Interspecies Conflict/None


QUESTION: OMG Jim Wilson! What a surprise!

Good to have you back. Like always, I had some questions for you. The list is pretty big as I only saw you and the next thing I know, I was writing this to you.

1. African Lion vs Asiatic Black bear

2. Jaguar vs Sloth bear

3. Cape Buffalo vs Spanish Fighting bull

4. Nile croc vs Tiger shark

5. Great White Shark vs Hippopotamus

6. Hippopotamus vs Deodon/Dinohyus

7. Wolverine vs Olive baboon

8. Wolverine vs Clouded Leopard

9. Eurasian Lynx vs Caracal

10. Puma vs Spotted Hyena

11. Spotted Hyena vs Sun bear

12. Main event: Deodon vs Short faced bear

Thanks and welcome back!

ANSWER: Haha hi Jem! Let's see if we can get through this lot!

1. To be honest, I think it has to be a lioness. Average vs average, the lion is simply too big and too potent.

2. Average vs average here could be a fairly even fight. But we're talking a bear of around 120kg against a Jaguar of say 80kg, so a big weight difference. Then the bear has enough size to not be completely bullied around. If not beaten fairly quickly, I think sloth bears have some chance against most animals due to their highly aggressive nature and decent weaponry. If they are in the fight, they will go for it and will sometimes pull off the win. But if the jaguar is over 90kg the fight becomes increasingly one-sided. Physically, this bear just doesn't hold up against big cats.

3. Always a hard one to do. If not completely out-sized the bull can certainly win, and I'd probably even lean towards it. It's designed to fight, both physically and mentally. The buffalo is hardened by nature of course, but most scientists say is the best way, but it's still battling a product on man here. At parity I really think it would come down to which beast gets in quickest, as they can both do enormous damage in the blink of an eye. At normal or max weights the cape buffalo is probably too big.

4. Simple one for me. If the shark has room to swim it wins. If it doesn't, it doesn't.

5. As above.

6. Prehistoric is not my thing, but I'll have a crack just this once! Extinct animals are often given mythical levels of praise, but Daeodon is one that I imagine would be a very formidable matchup. Here though, it is probably too small. As far as I know they didn't top 1 tonne, where as any fully grown male hippo is going to be way over that. At parity, I'm with the Daeodon.

7. This would be an interesting fight because of the wolverine's durability and toughness. The baboon is notably bigger and has the perfect weaponry to grab and kill a smaller animal, but this isn't your usual smaller animal! In a fight to the death I really think the wolverine is a great chance here. The baboon will struggle to finish it, of that I am quite sure. The longer it goes and the longer the baboon is faced with a rampant wolverine hell-bent on killing it, the worse its odds become. There's a good chance the baboon can get a good hold of the wolverine and nail it with those massive canines, but what percentage of times I am not sure.

8. A very hard one here. We'll say it's at parity, because their weight ranges are very similar. I favour the clouded leopard, but 50/50 is probably the safer call. The CL does seem the physically superior animal. It is likely stronger, more agile and has better weaponry. But wolverine's didn't get their reputation from nothing. They are, as mentioned, highly durable animals with a combative nature few rival. So even though it is again out-matched physically here, it can survive and continue to fight, and if that happens, who knows how the CL is going to handle it?

9. The lynx is too big. Even as parity, it is the more heavily built animal and with them being so similar, that should be enough.

10. At parity I'm with the cougar all the way. As physically impressive all-round as any animal I can think of, and a natural (and successful) killer; I think it's too much for the hyena. Like the above, the hyena can certainly hang around and cause some trouble. But I think it is out-matched, and up against a real killer, it probably won't survive.

11. Very tough. Simply looking at sun bears, I see an animal with good weaponry, but not one I imagine being able to go toe-to-toe with animals like leopards and hyenas. But then you hear all the stories from locals in Asia and zoo-keepers about their ferocity. If everyone says it, it has to be true, right? Even if not, if it is fighting for its life, the bear will surely step up to the plate. With that in mind, it certainly does have the physical attributes to take on something like a spotted hyena. Massive claws, a big bite, decent robustness and very thick skin (a big advantage in my view) all point to an animal that will not be easily beaten. Again we have to go parity. I'll go with the bear. The hyena's always in it at parity, but I like the bear's weaponry too much.

12. Well again, not my thing so I'm just guessing. Though I suppose I'm doing that for every question aren't I! This seems a mismatch to me though. I'm under the impression these bears were well over a tonne. But I assume because you've asked it that they were similar sizes? If so, I like the Daeodon. Without much knowledge of the actual animals, I can only use modern equivalents for comparison. I don't imagine the short-faced bear was that superior to modern bears in terms of handling other mega-fauna. On the other side, the Daeodon seems like a wild boar on steroids. I could be way off though haha.

Hope that helps mate. Thanks for the warm welcome!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello again Jim,

You know why I was excited on having you back? It's because when I started using allexperts a long time ago, back in 2011, you were one of those old experts, with Daniel Moellic, Carlos and John Silva!

So anyways, no offence but if prehistoric things weren't your stuff, then you should have mentioned it on your profile! (No offence just an observation)
So let's go!

I always think that you heavily underestimate hyenas. Is it true? I mean if cougars can easily dispatch hyena at parity according to you, can't the durability, stamina and bite force of the latter help it at least give a fiery resistance? Considering this, my first matchups are those that include hyenas. Now in my questions, I want the answer to be from two perspectives, the first from parity and the next from full size individuals from both species.

1. Spotted Hyena vs Wolverine (my all time favourite match up)

2. Spotted Hyena vs Leopard

3. Spotted Hyena vs Olive Baboon

4. Spotted Hyena vs Clouded Leopard

5. Spotted Hyena vs Chimpanzee

Now the other ones,

6. Clouded Leopard vs Eurasian Lynx

7. Clouded Leopard vs African Hunting dog

8. Clouded Leopard vs Olive baboon

9. Gorilla vs Spotted Hyena (oops forgot that one!)

10. Tiger shark vs Leopard Seal

11. Black Rhinoceros vs Spanish fighting bull

12. Warthog vs Wild boar

13. Warthog vs Sloth bear

14. Warthog vs Cougar

15. Nile croc vs Kodiac brown bear

16. Kodiac brown bear vs Hippopotamus

17. Siberian Tiger vs American Black bear

18. Eastern quoll vs Indian mongoose

19. Bully kutta vs Tosa

20. Ratel vs African hunting dog

21. Caracal vs Ratel

22. Sun bear vs wolverine

23. Warthog vs Chimpanzee

24. Sumatran Tiger vs Sloth bear

25. Main event: Warthog vs Sumatran tiger


No offence taken Jem, I will actually edit my profile right now!

Well I certainly didn't say the cougar would "easily dispatch" the hyena. In fact I specifically said the hyena will hang around and cause some trouble, indicting I appreciate its durability and stamina. I love and appreciate hyenas, I'd hate for anyone to think anything else, I simply think they match up poorly with big cats.

1. Parity is almost impossible to say due to how much scaling would have to be done. But using my imagination, I'd favour the wolverine. It has just as much stamina and toughness, similarly powerful teeth and jaws, plus more agility, flexibility and the ability to grapple. At normal or full sizes it's a mismatch.

2. Well pretty much the same as the cougar I'd say. Parity is very close, with the edge going to the leopard because of the same physical advantages I just mentioned with the wolverine. The hyena can win though, no doubt. Max sizes would see the leopard being far too big and powerful. Put it this way, I cannot imagine any scenario where a dominant alpha male leopard loses to an alpha female hyena.

3. You'll like this one Jem! Hyena all the way. Parity is close, but I don't think the baboon has the experience nor mentality to handle a Spotted Hyena. Max sizes is again a mismatch in favour of the hyena.

4. Uh oh, back to the hyena losing. As with the wolverine, parity is pure fiction. But a bigger version of a Clouded Leopard would likely have far too much weaponry for a hyena. At max sizes, hyena too big.

5. Same as the baboon. The difference pretty much just that parity is closer to normal weights here. The hyena is true and excellent predator. Chimps hunt and are good at it, but not in the same way as hyenas. I think the average chimp loses to the average hyena pretty convincingly.

6. At max sizes (though the limits of the CL size is still not known) the lynx should be too big. Average and parity I'm with the CL. The lynx has the runs on the board; it hunts some impressive prey and is known to engage in interspecies conflict relatively regularly. The CL on the other hand is still basically an unknown. But it's hard to look past the Clouded Leopard's physical attributes. Such an impressive mix of power and grace with ridiculous weaponry. I favour them over every other smaller cat.

7. The AWD is too big normally I would think. It is slight and not that impressive looking, but it has a nasty bite and knows how to kill. At parity or close to, the CL all the way.

8. Parity is again for the Clouded Leopard. Just too impressive a physical specimen. Average and max weights is hard to say because of the lack of data on the CLs. I think less than 25kg is the record recorded weight, where as Olive Baboons are often recorded at over 30kg. So an average would more be something like 18kg vs 25kg. I'm not sure that's enough for the baboon. I think it would take a monster 40kg+ baboon to take on the CL.

9. It's interesting because hyenas tend to be hard to kill even for killers. But we can't kid ourselves here, the gorilla is simply too big.

10. Ok well the shark is obviously way too big at average and max sizes. Parity is tough though. The seal should be the more agile and manoeuvrable animal, which I consider huge in sea battles. It then has the tools to hurt the shark, though obviously not as quickly as the other way round. Going in too hard and strong would likely see the seal get chomped, but playing smart it should have the advantage.

11. Rhino in all scenarios I think. Quick for their size, a devastating weapon and supreme armour. Too much for any bovid.

12. I like the wild boar in this fight. A more robust and powerful animal, probably more durable and has the better weaponry.

13. I think the bear has to be quite a bit heavier to win this. Both animals will struggle to kill the other, but the quicker warthog can likely do the most damage in the shortest amount of time. Big bear vs average or below average warthog tips it the other way.

14. Generally what you see with leopards is experienced adults being able to kill all but the very biggest warthogs. Not without a struggle of course, but if they catch them they tend to get it done. Then the very largest leopards probably wouldn't target warthogs, so it's hard to say what happens there. Using this info as something of a guide, I think average and parity would lean towards the cougar. Max sizes is harder, but I find it difficult to see even a huge cougar outright killing an 150kg warthog in a face-to-face fight. Wouldn't rule it out though.

15. You'd basically see the bear trying to flip the croc over and attack the softer underbelly. Would it succeed? Sometimes, sometimes not. It's a hard one to decipher really.

16. Hippo for me. Normally far too big and there's almost zero chance the bear kills it. Parity I'm still with the hippo. Such an aggressive and combative animal, it will just go straight at the bear and the bear will struggle to hold off this attack.

17. Tiger

18. An interesting one here. There's really not much to go off for a match-up between a quoll and a mongoose. Fairly similar morphologies and behaviours. I think mongooses might be slightly ahead of quolls, but I certainly wouldn't stake anything on it.

19. Honestly, I have no idea. In their native lands both dogs are talked up as the ultimate fighting dog. Bully Kuttas seem like they've been designed more from aggression and athleticism, where as the Tosas look like they are more strength and toughness. Tosas are notoriously hard to hurt, but I suppose a big BK might be the thing to do it?

20. In an actual fight to the death scenario, the AWD should be far too big. It has the bite to kill the badger. At parity the ratel is way too much for the AWD.

21. Very close I think. The caracal would struggle big time to kill the ratel, but it is well suited to a fight with one. I think just because of the kill factor, the badger might have to be favoured. Very even though.

22. Sun bear easily normally and at max, and probably slightly ahead at parity. Both have excellent defence and offence, but the bear is probably the more versatile animal.

23. Warthogs are way too hard for chimps to handle.

24. Parity should easily go to the tiger. In a chance encounter the sloth bear's aggression could bluff its way out of a fight, but it is no match for a tiger when it comes down to it.

25. I generally consider tigers the best one-on-one big game predators in the animal kingdom. Because of this I give them a far better chance of beating big suids in fights. Parity is still extremely tough, and you might have to favour the warthog still, but with a little big of a size advantage the tiger has all the tools to win this.

Cheers Jem

Interspecies Conflict

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Jim Wilson


I can answer most questions relating to real or hypothetical situations. I have a better understanding of animal behavior and specifically predatory behavior and interspecies predatory relationships. Mammals is my field of expertise but I can do my best in answering questions regarding other animals. Small mammals are my favourite matchups. One or two prehistoric match-ups is OK, but please do not focus on them as they are outside my expertise.


Even before completing my degree I considered myself an expert in mammal behavior. Doing my degree only furthered my interest and knowledge in the subject. After uni I got the opportunity to spend 6 months in South Africa and Kenya where I spent nearly every day basically observing and studying the animals of the savanna.

BSc Degree in Zoology from the Melbourne University, Australia.

©2017 All rights reserved.