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Interspecies Conflict/Prehistoric Predators

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Morgan Harper wrote at 2014-09-18 06:11:44
I appreciate that your busy and the answers were detailed enough for me so thank you.



There are a few questions which id like to discuss which hopefully you are ok with doing so.



4) Latests studies shows that the American Cheetah was just a larger version of today's african relative. It had the long, thin legs (perfectly designed for running), a shortened muzzle and large nasal opening which is very similar to the modern day cheetah. I like to believe this theory because if it was more robust it would then have to come into conflict with the dire wolves, larger cats and smaller bears. I believe that the cheetahs evolved much like the modern day cheetah and would have occupied the same niche just hunting larger animals, hence its increased body weight.



5) I agree with you. Leopards are shown as 40-70kg animals but, like you said, there are some monstrous skulls and specimens being discovered. I do think this can be partly attributed to the lack of other large predators. Central Africa, primarily the Congo, lacks other large predators such as lions and hyenas. I think this would enable to leopard to hunt larger prey and more importantly large males would pass on their genes more efficiently. II honestly wouldn't be surprised if in the next 5-10 we discover a 95kg+ leopard, in the right environment with the lack of competition I see it no different to discovering large tigers in the national parks in India.



6) I wonder if it could. A 120kg Leopard would be a monster of an animal. I think as leopards increase in size they spend more time on the ground. This could be because a 120kg would be simply too big for the trees in its habitat and because it wouldn't have to worry about competition from Hyenas.  I think if a leopard achieved a weight of 120kg its only problem would be lions ( males and large females) and hyena packs of over 4 individuals.  



8) two is interesting. A lioness could kill a leopard fairly quickly if it choose too but i do agree with you. The leopards ferocity is incredible, im sure you've seen the 'fight' with 4 lions and 1 leopard. Its will to live was incredible and it acted with such violent bursts of energy.  I do agree with you on the male lion. Its so much more physically and mentally impressive it would take a lot of smaller injuries to wear it down, i think if the leopards went for a full on frontal attack they would be taken out.



9) This is interesting because 2 cheetahs (size alone) could pull it off but like you said physically and mentally the leopard is way above the smaller cats. There is a video of a female leopard chasing 3 cheetahs off a kill like its nothing. Obviously a fight to the death is different but i think it would be a case similar to the 4 leopards vs the male lion.



10) Fire was used but, as you said, not widespread. Many compare American in the last ice age to the modern day Serengeti. By 15,000 years ago we had reacher the rest of the world, Europe, Asia and Australia, all which had dangerous predators, but none had the intensity of North America. That along with the glacial ice would have made a formidable journey. I do agree with you in your point of that they didn't have the tools to go further. Theres a clear difference in stone tools before and after the colonisation of America. As soon as humans colonised America they formed the famous clovis point. This was, at the time the most dangerous weapon in the world. Once America had been colonised I think humans saw it as the garden of eden and exploited this, depleting animal numbers. But it would be incredible to see how prehistoric humans reacted to the supersize versions of the animals they would have seen before.  


Interspecies Conflict

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Jim Wilson

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Education/Credentials
BSc Degree in Zoology from the Melbourne University, Australia.

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