Interspecies Conflict/Animal Fights


Hello BK,
I want you to answer these match ups carefully and take your time,I'm not in a hurry.

African Lion vs Bengal Tiger (at average weights,at parity,and at max weights)
Siberian Tiger vs Grizzly Bear (at average,parity,max weights)
Asiatic Black Bear vs Russian Wild Boar
American Black Bear vs Moose
Kodiak Bear vs Bison
Polar Bear vs Northern Elephant Seal
Leopard vs Chimpanzee (pack of 5)
Jaguar vs Silverback Eastern Gorilla
Sloth Bear vs Anaconda
Spectacled Bear vs Sumatran Tiger
Sun Bear vs Cheetah
Cougar vs Wild Horse
Reticulated Python vs Baboon

Hello Johannes.

African Lion vs Bengal Tiger (average weights): The Bengal tiger will weigh about 20% more than the African lion.  There's not enough difference in these 2 cats to assign any major advantages, but a heavier one will typically be favored.  Both have agility, speed, jaws & claws, paw usage, & finishing know-how (usually with a throat bite), and any battle between the 2 will be a paw-swipe war with biting thrown in.  It's close at even weights, but the tiger will win more times than not with the weights assigned here.

African Lion vs Bengal Tiger (at parity): These are 2 very similar creatures biologically, and there are only subtle differences between the two (the lion is slightly taller at the shoulder; the tiger is slightly longer).  The male lion is charged with the protection of the pride.  Other male lions will attempt to invade the pride to gain territory & females, and the leader of the pride must do battle to keep his throne.  As a result, male lions are constantly fighting other male lions.  Even at kills, lions will fight amongst themselves for their share of the food.  Tigers are usually solitary hunters (hunting in pairs has occurred), but males will fight over territory.  The mane of the lion is used primarily to intimidate rivals & attract females, but might also serve to soften the paw swipes of a rival male.  A male tiger is a better hunter than a male lion, but the lion will probably have the slightest of edges in combat with another big cat.  Slight edge to African lion.

African Lion vs Bengal Tiger (at max weights): The Bengal tiger will weigh about 10% more than the African lion.  Close fight, but the weight advantage should swing things slightly in the tiger's favor.  A lion is certainly capable of defeating a heavier tiger just like a tiger is capable of defeating a heavier lion, but the 10% difference should be enough to give the heavier cat the edge on most occasions.  Edge to Bengal tiger.

Siberian Tiger vs Grizzly Bear (average weights): The grizzly bear will weigh between 40-60% as much as the Siberian tiger.  The bear will have too much size & strength for the tiger to deal with, but the tiger isn't without hope.  Big cats & brown bears are relatively close at parity, and any decent size advantage enjoyed by either party will favor it.  Grizzly bear wins.

Siberian Tiger vs Grizzly Bear (at parity): As in most bear vs big cat matchups, both participants have advantages over the other.  Bears will typically be stronger (pound-for-pound), have superior endurance, and bigger paws & claws.  The big cats have the edge in speed (in paw swipes & mobility), agility, killing experience, and are typically more powerful pound-for-pound (strength + speed = power).  Grizzly bears have a shoulder hump of muscle (developed to enable them to rip through carcasses & tear up roots), and this makes their paw swipes very strong.  The cat will need to use its mobility & quicker paw strikes to set up a favorable position.  Because Siberian tigers have experience dealing with bears, it will have the slightest of edges at equal weights.  These animals will be close to the same height at the shoulder, the tiger will be longer and more slender, and the tiger will have a reach advantage.  It will need to get latched on to the side of the bear and secure a neck bite before it loses energy.  It should succeed at this more times than not.  Edge to Siberian tiger.

Siberian Tiger vs Grizzly Bear (at max weights): The grizzly bear will weigh 50% more than the Siberian tiger.  Siberian tigers are great hunters & fighters, and can tackle animals larger than themselves.  However, a large grizzly bear can fight back better than many other the animals Siberian tigers tackle.  The size, strength, & endurance of the bear in this scenario will be huge assets, and it will prevail on most occasions.  Grizzly bear wins.

Asiatic Black Bear vs Russian Wild Boar: These animals will typically weigh the same (although some estimations place the boar at heavier weights).  Asiatic black bears aren't as formidable (pound-for-pound) as brown bears & polar bears, but can still be capable combatants (having strength, strong jaws & claws, paw usage).  They spend about half their time in trees, and typically feast on fruit, insects, & vegetation.  As a result, the Asiatic black bear isn't practiced at tackling large suids like wild boars.  Wild boars are durable, nimble animals with dangerous tusks used to slash at attackers.  The bear will have the ability to control the front end of the boar with its paws, but might not have enough experience to know this is what it needs to do.  The bear won't have the mobility to avoid the boar's charges, and will be quickly injured as a result.  The wild boar will have the edge at equal weights, and a heavier one will present big problems for the bear.  Edge to Russian wild boar.  

American Black Bear vs Moose: The black bear will weigh less than 40% of the moose's weight.  Black bears have great strength & endurance, but won't have the mobility to avoid the charges of a moose.  A moose this big will be too powerful for the black bear to control with its paws, and the strikes by the moose's antlers can injure the ursid (by concussive force or impalement by the tines along the edges).  It's not that the bear can't succeed, it just won't be able to do so most of the time.  Even an elk would be a tall order for a black bear.  Moose wins.

Kodiak Bear vs Bison: The Kodiak bear will weigh almost 70% of the bison's weight.  Kodiak bears have the typical bear assets (great strength & endurance, durability, strong jaws & paw swipes, long claws, controlling forelimbs).  Bisons are stocky bovids with muscular neck & shoulders, and can deliver charges & headbutts with a lot of force.  The bison's horns can injure the bear as well.  The bison will be too large for the Kodiak bear to consistently control with its forelimbs, and its paw strikes will need to be precise to have much effect on the huge bovid.  The Kodiak bear doesn't have the mobility to avoid a charge from the bison, and this will make it problematic for the ursid to fight effectively.  I would favor the bear at parity, but a bison this size will be too much for it.  Bison wins.

Polar Bear vs Northern Elephant Seal: The polar bear will weigh about 30% of the elephant seal's weight.  Polar bears deal with large walruses on occasion, and although walruses are somewhat smaller than Northern elephant seals, they have tougher skin & long tusks to fight with.  The elephant seal can bite, and can use its upper body to deliver blows to adversaries (typically other male seals).  Polar bears are very strong, and have dangerous bites & paw swipes.  They can control the movement of some prey items with their paws, but the elephant seal will likely be too large to hold in place.  The polar bear can breach the seal's hide with its jaws & claws, but the offense of the pinniped will hold the bear off on many occasions.  The polar bear has great endurance & durability, but it will likely break off its attack after strong resistance from the elephant seal.  If the polar bear is determined to battle to the end (and use its mobility advantage to attack & dodge attacks), it will have a chance to overcome the larger mammal (by inducing blood loss).  However, in a realistic situation, the bear will decide it's not worth it and move on.  Edge to Northern elephant seal.

Leopard vs 5 Chimpanzees: A leopard weighs about 50% more than a single chimpanzee.  Chimpanzees sometimes attack other primates in a group, and 5 of them would probably work together if they had to battle a leopard.  The leopard will probably cause the chimpanzees to scatter upon its arrival, but will have a fight on its hands if the apes stand their ground.  Leopards are among the strongest cats pound-for-pound (can drag large prey items into trees), and have great agility & speed.  The leopard's jaws & claws can easily injure or kill a chimpanzee, but it will have trouble focusing on 5 at the same time.  Chimpanzees have decent bites of their own, and can grab with their hands.  If the chimpanzees cooperate, they will have the numbers to overcome the leopard & drive it away.  The risk of injury would be high, but the chimps will be favored.  5 chimpanzees win.

Jaguar vs Eastern Silverback Gorilla: A jaguar will weigh more than 2/3rd the gorilla's weight.  Jaguars are the strongest cat pound-for-pound, and they have stocky bodies with short, powerful legs.  Their bite force is high enough to pierce turtle shells & caiman armor, and they typically bite through a victim's skull to dispatch it.  Gorilla are muscular animals with strong bites & powerful clubbing forearms.  Gorillas aren't accustomed to taking on large animals of another species.  An angry gorilla might succeed in intimidating a jaguar into a retreat on some occasions, but a jaguar intent on completing a kill will be able to do so more times than not.  The jaguar's bite, claws, & killing experience will be enough to overcome the gorilla's size & strength.  The cat will close in on the gorilla and use its agility & quickness to find a good location to sink its teeth into.  Jaguar wins.

Sloth Bear vs Anaconda: The sloth bear will weigh slightly more than the anaconda.  Anacondas are great ambush hunters, but aren't great combatants on land due to poor mobility & limited stamina.  Sloth bears have strong jaws & sharp claws that can injure adversaries, and have great endurance.  Most animals that anacondas begin wrapping up don't have the means to fight back & escape, but the sloth bear will.  The violent resistance of the sloth bear (with biting & clawing) will quickly cause the anaconda's endurance to wane.  A battle on land or shallow water will favor the sloth bear, but the anaconda will have the advantage in deeper water.

Spectacled Bear vs Sumatran Tiger: The spectacled bear will weigh about 25% more than the Sumatran tiger.  Spectacled bears are among the most herbivorous of bears (but have taken livestock at times) and are not as formidable (pound-for-pound) as brown bears.  However, they share the same ursid assets (strength, endurance, durability, paw usage), and can be capable combatants with their jaws & claws.  Sumatran tigers are great hunters & fighters (as all tigers are), and will have several advantages over the bear (speed, agility, finishing know-how).  A realistic encounter would likely have the spectacled bear driving the tiger away, but a determined tiger will be a serious match for it.  The tiger will try to use its agility (and forelimbs/claws) to obtain a favorable position from which to secure a throat-bite, and the bear will swipe, grab, & bite in an effort to prevent this (and repel the tiger).  Even though the spectacled bear will pose a different set of challenges, the Sumatran tiger will attempt to treat it as a typical prey item (tapir, wild boar, deer, etc.) when going for the kill.  This battle can go either way, but a fight to the finish will slightly favor the more predatory tiger (unless it is a prolonged battle).  Slight edge to Sumatran tiger.

Sun Bear vs Cheetah: These animals will weigh about the same.  Cheetahs are fantastic hunters, and their slender, flexible bodies are built to attain high speeds in pursuit of its swift prey (primarily gazelles).  Its semi-retractable claws are not as sharp as other cats, and are used as cleats to provide traction on the ground when running.  The cheetah has poor stamina, and isn't built as powerfully as, let's say, a leopard.  It can't afford to get injured in a fight, and as a result isn't experienced in battling other large animals.  The sun bear can be ferocious, and had many of the assets associated with bears (strength, endurance, durability, strong jaws & paw swipes, sharp claws).  The sun bear will be too formidable for the cheetah to deal with, and any attack by the cat will be easily repelled.  Cheetahs can overcome larger prey items with technique & precision, but its prey items aren't equipped to fight back as well as a sun bear can.  Sun bear wins.

Cougar vs Wild Horse: Assuming the wild horse used here is Przewalski's horse, it will weigh 3 times as much as the cougar and stand 50% taller at the shoulder.  Cougars are athletic & powerful, and are accustomed to tackling large, hoofed prey items (including cervids like elk).  The cougar's forelimbs (with sharp claws) are great for securing a favorable position to deliver a killing bite (to the throat/snout/neck).  Wild horses have strong kicks (and can bite as well), but don't have horns or antlers to help repel an attacking cougar.  The cougar is a great leaper, and can spring upon the horse (even if the horse is facing it) to avoid kicks and cling to its body.  Once the cougar is in place, the wild horse won't have many options available to counter the cat's finishing bite.  The horse can seriously injure the cougar with a well-placed kick, but the cat will be too quick to allow this to happen on most occasions.  Cougar wins.

Reticulated Python vs Baboon: The largest baboons (Chacma & Olive) can weigh close to 30% of the python's weight.  Baboons have good mobility, hand usage, and long canines to cause deep wounds with.  Pythons are sluggish on land (for the most part) & tire quickly, but have the power to constrict animals over twice their size with their coils.  The baboon can only injure the snake by biting it, but the python will be durable enough to sustain several bites while continuing its attempts to catch the primate in its jaws.  Once the jaws of the python grab onto the baboon (to create an anchoring point to pull its coils in), the backward-pointing teeth will make it difficult for the monkey to escape.  The baboon won't have the strength to manipulate the coils as they move into place, and its counter-attacks by biting will have limited range once its body is no longer able to move freely.  A battle in water is no contest (python wins easily), but a land conflict will be competitive.  Reticulated python wins.

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.

©2016 All rights reserved.