Interspecies Conflict/None

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Question
Hi,

1. I have often seen Nile crocodiles being intimidated by Hippos. But what's the reason they are so intimidated? I mean they grow to nearly 20 feet and have a strong bite of their own.

2. From your point of view, which animal possesses the stronger bite force, the Deodon or the Hippopotamus?

3. I think all the mammalian classes have their pros and cons. Cats have a supple physique and lightening fast reflexes. Plus they have good weaponry. But they lack in stamina. Dogs have stamina and a strong bite force but they lack the gracefulness of cats. Bears have stamina, and good weaponry along with great balance but they lack speed and as I've observed, they cannot jump. But overall, in the order Carnivora, I think that the most physically fit family is that of Mustelids. What do you think?

4. But overall in the order Mammalia, the most physically athletic family is that of monkeys. What do you think?

5. How would you differentiate the physical capabilities of Herpestids and Mustelids.

6. The marsupial lion had a powerful bite force. The tasmanian devil has a powerful bite force. The quoll also has a powerful bite force. But what about the bite force of Thylacine?

1.  Jaguar vs Warthog

2. Sivas Kangal vs Dogo Argentino

3. Sivas Kangal vs Bully Kutta

4. Nile Crocodile vs Mako Shark

5. False Gharial vs Goonch catfish

6. Tiger shark vs Leopard Seal

7. Spotted Hyena vs Chacma baboon

8. Mountain Gorilla vs Cougar

9. Snow Leopard vs Spotted Hyena

10. Bully Kutta vs Chacma baboon

11. Grey wolf vs Olive baboon

12. Bear dog vs Polar bear

13. Hippopotamus vs Southern Elephant seal

14. Killer whale vs False killer whale

15. Main event: Leopard Seal vs Saltwater croc

Answer
Hello Jem.


Q: I have often seen Nile crocodiles being intimidated by Hippos.  But what's the reason they are so intimidated?  I mean they grow to nearly 20 feet and have a strong bite of their own.
A: Because a hippo can easily weigh twice as much as the largest crocodile, it is too large to be threatened by the reptile once it is full-grown.  The hippo's large, sharp-edged canines can easily slice into a crocodile and kill it without much trouble.  Hippos also form large groups, so when one is seen the others aren't far away.  A large crocodile can cause trouble for an isolated hippo if that hippo is a bit smaller than it is, but most hippos won't be isolated.  The instinct to avoid hippos is deep-seeded into the Nile crocodile, and the reptile knows that staying out of the mammal's way will improve its chances for survival.  Hippos are very aggressive & territorial when they are in the river, and will attack almost anything they perceive to be encroaching on their territory.  A 20ft crocodile is a very formidable beast, but a hippo is definitely a large step above it.

Q: From your point of view, which animal possesses the stronger bite force, the Daeodon or the Hippopotamus?
A: Daeodon (largest of the "terminator pigs") had a 3ft long skull and an impressive set of jaws.  It had powerful neck muscles (and strong tendons in its neck to help hold up its heavy head) and large molars that suggested it crushed bones with its jaws.  Daeodon may have been a scavenger.  A hippo's jaws can open almost 4ft wide, and this animal sports long canines and forward-pointing incisors in its mouth.  As impressive as the hippo's jaws seem, the animal has no need for a powerful bite force (it primarily feeds upon grass).  The hippo, being at least twice as heavy, may have a higher absolute bite force than Daeodon, but probably won't exceed it in pounds of pressure per square inch.  Daeodon may actually have the stronger bite force in absolute terms as well.

Q: I think all the mammalian classes have their pros and cons.  Cats have a supple physique and lightening fast reflexes.  Plus they have good weaponry.  But they lack in stamina.  Dogs have stamina and a strong bite force but they lack the gracefulness of cats.  Bears have stamina, and good weaponry along with great balance but they lack speed and as I've observed, they cannot jump.  But overall, in the order Carnivora, I think that the most physically fit family is that of Mustelids.  What do you think?
A: I certainly think mustelids merit serious consideration, but I'd lean torward the ursids.  A 1000lb grizzly bear can run over 30mph and maintain that speed for a long time, and polar bears have been found swimming over 100 miles out to sea.  Their impressive physical strength, quick reflexes (grizzlies catching salmon), tree-climbing ability (primarily black bears), and amazing endurance is what gives them the nod in my book.  It's certainly subject to debate and I don't think there's necessarily a right or wrong answer, but that's how I see it.

Q: But overall in the order Mammalia, the most physically athletic family is that of monkeys. What do you think?
A: Monkeys are certainly athletic (can move with ease among the branches of trees), but can't duplicate some of the athletic movements of the felids.  Different groups of mammals have their own special abilities that other groups can't duplicate.  A cheetah can't move with ease through the branches of trees, but a spider monkey can't reach speeds of 60mph within 3 seconds either.  The felids have a unique combination of power, agility, and speed that enables them to accomplish many tasks others can't.  A clouded leopard is amazingly agile in the trees, a serval can snatch a bird out of the air by leaping close to 10ft in the air, a puma can jump 60ft down to the ground from a perch, a tiger can wrestle a large buffalo to the ground.  Monkeys rule the trees, but when a variety of arenas are used, I lean toward the felids as being the most athletic.

Q: How would you differentiate the physical capabilities of Herpestids and Mustelids.
A: Both families are quite similar.  They each have short legs and elongated bodies.  Herpestids (mongooses) typically have more slender snouts.  Mustelids can be slender (like many of the weasels) or stocky (like the badger-like ones).  Mustelids can have strong legs with non-retractable claws (perfect for digging), robust jaws with an impressive bite force, and are among the strongest mammals pound-for-pound (especially in the case of the wolverine).  Although the differences vary from species-to-species, mustelids are generally stronger physically and have stronger bites (shorter snouts).  Herpestids are probably more nimble in their movements along the ground (more so compared to the shuffle of the badger-like ones; less so compared to the scampering of the slender weasel-like ones) than most mustelids.  Arboreal mustelids (like martins) are obviously much better climbers than the herpestids.  Honey badgers have tough hides, and like mongooses, are fantastic snake killers.  There's a lot of similarities and differences between the species of these families.  

Q: The marsupial lion had a powerful bite force.  The tasmanian devil has a powerful bite force.  The quoll also has a powerful bite force.  But what about the bite force of Thylacine?
A: It's believed that the bite force of the thylacine wasn't as impressive as its marsupial counterparts.  It jaws could open very wide, though, and it likely fed on a variety of small-to-medium sized mammals.  The bodies of the marsupial lion, the Tasmanian devil, and the quoll are rather stocky compared to the thylacine.  The thylacine's slender build and narrow jaws aren't consistent with a animal capable of exerting a great deal of force with its bite.  No one knows for sure, but I don't think the thylacine was in the same league (for its size) than the other marsupials listed in regards to bite force.


1. Jaguar vs Warthog: These animals will be close in weight.  Jaguars are widely considered to be the strongest cat pound-for-pound, and possesses one of the strongest bite forces among mammals (can crush turtle shells and caiman armor).  It is agile, quick, and practiced at killing with a bite to the skull or spine.  Warthogs are nimble suids with long tusks, and commonly encounter predators in their African habitat (lions, hyenas, leopards, etc.).  Upon seeing the warthog, the jaguar (who prefers to ambush an animal of this size) may or may not attack.  The warthog will take up a defensive posture and perhaps charge to try to intimidate the cat.  If the jaguar is determined and attempts to attack, it will risk injury from the slashing tusks, but can overpower the pig if it avoids the initial charge and grabs on with its claws.  The jaguar will hold the warthog, and try to bite it on the skull or neck.  In a realistic face-to-face encounter the warthog will probably drive the jaguar away, but a fight to the finish will slightly favor the jaguar.  Edge to jaguar.

2. Sivas Kangal vs Dogo Argentino: The Sivas Kangal will weigh over 40% more than the Dogo Argentino.  The Kangal is a solidly-built dog with a strong bite force and experience as a flock guardian.  The Dogo Argentino is a powerful dog with a square head.  It has been used to capture wild boar and other wild game.  Both of these dogs are formidable fighters, but the size difference is too great for this to be an even battle.  Sivas Kangal wins.

3. Sivas Kangal vs Bully Kutta: The Bully Kutta is heavier than the Kangal (from 20-35%).  Bully Kuttas are powerful & intelligent, and have thick bones & wide jaws.  They are very agile for their size.  Bully Kuttas have been used in the past for hunting, guarding, and fighting.  Kangals are strong, solid dogs with large heads & wide jaws.  They have one of the strongest bite forces among dogs, and have been used in the past to guard livestock.  Both are capable combatants, but the Bully Kutta is larger.  Bully Kutta wins.

4. Nile Crocodile vs Mako Shark: The Nile crocodile can weigh twice as much as the mako shark.  Nile crocodiles are covered in osteoderms (bony growths) that offer protection, and have tremendously strong jaws that enable them to hold on tightly to struggling prey items.  Mako sharks are the fastest of sharks, and have razor-sharp teeth in their jaws.  However, like all sharks, they are much better at ambush than at face-to-face conflict.  The shark can prevail in an ambush, but it chances won't be as good with the crocodile aware of its presense.  The crocodile might not be able to make the kill against this aquatic animal, but will have enough of a size advantage to control most of the battle.  Edge to Nile crocodile.

5. False Gharial vs Goonch catfish: The false gharial will have a large size advantage over the goonch catfish.  False gharials have osteoderm-covered bodies, narrow snouts, and sharp teeth.  They eat fish and small mammals.  The goonch catfish is a large fish with a wide mouth, and it too has sharp teeth.  The gharial has better protection and greater size, and while it might not be able to kill the catfish, it will get the better of any physical encounter.  False gharial wins.

6. Tiger shark vs Leopard Seal: The tiger shark will weigh almost twice the seal's weight.  The seal will have a mobility advantage (not as much as it would have with a crocodile), and can avoid the shark's attack by swimming around it and staying out of range.  Seals can out-maneuver sharks, but they can't swim faster in one direction.  In order for the leopard seal to subdue the shark, it will have to attack it with many bites over a period of time.  This will put the seal in danger of getting bit (the shark can make short, quick movements).  Tiger shark wins.

7. Spotted Hyena vs Chacma baboon: A big chacma baboon will weigh about 60% of a spotted hyena's weight.  The baboon will have an advantage in mobility, and a well-placed bite with its long upper canines can injure the hyena.  Spotted hyenas are durable, however, and it will likely take several bites from the baboon to slow it down.  The baboon won't be strong enough to prevent the larger hyena from seizing it in its powerful jaws (and will have difficulty counter-attacking once this happens).  A baboon can compete with a hyena if the weights are close, but the spotted hyena is simply too big for the chacma.  Spotted hyena wins.

8. Mountain Gorilla vs Cougar: The gorilla will be about twice the cougar's weight.  The cougar will have some advantages in this fight, including agility, quickness, use of paws & claws, & killing experience.  However, a gorilla is brutally strong, and has grabbing hands & long, powerful arms than can help dictate the positioning of the battle or deliver blows to the felid's body.  The bite of the gorilla is dangerous as well (long canines, strong bite force).  The claws of the cougar can certainly cause significant damage to the gorilla's hide, but the overall offense of the much larger ape will usually be enough to deter the cat more times than not.  Edge to mountain gorilla.

9. Snow Leopard vs Spotted Hyena: These animals will be close in weight, but the spotted hyena will typically have a small weight advantage.  This is a close fight.  It's basically durability, endurance, and a bone-crushing bite (hyena) vs quickness, agility, and sharp teeth & claws (snow leopard).  The snow leopard would use his superior mobility and speed to gain favorable positioning on the clumsier hyena, but the cat's jaws & claws would take time to make a serious dent in the hyena.  The snow leopard's best chance is to quickly secure a throat bite and hang on tight, but the threat of the hyena's jaws will make it difficult for the feline.  If the battle lasts more than a few minutes, the hyena will gain the advantage (the cat will tire).  However, snow leopards are superb hunters and know how to quickly dispatch animals much heavier than themselves.  In a realistic confrontation, the hyena will send the cat packing, but in a hypothetical fight to the death the snow leopard will have the slightest of edges.  It's conditional, but overall edge to snow leopard.

10. Bully Kutta vs Chacma baboon: The Bully Kutta can weigh close to double the baboon's weight.  Bully Kuttas are powerful, agile dogs with guarding and fighting experience.  A chacma baboon is a dangerous adversary due to its decent mobility, grabbing hands, and sharp 2" canine teeth.  Although the chacma baboon can injure the larger animal with several well-placed bites, the huge jaws of the Bully Kutta will find their mark rather quickly.  The baboon can win, but it's too small to do so consistently against a dog like a Bully Kutta.  Bully Kutta wins.

11. Grey wolf vs Olive baboon: The olive baboon will weigh a little more than 60% of the wolf's weight.  Olive baboons are solidly built, and have sharp upper canines that can cause quick, deep wounds to an opponent.  Wolves have good stamina, and large jaws with decent bite force.  The wolf will be able to latch onto the baboon rather quickly with its jaws (although it will likely receive a few bites in the process), and try to finish by shaking or releasing to bite again.  It's a dangerous battle for the wolf, but the baboon won't have an answer for the canid's big bite.  Close fight, but edge to the gray wolf

12. Bear dog vs Polar bear: The largest bear dog, Amphicyon ingens, weighed about 85% of a polar bear's weight.  It is the only bear dog that will have a decent chance against a polar bear.  Some bear dogs were as large as a big dog, while others (like Amphicyon ingens) could weigh close to 590kg.  Polar bears are extremely strong from nose-to-tail, and demonstrate this strength in everyday life (tacklng walruses, pulling large seals out of water, busting holes through thick ice).  Bears also have great durability and endurance, and the polar bear has 4" of blubber beneath its fur.  In this battle the polar bear will have the advantage of better paw usage (to grab, hold, swipe, and control movement), but the bear dog will have a bigger bite and slightly better mobility (which won't be a great advantage at close quarters).  Both can win, but slight edge to polar bear.

13. Hippopotamus vs Southern Elephant seal: The elephant seal will weigh at least 1/3 more than a large bull hippo.  Hippos are aggressive mammals with wide-opening jaws (almost 4ft wide and at a 150 angle).  Their sharp-edged canines and forward-point incisors can cause serious injuries to any adversaries.  Elephant seals fight by posturing up (face-to-face) and forcefully thrusting forward with their upper bodies to deliver bites.  These encounters can cause bloody wounds.  On land a hippo will have a big mobility advantage, and will be able to use its weaponry more readily. In shallow water the seal will fare better, but still will be outmatched by the big bite of the hippo.  Only in water deep enough to keep the hippo from touching bottom easily (about 5ft) will the elephant seal be favored (its mobility will then be better).  Hippopotamus wins.

14. Killer whale vs False killer whale: A killer whale (orca) can weigh over 4 times as much as a false killer whale.  Both of these mammals are solid hunters, and have large conical teeth on their upper & lower jaws.  With such a large size advantage, however, the killer whale will be heavily favored.  Killer whale wins.

15. Main event: Leopard Seal vs Saltwater croc: The saltwater crocodile will weigh almost as much as 3 leopard seals.  Leopard seals are active predators, and have jaws armed with 1" canine teeth.  They move through the water with ease.  Crocodiles are covered largely in osteoderms (bony growths), and have vice-like jaws and a powerful tail.  On land or in shallow water, the crocodile would be favored due to its large size, jaws, & the limited mobility of the seal.  Once in deep water, the leopard seal would have a decided mobility advantage over the saltie.  However, the seal would find it hard to exploit this advantage because its teeth wouldn't easily penetrate the crocodile's tough skin.  The crocodile's ability to make quick movements with its head would give it a chance to clamp onto the seal as the mammal attempted to land multiple bites.  It might take a while, but the crocodile would get the upper hand at some point.  Saltwater crocodile wins.


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.

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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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