have the ability to fight back as well as a lion will.  A lion is flexible enough to counter a cougar's ambush attempt with its own offense and can fight well from any position (upright/on its side/from its back).  When a cougar ambushes an elk, it grabs onto the herbivore's comparatively stiff body in such a way to prevent a counter-attack from the cervid's antlers and hooves.  Grabbing a lion in this manner will not prevent it from fighting back, and the larger cat will quickly turn the tables.

Q: On Wikipedia it's stated that the world's largest white rhino is 9,900 lbs.  Is that really the largest weight?  Do you think that's too big for a rhino or could one grow bigger?
A: While I won't dispute that a white rhino actually got that heavy, it is a very unusual occurrence.  While the typical max weight for a white rhino is 2 1/2 tons, 4 tons is generally accepted as its absolute max.  Many weights listed for various animals on certain sites are a bit extreme.  I rely heavily on written publications for my information, and I checked 4 of my sources for the maximum weight of the white rhinoceros.  The listed max weights are as follows: 5,000lbs, 5,060lbs, 7,920lbs, and 8,000lbs.  These are reasonable figures for the maximum weight of a white rhinoceros (the first 2 figures are likely the typical max weight; the last 2 figures are likely the absolute max weight).  Age has a bearing on weight as well.  Adult hippos usually weigh around 2-3 tons, but older ones can approach 4 tons.  Adult crocodiles usually weigh between 500-1,000lbs, but older ones can approach a ton.  Even though it's possible a rhino actually attained the weight of 9,900lbs, I wouldn't say "9,900lbs" if someone asked me what the maximum weight of a white rhino was.  At one time Wikipedia made mention of an elephant from Angola that exceeded 26,000lbs in weight.  While I believe it's certainly possible, it's definitely not the norm, and I would not say "26,000lbs" if someone asked me the maximum weight of an elephant.   

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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