Interspecies Conflict/Pack battles
Hi again BK, how are things?
I was reading about how occasionally lions and hyenas engage in small territorial "wars" which take place over several weeks or more and was wondering how other pack animals past and present might do in such battles with each other (assuming they worked in groups).
So each of the following isn't going to be a straight up melee but more of a protracted "campaign" of sorts.
Lion pride (12 adults 8 subadults) vs Utahraptor pack (7 adults, 5 subadults)
Wolf pack (20 adults 14 subadults) vs American lion pride (10 adults, 7 subadults)
Albertosaurus pack (15 adults, 10 subadults) vs Giganotosaurus hunting group (5 adults, 2 subadults)
American lion pride (30 adults, 10 subadults) vs Albertosaurus pack (10 adults, 6 subadults)
Hyena clan (40 adults, 24 subadults) vs Utahraptor pack (6 adults, 4 subadults)
American lion pride (25 adults, 10 subadults) vs Mapusaurus hunting group (5 adults, 1 subadult)
Lion pride (8 adults, 5 subadults) vs Deinonychus pack (20 adults, 9 subadults).
Thanks in advance.
Hello James. Everything's OK here.
Lion pride (12 adults 8 subadults) vs Utahraptor pack (7 adults, 5 subadults): The adult Utahraptors will weigh twice as much as the adult male lions, and the same ratio might apply with the subadults. The percentage of male lions among the adults is important in determining how formidable the pride is (the males weigh about 40% more than the females). A Utahraptor is a uniquely armed creature, with grabbing claws on its forelimbs and slashing claws on its hindlimbs. This theropod also has a decent bite, good lateral quickness, and good leaping ability. The lion has typical big cat attributes (speed, agility, athleticism, jaws & claws, finishing know-how with a killing bite, explosive action concentrated in a short amount of time, etc.), and is practiced at combat with dangerous animals. If these 2 groups are dropped in together without the benefit of a adaptation process, they may attack each other without regard to safety because they won't know each other's strengths & weaknesses. Assuming they do have an adaptation process, they will pick and choose their battles. The Utahraptors will probably attack more readily. Lions work well as a group (and they have the numbers advantage here), but don't attack anything as dangerous (with all things considered) as a group of Utahraptors. Cape buffalo are probably the most dangerous animal lions encounter that are larger than they are, and even though a group of these herbivores may work together to repel a lion pride, they don't have the same level of cooperation as a group of predators that actively seek to hunt & attack something (like a group of Utahraptors might). As a general rule, smaller predators will yield to bigger predators unless the smaller predators have a massive numbers advantage (like lions vs hyenas; bears vs wolves). Predators usually avoid any risky conflict unless doing so is of great necessity, and the lions will probably back down unless the specific conflict contains a decent numbers advantage for them (like 2 lions encountering an isolated Utahraptor). There will definitely be battles between these groups if they occupy territories of close proximity (and victories for each side can occur), but the Utahraptors will likely be the dominant group more times than not.
Wolf pack (20 adults 14 subadults) vs American lion pride (10 adults, 7 subadults): An American lion male will weigh approximately 6-7 times as much as a large gray wolf (the lionesses will weigh about 5 times as much). There is some debate on whether or not the American lion formed prides, but we'll assume it did in this scenario. Wolves work well as a team, but this group will be outmatched by these lions. In the same way wolves avidly avoid tigers where their territories overlap, these wolves will give way unless a large group of them encounters a single lion. An American lion will have the strength & weaponry to easily dispatch a single wolf, and the wolves won't risk a battle without something extremely important at stake. The lions will be the dominant group here.
Albertosaurus pack (15 adults, 10 subadults) vs Giganotosaurus hunting group (5 adults, 2 subadults): Giganotosaurus will weigh at least 3 times as much as Albertosaurus. Albertosaurus had a slender build compared to many other theropods, suggesting it employed decent speed to capture its prey. However, a pack of them won't have the same level of effectiveness as a group of lions or a group of wolves that have developed techniques for overcoming large prey items. Any encounter between these 2 groups will be a bite vs bite affair, and Giganotosaurus has a much bigger one. Giganotosaurus will be able to dispatch a single Albertosaurus with one bite on many occasions, and the smaller theropods won't likely have a strategy beyond "walk over and bite" to overpower a much larger carnivore. A fight-to-the-death among determined individuals might be close, but the Albertosaurus pack probably won't take such a risk. The Albertosaurus pack will likely move away when they see the Giganotosaurus group approaching.
American lion pride (30 adults, 10 subadults) vs Albertosaurus pack (10 adults, 6 subadults): Albertosaurus will weigh about 5 1/2 times as much as a male American lion (and about 7 1/2 times as much as a female). The lions have the numbers advantage, but an encounter is too risky to readily engage in. The percentage of males among the adult lions is important in determining how formidable the pride is, so this won't be easy to pin down. A single Albertosaurus will be vulnerable if isolated, but the American lions will generally move away from the theropod pack unless the situation involves defense of cubs or something of equal importance. If the average encounter between these 2 groups involves 2 1/2 to 3 American lions per Albertosaurus (this considering the possible involvement of subadults in these encounters), the lions will likely get the worst end of the battle (even though the lions work better as a team, this won't be enough to swing things in their favor). I can envision the lions realizing this and choosing to move away from the dinosaurs on most occasions.
Hyena clan (40 adults, 24 subadults) vs Utahraptor pack (6 adults, 4 subadults): A Utahraptor can weigh close to 7 times as much as a spotted hyena (assuming we're using the spotted hyena here). Hyenas are similar to wolves in the way they cooperate to hunt & fight (they aren't quite as nimble as wolves, but have stronger bites and more durability). The hyenas have the numbers to make this a good battle if they are determined to drive the Utahraptors away, but the chances aren't great that they'll attempt it. In the same way the mere presence of a male lion will usually keep a large clan of hyenas from approaching (even if they have the numbers to dominate the lion if determined to do so), the presence of a Utahraptor weighing twice as much as an African lion will probably be enough to encourage the mammals to hunt/scavenge elsewhere (assuming they know what a Utahraptor is capable of). The Utahraptors may chase the hyenas away from kills, but probably won't seek to predate upon them if more desirable targets are available. A large group of hyenas can kill a single Utahraptor if it gets separated, but the risk will be great, and the hyenas may choose to drive it away instead of attempting a kill. The Utahraptor pack will be the dominant group, but some encounters may not go their way.
American lion pride (25 adults, 10 subadults) vs Mapusaurus hunting group (5 adults, 1 subadult): This depends, to some degree, the size assigned to Mapusaurus. Many sources state this dinosaur weighed anywhere from 2 1/2 tons to 3 1/3 tons, while others (like "The Princeton Field Guide To Dinosaurs" by Gregory S. Paul) list its weight as 5 tons. The interaction between these 2 groups will be similar to the interaction between the American lion pride and the Albertosaurus pack. Again, a lot will depend on the ratio of male lions to lionesses among the adults. Although the lions, en masse, will be capable of overpowering a Mapusaurus (especially if it's within the 2 1/2 to 3 1/3 ton range) if they choose to do so, they won't risk such an encounter without having a very good reason for doing so. If the Mapusauruses indeed reach 5 tons in weight, they will be too large (as a group) for the lions to safely deal with in any circumstance. The Mapusaurus group will likely be the dominant group regardless of weight, but the degree to which they dominate will increase as their weight does.
Lion pride (8 adults, 5 subadults) vs Deinonychus pack (20 adults, 9 subadults): An African lion male weighs about 3 1/3 times as much as Deinonychus (the lioness weighs well over twice as much as the theropod). A Deinonychus weighs a little bit more than a spotted hyena (which is a common lion adversary), but has different attributes & abilities. The Deinonychus has clawed forelimbs (for grabbing), clawed hindlimbs (for slashing), and a decent set of jaws (for biting). It is also an agile mover & leaper. As well armed as the Deinonychus is, it won't stand up well to the assault of a lion or a lioness. This lion pride can very quickly reduce the population of the Deinonychus pack, and conflicts will depend largely on the willingness of the dinosaurs to engage. If the Deinonychus pack knows of the lions' capabilities, they will likely give way in any encounter that doesn't grant them an enormous numbers advantage. If the theropods aggressively attack without regard to their own safety at every turn, they will risk eradication. The lions will be the dominant group here.
* with matchups like these there's many variables to consider, many of which aren't possible to establish with certainty. We don't know precisely how groups of dinosaurs will react because we don't know every facet of their behavior, so a lot of it is a guessing game *