Interspecies Conflict/balanced matchups


hey I'm back again for another round of questions which have been on my mind for quite some time hope you can keep up.

1. Irish elk vs. bull moose
2. elasmotherium vs. woolly rhino
3. chimpanzee vs. Neanderthal
4. baboon vs. bonobo
5. orca whale vs. ginsu shark(Cretoxyrhina)
6. giant cheetah(Acinonyx pardinensis) vs. leopard
7. deinotherium vs. wooly mammoth
8. leedsicthys fish vs. dunkleosteus
9. hyaenadon vs. gorgonopsid
10. spotted hyena vs. dire wolf
11. Asiatic lion male vs. African lioness
12. tarbosaurus vs. mapusaurus
13. allosaurus vs. nanotyrannus
14. argentavis vs. terror bird
15. therizinosaurus vs. megatherium
16. hatzegopteryx vs. elephant bird
17. long horned bison vs. bull gaur
18. caiman vs. komodo dragon
19. megalenia vs. saltwater crocodile
20. freshwater croc vs. American alligator
21. yellow hornet vs. paper wasp
22. Japanese giant hornet vs. tarantula hawk

bonus question what is more painful a bullet ant sting or a scolopendra bite

phew what a rush I've been holding that in for quite some time that it's a relief to finally put that out. now that's quite a load you get here but I'm sure you can handle it now no need to rush take as long as you need. anyway as I said last time I eagerly await your response.

Hello Max.

1. Irish elk vs Bull moose: The Irish elk (Megaloceros) was close to the size & weight of a modern-day moose, but was somewhat less robust (built more for speed).  The Irish elk's antlers were similar in shape to a moose's, but spanned 3 1/2 meters from tip-to-tip and likely weighed from 40 to 50kg.  The moose probably had more brute strength, and its smaller antlers were certainly easier to wield in a fight.  Edge to bull moose.

2. Elasmotherium vs Woolly rhino: The woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta) was just as large as a modern white rhinoceros, but Elasmotherium was a bit heavier (by about 20% or more).  The woolly rhino's frontal horn was long & curved, and was somewhat flattened on the edge (as opposed to being perfectly round) like a sword.  The horn of Elasmotherium (steppe rhinoceros) was thick at the base & narrowed to a sharp point.  The Elasmotherium's horn was longer than the woolly rhino's (giving it a greater reach), and its long legs meant that it likely had greater mobility & speed.  Elasmotherium wins.

3. Chimpanzee vs Neanderthal: The Neanderthal weighed between 70 and 90kg (on average about 1/3rd more than a chimpanzee).  Neanderthals were more strongly built than modern humans, and while they may not have been on par with the chimpanzee in terms of absolute strength, they had the mindset of a hunter/fighter that would have given them a chance in a battle with it.  Chimpanzees are strong, mobile primates with dangerous bites, but aren't used to dispatching similar-sized adversaries solo.  However, the Neanderthal probably used a weapon in any conflict, and may not have been as effective a combatant without one.  I would favor a chimpanzee on most occasions, but a heavy, experienced Neanderthal would certainly have a chance.  

4. Baboon vs Bonobo: Depends on the type of baboon.  Mandrills and drills weigh 15-25% more than bonobos, and would easily overcome them with bites (and 2" canines).  Chacma & olive baboons are similar in size to the bonobo, and would still have an edge over the pygmy chimp with their more dangerous bites.  The Hamadryas baboon & the gelada weigh a little more than half the bonobo's weight, and would be too small to overpower it.  Bonobos aren't as robustly built as common chimpanzees, and will need a decent weight advantage to defeat any of the more formidable baboons.

5. Orca whale vs Ginsu shark (Cretoxyrhina): The exact dimensions & weight of the Ginsu shark haven't been pinned down, but the larger estimates of these figures place it as being much lighter than an orca (but almost the same length).  The orca will have greater overall maneuverability, but the shark's bite was probably more damaging.  I'd give this battle to the orca.

6. Giant cheetah (Acinonyx pardinensis) vs Leopard: The giant cheetah was about 30% heavier than a leopard.  However, it was built for speed, and didn't have a build of a combatant like a modern leopard does.  The giant cheetah, like the modern version, likely shied away from conflict to reduce the chance of injury (which could lead to starvation).  The leopard is more powerful & battle-tested (commonly tussles with hyenas, baboons, etc.), and has much sharper claws.  Even with its decent size advantage, the giant cheetah would be outmatched against an African leopard.  Even the smaller Amur leopard would be favored against a giant cheetah.

7. Deinotherium vs Woolly mammoth: Both of these giant mammals were as large (if not larger) than the modern African elephant, but some estimations of Deinotherium place its weight even higher.  Deinotherium's tusks curved downward from the lower jaw, and were much shorter than the mammoth's tusks.  The woolly mammoth's tusks extended forward (and curved upwards), and would have been much more combat-effective than the ones employed by Deinotherium.  At reasonably close weights the mammoth would have prevailed because of this, but a much larger Deinotherium would have had enough strength to turn the tide.

8. Leedsichthys fish vs Dunkleosteus: Leedsichthys was anywhere from 2-10 times as heavy as Dunkleosteus (depending on which estimation is used), but was a plankton-feeder.  Dunkleosteus, or giant armored fish, was 9 meters in length and weighed about 4 tons.  The anterior half of its body was covered in armored plates, and these plates actually helped to form its deadly jaws.  The bite force of Dunkleosteus was massive, and its jaws would likely slam shut regardless of what was inside of them.  Because Leedsichthys had no way to compete with Dunkleosteus offensively, it would eventually succumb to the bites of the smaller (but much more dangerous) creature.  Dunkleosteus wins.

9. Hyaenadon vs Gorgonopsid: The largest Gorgonopsid was Instrancevia, and the largest Hyaenodon was Hyaenodon gigas.  Hyaenodon gigas was slightly heavier than Inostrancevia.  Hyaenodon probably had greater agility, but Inostrancevia likely had the more damaging bite (with its long teeth).  Edge to the slightly larger Hyaenodon gigas.

10. Spotted hyena vs Dire wolf: The dire wolf was slightly heavier than the spotted hyena.  Even though the dire wolf was stockier than a modern grey wolf & had proportionately shorter legs, it probably had better lateral movement than the ungainly hyena.  The bite force of the dire wolf was likely not too far off from the hyena's.  Spotted hyenas are known for their durability, and this helps them survive many battles.  Close fight, but dire wolf has the edge.

11. Asiatic lion male vs African lioness: The Asiatic lion will weigh slightly more than the lioness.  Lionesses are better hunters than the males on either continent, but the males are better at battling other similar-sized cats (as their job is to defend the pride).  Asiatic male lion wins.

12. Tarbosaurus vs Mapusaurus: Tarbosaurus was considered at one time to be the smaller Asian counterpart to America's Tyrannosaurus.  It was about 30 to 60% heavier than Mapusaurus.  Both animals had huge jaws with sharp teeth, but the larger size of Tarbosaurus would be enough to give it the nod in this contest.  Tarbosaurus wins.

13. Allosaurus vs Nanotyrannus: The range of Allosaurus' size varies somewhat, but a full-grown one was probably between 2 and 2.5 tons; perhaps peaking at 3.  Nanotyrannus is believed by some to be a juvenile Tyrannosaurus, but if is indeed a separate species, it likely weighed less than a ton.  The much larger Allosaurus would have eaten it for lunch.  Allosaurus wins.

14. Argentavis vs Terror bird: One type of terror bird, named Phorusrhacos (sometimes spelled Phorusrhacus), was about 70% heavier than Argentavis.  Kelenken, another terror bird, was almost 3 times as heavy as Argentavis.  Argentavis was the largest flying bird ever, and had a wingspan twice as great as any modern-day bird.  It was a scavenger (like modern vultures), and probably intimidated other animals into retreating upon arrival at a carcass.  Argentavis had a hooked beak that was able to rip open carrion with ease.  This huge bird would have likely been able to drive a single terror bird away with its sheer size, but an actual battle between determined individuals may not have fared well for it.  Once Argentavis landed, its mobility would have been much less than any terror bird, and this would have made it susceptible to kicks, bites, and beak strikes.  The terror birds (especially Kelenken) would probably have the edge in any serious encounter.

15. Therizinosaurus vs Megatherium: Megatherium was over 50% heavier than the Therizinosaurus.  Megatherium had skin that was reinforced with small pieces of bone that served as a type of armor.  The Therizinosaurus had long, slightly curved claws (almost a meter long) that could be used to slash at adversaries, but it didn't have the same level of protection against blows as the giant sloth.  When standing upright, the Megatherium would be a little taller than the Therizinosaurus.  Some estimations of Therizinosaurus' weight put it on par with Megatherium, but these figures probably aren't reliable.  The Megatherium would have too many advantages in this battle (and would actually be favored at parity).  Megatherium wins.

16. Hatzegopteryx vs Elephant bird: The flightless elephant bird weighed almost twice as much as Hatzegopteryx.  Hatzegopteryx was likely very similar to Quetzalcoatlus, which was the largest flying creature ever.  It was likely a glider, and probably ate carrion & small-to-medium sized animals.  Hatzegopteryx was as tall as a giraffe when it landed and stood upright, and its huge skull was almost 3 meters in length.  It could have used its long beak to impale victims (much like herons do today), and the elephant bird would not have had a good way to counter this type of attack.  Hatzegopteryx wins.

17. Long-horned bison vs Bull gaur: The long-horned bison (Bison latifrons) was twice as heavy as a modern-day bison, and about 50% heavier than the gaur (if the upper-estimates for its weight are used).  The long-horned bison's horns were much longer than a bison's (2 1/2 meter span), but its size & strength advantage would be the key element in a battle with a bull gaur.  Gaurs are powerful, muscular bovids (and would likely hold their own in an equal-weight battle), but they aren't big enough to tackle the huge Bison latifrons.  Long-horned bison wins.

18. Caiman vs Komodo dragon: Depends on the type of caiman.  Black caimans can weigh over 5 times as much as a Komodo dragon and would be much too strong for it. The Cuvier's dwarf caiman may only weigh 1/10th of a Komodo's weight, and the smooth-fronted caiman may weigh less than 1/3rd of its weight (and both would be overpowered by the lizard).  The spectacled caiman (over 1/2 the komodo's weight) and the Yacare caiman & the broad-snouted caiman (over 80% the komodo's weight) would be good matchups for the Komodo dragon.  Komodo dragons are powerful reptiles with claws suited for effective digging, a whip-like tail, & a dangerous bite with sharp teeth used to tear flesh.  It was once believed that the komodo dragon's bite was effective in dispatching victims based solely on the presence of bacteria, but it is now known that the komodo also produces a toxin that induces shock in its prey.  The effect of the komodo's bite won't likely be as profound with a caiman as it would with a mammal, and the osteoderms on much of the caiman's body will make difficult (but not impossible) for the komodo to tear into.  However, with a smaller-sized caiman (like a spectacled caiman), some areas will be readily breached by the komodo's sharp teeth.  The caiman's strong bite is designed to hold, but can tear if twisting follows contact.  The komodo's skin is covered in tiny osteoderms that provide it with an armor-like hide, and a caiman's gripping jaws won't easily tear into it without torque (twisting force) being applied.  I would favor a Komodo dragon to defeat a spectacled caiman on land, but would consider a 50/50 for a battle in shallow water (where the caiman's mobility & endurance would be increased).  The Yacare caiman & the broad-snouted caiman would likely give the Komodo an even fight on land, but would have the edge in the water.

19. Megalania vs Saltwater crocodile: There are many variations for the weight & size of Megalania, and most reliable ones place its top weight as being close to the top weight of the saltwater crocodile (and perhaps a bit heavier).  The tougher hide of the crocodile will make it difficult for Megalania to sink its teeth in, but there are some areas on the crocodile that will be less protected (and potentially vulnerable).  The durability of the crocodile's hide will give it decent protection, and although its clamping bite won't easily dispatch Megalania (without a head or limb bite), I would favor it in a land battle at close weights (although Megalania with a 30-40% weight advantage would give it a close fight).  The saltwater crocodile would win in the water (better mobility & endurance than on land).  

20. Freshwater crocodile vs American alligator: The American alligator can weigh 5 times more than a freshwater crocodile.  Both have similar attributes (armored hide/strong jaws & tail), but the size difference is too great for a decent battle.  American alligator wins.

21. Yellow hornet vs Paper wasp: The paper wasp is a bit longer (about 30% more), but isn't as robust (or quite as heavy) as the yellow hornet.  Both can be aggressive.  Factors to consider here would be maneuverability, jaw usage, level of protection from exoskeleton, etc.  Not sure about this one, but the hornet might have a slight edge.

22. Japanese giant hornet vs Tarantula hawk: Both of these insect are formidable predators with effective stings, but the Japanese giant hornet has a tough exoskeleton that affords if protection from the attack of its enemies.  The hornet also has a bite that can cut through the body of other insects.  Japanese giant hornet wins.

Q: What is more painful, a bullet ant sting or a scolopendra bite?
A: I'm sure both are painful, but the bullet ant's sting has been compared to being shot with a bullet (and these ants have been known to bite & sting at the same time).  The centipede's bite might be more dangerous, but I doubt it is nearly as painful as the ant's.

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.


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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