Interspecies Conflict/None

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Question
Hi BK! Long time no see. I hope you remember me, by the way.

1. American Alligator vs Indian Gharial

2. Bull Shark vs Common Sand Shark

3. Leopard vs Mountain Gorilla

4. Giant anteater vs Sun bear

Recently, I started getting the sense that the porcupine is an invincible creature and no animal can kill it without hurting itself along the way.

5. Cape Porcupine vs Ratel

6. Ratel vs African Golden cat

7. Gray wolf vs wolverine (I think I repeated this one but I wanted more detail)

8. Hippopotamus vs Guar

9. Guar vs Black Rhinoceros

10. Siberian Tiger vs the ancient American Lion

11. Smilodon fatalis vs Dinohyus

12. Dinohyus vs Bear dog (the largest species)

13. Main event: Asiatic Lion vs Sumatran Tiger

Thanks

Answer
Hello Jem.  Welcome back.


1. American Alligator vs Indian Gharial: These animals will typically be similar in weight.  Gharials have slender snouts & small, sharp teeth designed to capture fish.  They don't have an effective means to injure an American alligator or another large animal.  The gharial's jaws are much weaker than a alligator's, and aren't suitable for grabbing & holding large, struggling prey.  The alligator has a very strong bite force & regularly preys on large animals.  American alligator wins.

2. Bull Shark vs Common Sand Shark: Both sharks can inflict dangerous bites, but the bull shark has the edge in size & aggressiveness.  Bull shark wins.

3. Leopard vs Mountain Gorilla: A large leopard will weigh less than half the weight of a mountain gorilla.  Leopards have successfully ambushed sleeping gorillas by quickly getting into a good position to land a killing bite, but face-to-face would be a different scenario.  Leopards have many advantages over a gorilla in terms of combat (agility, quickness, sharp claws, killing experience), and are strong felines pound-for-pound, but will not have as much absolute strength as a gorilla over twice its size.  Gorillas have long, powerful arms that can be used to grab or apply blunt force, and has a dangerous bite of its own.  The gorilla will have enough mobility to continue turning toward the leopard to face it on most occasions, and the leopard won't have the desire to tackle the ape head-on when giving up this much size.  If the 2 engage, the leopard will likely roll onto its back and try to utilize its back claws to kick/disembowel the ape, but the gorilla will be trying to bite & use its arms in a clubbing manner (with strikes being more accidental than precise) to overcome the cat.  Gorillas aren't used to taking on other large animals of another species in combat, but the size & strength advantage it has over the leopard here will give it the edge in this contest.  The leopard's goal will be to get into that "killing bite" position, and it will be difficult to do with a large gorilla that's aware of its presence.  I would consider a big cat against an ape twice its size to be a close fight on most occasions, but this gorilla will be over twice the leopard's size, and that will be enough to overcome the cat's weaponry.  Slight edge to the gorilla.

4. Giant anteater vs Sun bear: The sun bear will typically weigh 2/3 more than the giant anteater, but can be close in weight on occasion.  Giant anteaters have huge claws on their forelimbs that can be used to swipe at attackers, and occasionally repel jaguars & cougars.  They can raise up on their hindlegs when defending themselves as well.  Sun bears also have slashing claws, but are capable of delivering a strong bite.  It also has tough, loose skin that provides protection from many attacks.  The sun bear can be quite aggressive, and has great endurance (as all bears do).  A giant anteater would probably be able to drive a sun bear away if the 2 were to encounter one another, but a down & dirty fight would favor the sun bear.  Sun bear wins.

5. Cape Porcupine vs Ratel: The Cape porcupine will weigh close to 50% more than the ratel (honey badger).  Although porcupines can bite (like all rodents can) they are all about defense.  They are protected by numerous loosely-attached quills that can impale an attacking predator.  A porcupine's quill is barbed, and is very difficult to remove once imbedded.  A predator impaled by several of these runs the risk of infection and/or starvation (if the quills impede feeding ability).  A porcupine will keep its vulnerable head away from an attacker, and keep its rear pointed toward it.  They will sometimes charge backwards, but cannot shoot their quills.  As invincible as porcupines seem, they occasionally fall prey to certain predators that have learned to get around their defenses.  In North American, pumas & fisher martens occasionally predate on them, and the African porcupines are sometimes victims of lions & leopards.  Ratels are fierce mustelids with strong bodies, sharp claws (perfect for digging), and powerful jaws.  Their skin is very tough, and can withstand many types of attack (bee stings, spears, etc.).  A ratel's hide will probably be very difficult for a porcupine's quills to penetrate, and the ratel can attack the front of the rodent and cause some damage if it's determined to do so.  The ratel may not have the same level of experience as a marten when it comes to dispatching porcupines, but it certainly has the tools to pull it off.  Edge to ratel.  

6. Ratel vs African Golden cat: The African golden cat will weigh slightly more than the ratel.  Ratels are fearless, aggressive, and often combative.  They deal with other dangerous species from time-to-time (leopards, jackals, venomous snakes, etc.), and their tough hide provides great protection.  African golden cats have the typical felid attributes (speed, agility, explosiveness, jaws & claws, etc.), and typically feed upon rodents, duikers (small antelope), hyraxes, & monkeys.  The ratel's thick skin will protect it from a lot of the caracal's offense (claws & bite), and the ratel's offense will be somewhat sporadic against the quicker feline.  Durability will be the ratel's biggest advantage, and quickness will be the African golden cat's biggest advantage.  The skin around the ratel's neck can exceed 1/4" in thickness, and an effective throat bite will be hard to administer.  Edge to ratel.

7. Gray wolf vs Wolverine: A gray wolf can weigh as much as 3 wolverines.  The wolf's only weapon is its bite, but it's a big one, and the wolf has the lateral movement to employ it effectively against the stockier mustelid.  Wolverines have sharp claws on their powerful limbs, and their jaws can crunch through frozen meat & bones.  They also have supple bodies that enable them to fight effectively from their backs.  As ferocious as the wolverine can be, it is seriously outweighed here against a very capable predatory combatant.  Wolverines are famous for driving away larger animals including wolves & black bears, but this is an example of the saying "it's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog".  In a realistic encounter, a wolverine will have a good chance of driving the wolf away.  Wolves usually deal with adversaries as a pack, and aren't as comfortable engaging in one-on-one battles.  A solo wolf can bring down a much larger cervid on occasion.  Wolverines are about as tough as they come in regards to pound-for-pound combatants, but a grey wolf can approach 60kg in weight, and wolverines rarely reach above 19kg.  Not an easy contest for the wolf, but it should have the size & bite to eventually pull this off.  Gray wolf wins.  

8. Hippopotamus vs Gaur: A hippo can weigh twice as much as a gaur.  Gaurs are powerful, muscular bovids with thick curved horns.  They are fierce fighters, and can use their horns to impale attackers.  The thick-skinned hippopotamus can open its jaws over a meter wide, and has long, lower canines used for slashing and forward-protruding lower incisors used primarily for thrusting (in conflicts).  Hippos are able to move about on land, but their legs are too small (compared to their heavy bodies) to enable them to maintain a prolonged terrestrial lifestyle.  They are well-adapted to the water where their large bodies have buoyancy.  A gaur will have a decent mobility advantage on land, but it will need an accumulation of horn strikes to overcome the hippo.  Hippos are somewhat cumbersome on land, but are capable of quick movements in short bursts.  The gaur won't be able to maintain a consistent attack without eventually putting itself in range of the hippo's huge jaws, and can be bowled over if the larger animal charges onto it.  A determined gaur can succeed in driving a hippo away if the encounter is entirely on land (hippos are much less territorial & assertive on land), but will have too much of a size disadvantage to win (on most occasions) if the hippo stands its ground.  I would favor a gaur at close weights, but the hippo will typically have too much size.  Edge to hippo.

9. Gaur vs Black Rhinoceros: Black rhinoceroses are usually heavier than gaurs (by about 50%), but some gaurs have reportedly reached weights close to the black rhino's.  The tank-like build, lower center of gravity, tough hide, & more readily-used weaponry of the black rhinoceros will give it a definite advantage against the bovid.  Gaurs are muscular & powerful, but the rhinoceros is on another level.  The black rhinoceros would be able to mortally wound the gaur with a horn thrust before too much time had passed.  Black rhinoceros wins.

10. Siberian Tiger vs the ancient American Lion: The American lion could reach weights close to 50% more than the Siberian tiger.  Both cats have similar attributes & abilities (speed, agility, jaws & claws, finishing know-how, explosiveness), but with its size advantage, the American lion will be favored.  A battle at parity would be very close, though.  American lion wins.

11. Smilodon fatalis vs Dinohyus: Smilodon fatalis was as large & heavy as today's largest lions & tigers, but weighed only 30% of Dinohyus' weight.  Smilodon fatalis was armed with long upper canines used to impale soft tissue in a vulnerable spot (like the neck) of prey items.  It also had a muscular body, and could use its forelimbs to manipulate victims to the ground before finishing them.  Dinohyus (commonly called Daeodon), is famously referred to as a "terminator pig", and was similar in appearance to a bison-sized warthog.  It had tusks to slash with, and a bone-crushing set of jaws to bite with.  Smilodons were formidable predators, but one would need an ambush to have a decent chance against Dinohyus.  Even the great Smilodon populator would have trouble in a face-to-face encounter with Dinohyus.  Dinohyus wins.

12. Dinohyus vs Bear dog (the largest species): Dinohyus was about 2/3 heavier than the largest bear dog (Amphicyon ingens).  Dinohyus was bison-sized, and was armed with slashing tusks & a huge set of powerful jaws.  Bear dogs had great jaw power and muscular builds, and had the ability to tackle animals larger than themselves.  The bear dog would have a hard time employing its attack face-to-face against the larger Dinohyus, but it wouldn't be without hope.  An ambush would favor the bear dog more, but the "terminator pig" would have enough mobility to keep the Amphicon in front of it (on most occasions) if it was aware of its presence.  Close fight; edge to Dinohyus.

13. Main event: Asiatic Lion vs Sumatran Tiger: The Asiatic lion weighs about 1/3rd more than the Sumatran tiger.  Both cats have typical felid attributes & abilities (speed, agility, jaws & claws, finishing know-how, explosiveness), but the size difference will matter here.  The Asiatic lion isn't quite as combative as its African cousin (less formidable adversaries to deal with), but is still a great fighter (as all big cats are).  Sumatran tigers are very ferocious and can tackle sizeable prey items, but one will be a little outmatched against the larger lion.  Asiatic lion wins.


Best regards.

Interspecies Conflict

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Expertise

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.

Experience

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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