Interspecies Conflict/varied


hi there bk.titanaboa vs hippopotimus titanaboa vs rhinocheros.titanaboa vs african elephant.all on land and shallow water.and i just have two queries here bk if you don't mind answering.did you see or hear about the man who feed himself to a 20ft green anaconda that weighed 250lbs?anyway,the squeezing power of this animal was incredible,they had to pull him out because he was losing feeling in his arm.i just find it incredible a saltwater crocodile could withstand that as you said.and my last second hypothetical question is if a large silverback was encoiled and had it's arms free do you think it would have the strength in it's arms and hands to get the snake off?one thing has to be said though and i have taken it into consideration,a silverback gorilla and especially a saltwater crocodile are a whole different ball game than a relatively strong man.these are my last questions  on here bk so i want to thank you for being so polite and taking the time to answer my questions:)

Hello Chris.

Titanoboa vs hippopotamus (on land): A hippopotamus will weigh almost 2 1/2 times as much as Titanoboa.  Titanoboa was a huge constrictor that reached over twice the length of a modern anaconda (as long as a school bus) and weighed 8 times as much (about the weight of a large water buffalo).  Titanoboa was bigger around than an oil barrel along much of its body.  It was an ambush predator capable of overcoming large prey items in its mighty coils.  A hippopotamus is an aggressive African herbivore (mainly eats grass) that can easily kill a Nile crocodile with its huge jaws.  These jaws can open almost 4ft wide, and are armed with sharp-edged lower canines (to bite and slash with) and forward-pointing incisors (to jab with).  Titanoboa, like today's constrictors, were likely sluggish on land and limited by poor stamina.  A hippopotamus will easily be able to land a few significant bites before Titanoboa can mount any meaningful offense, and should dominate any encounter on land.  Even if it ambushes, Titanoboa won't have the size to contrict the hippo.  Hippopotamus wins.

Titanoboa vs hippopotamus (in shallow water): Hippopotamuses are very aggressive and territorial when they're near the water.  They move around rather well in shallow water, too.  Even though Titanoboa's maneuverability and stamina will be greatly increased in shallow water, it still won't have the size/power to effectively constrict the hippo even if it gets in position to try.  Coiling the hippo's neck might be its only hope, but that will put it dangerously close to the business end of the huge herbivore.  Hippopotamus wins.

Titanoboa vs rhinoceros (on land): This depends on the type of rhinoceros used.  White rhinos and Indian rhinos will typically weigh over twice as much as Titanoboa, Javan rhinos will weigh approximately 60% more, black rhinos will weigh at least 20% more, and Sumatran rhinos will only weigh about 70% of Titanoboa's weight.  Titanoboa, like today's constrictors, was probably a poor face-to-face fighter (on land) against similar-sized animals.  The white rhino and the Indian rhino are too large for Titanoboa to make any headway with, and the Javan rhino and the black rhino are also outside of its range.  Even the Sumatran rhino will be a tough challenge for the Titanoboa on land, but the snake can succeed on occasion (and will fare better with an ambush).  Overall, the rhinos will be too big for Titanoboa to be favored.

Titanoboa vs rhinoceros (in shallow water): Even though the maneuverability and stamina of Titanoboa will be greatly increased in shallow water, some of the rhinos will still be too big for it.  The white rhino and the Indian rhino will have too much bulk to be threatened, and may have opportunities to injure the snake (the white rhino with its horn; the Indian rhino with its horn/bite).  The Javan rhino's size & rotund body will make it a difficult target for Titanoboa, but a kill won't be impossible.  The coils of Titanoboa might be able to suffocate the rhino if they wrap around an area of lesser girth (like the neck), but it might not have the power to consistently succeed (a stalemate may result).  The aggressive black rhinoceros has a long, sharp frontal horn that can cause serious injuries to Titanoboa, and its stout build will make it a tough kill for the snake.  Rhinos are actually good swimmers, so one won't be entirely out of its element in the water.  The black rhino might battle Titanoboa to a stalemate, but both have the potential to kill one another.  If the water depth is not too great to impede the Javan & black rhino's ability to walk around reasonably well, the mammals will be able to better challenge Titanoboa.  In water where these 2 rhinos can't touch bottom or move around easily, Titanoboa will have a good chance to gain a good position, and the snake will be heavily favored.  The biggest problem the rhinos will face is the inability to readily free themselves from the coils of Titanoboa (whether or not the snake has the power to constrict them).  They aren't designed to effectively combat the constrictor once it clings to them.  The Sumatran rhino will likely be in trouble in shallow water with Titanoboa.  It won't be quick enough to avoid Titanoboa's coils on most occasions, and will be small enough to be asphyxiated.  In shallow water, the white & Indian rhinos win, Titanoboa has a slight edge against the black & Javan rhinos, and Titanoboa is favored against the Sumatran rhino.  

Titanaboa vs African elephant (on land): An African elephant will weigh about 5 times as much as Titanoboa.  Elephants are very strong mammals with sharp tusks and powerful trunks.  They can be combative at times, and are unchallenged in the modern world when full-grown.  Even with an ambush, Titanoboa will have no chance on land against an African elephant.  It would be like a green anaconda trying to capture a bull eland on land.  The elephant will be too large to constrict, and the pachyderm will have the ability to crush the snake's head or spine with its weight.  African elephant wins.

Titanaboa vs African elephant (in shallow water): Because of Titanoboa's inability to constrict an animal like an African elephant, it will have nothing to offer the pachyderm in any arena.  The elephant will be able to physically dominate the smaller snake even in shallow water.  Titanoboa reportedly ate large crocodiles in its day, but an elephant will be off the menu.  African elephant wins.

Q: Did you see or hear about the man who fed himself to a 20ft green anaconda that weighed 250lbs?  Anyway, the squeezing power of this animal was incredible, they had to pull him out because he was losing feeling in his arm.  I just find it incredible a saltwater crocodile could withstand that as you said.
A: I had not heard about it, so I did a little web searching to catch up on the event.  The width of a grown man's shoulders would make it very difficult for an anaconda to swallow (most prey items swallowed by anaconda have more "collapsible" anatomies).  It seems this was more a publicity stunt than anything else to raise awareness of the ongoing destruction of the Amazon's rain forest.  Humans have much weaker, less durable bodies than most wild animals.  A saltwater crocodile can exceed 20ft in length and weigh well over a ton (10 times more than a large adult human male).  These reptiles have tough, armored bodies (covered in osteoderms) and durable builds.  An anaconda weighing 250lbs (or even one weighing 400lbs) won't have the strength or endurance to squeeze a full-grown slatwater crocodile to death.  Granted, the crocodile will definitely be uncomfortable while waiting for the anaconda to unwrap itself from its body, but it won't be in any real danger.  One of the sources I use is a book called "Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide" (main consultants of the reptile section are Chris Mattison & Ronald Crombie).  It states "The green anaconda's powerful body is strong enough to asphyxiate animals up to the size of a horse" and "...can even kill fully grown caimans..." which indicates that animals about twice its weight can be killed by its coils (a black caiman can reach 880lbs in weight; a typical horse can exceed 900lbs).  A full-grown saltwater crocodile is just too big.       

Q: If a large silverback was encoiled and had it's arms free do you think it would have the strength in it's arms and hands to get the snake off?
A: A large silverback gorilla can weigh up to 460lbs.  It is very strong, and its powerful arms can span 8.5ft.  If the anaconda wraps a couple of times or more around the gorilla's body, the gorilla is in trouble.  If the gorilla remains calm and systematically & correctly pulls at the coils to effect his release, I think it will be strong enough to do so (unless the coiling process is complete and the squeezing has begun).  The problem is whether or not the gorilla will know how to do this correctly in its panic-induced state. For example, if it grabs a coil that is latched on left-to-right and starts pulling to the right, he will not be using force in the correct direction to obtain freedom.  It's all about what he will know to do.  As long as he's not coiled tight enough to began affecting his body functions, he has the physical ability to free himself.  It's doubtful, however, that he has the know-how to free himself.  Using its bite in tandem with its arm strength will help its cause.  Anacondas can approach 400lbs in weight, and one of this size will be much harder for the gorilla to escape from one that weighs 250lbs.  To answer the question in a nutshell, the gorilla will have the strength to pull the anaconda off during the initial stages of the attack, but will not have the strength to do so once its body (with or without the arms) is fully encoiled and the squeezing has begun.

Best regards.  

Interspecies Conflict

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




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.

©2017 All rights reserved.