Interspecies Conflict/On Equal Ground


Hey BK, I have a few parity battles,
Inostrancevia vs Spotted Hyena (parity)
Gray Wolf vs Spotted Hyena (parity)
T.rex vs Grizzly Bear
Alpha Male Mandrill vs Silverback Gorilla (parity)
Fighting Cock vs Velociraptor (parity)

Normal match-ups,
Inostrancevia vs 3 Cave Hyena
Inostrancevia vs American Lion
2 Dire Wolf vs 3 Spotted Hyena
APBT vs Dhole
Gray Wolf vs Clouded Leopard
Bengal Tiger vs Himalayan Brown Bear

Now separate question, how did the Gray Wolf and Grizzly Bears survive the North Americas? Weren't they competing with dangerous predators like Smilodon, Dire Wolves and Arctodus?

Hello Lawrence.

Inostrancevia vs Spotted Hyena (parity): Inostrancevia was a large predator armed with long upper canines (15cm).  It had relatively short legs and a somewhat-splayed stance, but its bite was likely very damaging.  A spotted hyena is a tough, rugged predator and scavenger that routinely deals with dangerous animals (like lions, leopards, and zebra) in its African habitat.  A clan of hyenas can kill rather large prey items, and a single one is a capable adversary as well.  A spotted hyena has an extremely strong bite (can crush large bones) and has solid endurance.  Neither animal in this matchup will have top-notch lateral quickness.  The bite of the Inostrancevia will probably be more effective than the hyena's in a bite-for-bite affair, and it should have the edge over the mammal.  Edge to Inostrancevia.

Gray Wolf vs Spotted Hyena (parity): The gray wolf is a nimble canid with strong jaws and sharp teeth (some for holding, some for shearing, some for crushing).  It is more comfortable fighting and hunting in a pack, but can be a tough fighter and effective hunter on its own (much like the spotted hyena).  The hyena will have the edge in durability and jaw strength, but the wolf will have the edge in lateral quickness.  I consider the gray wolf to be a better fighter, but the hyena is a little bit more resistant to injury.  Close fight, but the spotted hyena has the edge.  

T.rex vs Grizzly Bear:  A grizzly bear weighing the same as a Tyrannosaurus-rex will have a shoulder height about 55% the height of the dinosaur (if the dino stands upright).  The grizzly's ability (or inability) to avoid the huge bite of the T-rex will be key in this battle.  The grizzly bear is probably the most formidable bear pound-for-pound, but the Tyrannosaurus is perhaps among the most formidable of the theropods.  The grizzly bear will have endurance and paw usage as its chief assets, and it has the strength to wrestle the Tyrannosaurus to the ground in a close-quarters engagement.  However, the bear's lateral quickness won't be great enough to consistently avoid the damaging bite of the dinosaur.  Both can win here, but it seems the Tyrannosaurus has better means of causing greater injury early on than the grizzly bear does.  If the bear can force the dinosaur to the ground before receiving a damaging bite, it will have a decent chance.  Close to 50/50.

Alpha Male Mandrill vs Silverback Gorilla (parity): Mandrill are huge baboons with colorful faces.  They are armed with long upper canines that can cause grievous injuries to any opponent, and at parity these teeth will be much longer than the upper canines of the gorilla (at regular sizes the upper canines of these 2 primates are about the same length).  Both animals have grabbing hands that can be useful in a conflict.  The gorilla will be physically stronger than the mandrill, but the mandrill will have greater quickness and agility.  The key factor in this battle will be gorilla's inexperience in engaging in conflict with another type of animal.  An angry gorilla will put on an intimidating display to scare away rivals, but they aren't confrontational by nature, and will usually only engage in a serious battle if the situation is a life-or-death one (defending family or self).  A silverback gorilla is a physically impressive animal, but it is very peaceful most of the time.  A mandrill matching the weight of a large silverback gorilla (over 200kg) will be an extremely dangerous animal.  In this monkey vs ape affair, the monkey will have the upper hand.  Edge to mandrill.

Fighting Cock vs Velociraptor (parity): This will be an interesting fight.  The most dangerous aspect of a fighting cock is its kicks, which can cause penetrating injuries upon contact.  These birds can also jump and maneuver rather well, and their aggression can be at a very high level.  Velociraptor is a dinosaur with diverse weaponry, but its kicks (armed with a sickle-shaped claw) are its bread-and-butter as well.  It can also jump well and make quick turns.  The rest of the dromaeosaurid's weapons give it the edge here.  The Velociraptor has clawed forelimbs that can be used to grasp and hold, and a tooth-filled mouth that can deliver an effective bite to the more slender areas of the bird's body.  The fighting cock can win, but it will be limited once the Velociraptor makes contact with it and decides to latch onto it.  Edge to Velociraptor.

Inostrancevia vs 3 Cave Hyenas: Inostrancevia, if its maximum estimated weight is used, will weigh almost 4 1/2 times as much as a cave hyena, but this creature may not be as heavy as once believed.  Cave hyenas were similar to modern-day spotted hyenas (durability, stamina, tremendous bite force, experience killing large prey items, etc.) but were approximately 30-45% heavier.  The Inostrancevia can easily kill a cave hyena with a single bite, but its ability to turn and lunge quickly might not be at a high enough level to seriously imperil the attacking cave hyenas from moment to moment.  Inostrancevia will easily be able to force any hyena that comes close to the ground to be dispatched, but won't likely "follow through" with this action with 2 others nipping at its posterior end.  No trio of spotted hyenas will be favored against a big cat or most bears if the single targeted animal is 4 1/2 times as heavy, but I don't think the Inostrancevia will be able to defend itself in this situation as adeptly as a brown bear (powerful swiping paws) or large tiger (great quickness and agility) if faced with the same type of challenge.  The effectiveness of a animal group in a matchup is greatly increased if they are practiced at working as a team (like wolves, hyenas, lions, etc.), and the cave hyenas get a decent boost based on this.  The much larger size and strength of the Inostrancevia can't be discounted, though.  Close to 50/50.

Inostrancevia vs American Lion: There are various estimations for the American lion's weight, and the Inostrancevia (at maximum estimates) weighed approximately 10-30% heavier than the felid.  The American lion was likely quicker and more agile considering each animal's stance and limb length.  The bite of Inostrancevia was more dangerous due to its huge upper canines, but the American lion would have a decent chance of getting into a position where it could apply a finishing throat-bite.  Inostrancevia would be favored over the smaller version of the American lion, but not the one close to its own weight.  Close to 50/50 overall.

2 Dire Wolves vs 3 Spotted Hyenas: A dire wolf will weigh about 10-15% more than a spotted hyena.  The dire wolf was stockier than a modern-day gray wolf which may indicate slightly lower lateral quickness (moving side-to-side, front-to-back, making fast turns, etc.), but had a more powerful bite.  Spotted hyenas are well-known for their toughness, stamina, and strong bites.  The bites of these combatants will be comparable considering their sizes.  Both sides will be able to work together well, but 3 spotted hyenas will be able to accomplish a bit more than 2 dire wolves.  A single dire wolf will overcome a single spotted hyena, but the numbers advantage will swing the advantage to the hyena's side.  Edge to 3 spotted hyenas.

APBT vs Dhole: An American Pit Bull Terrier will weigh almost 50% more than a dhole (Asiatic wild dog).  The APBT is probably the best pound-for-pound combatant among canids (wild ones included) if it's game-bred (a generational process that produces dogs that will battle strongly with brazen disregard to pain and injury), but a "sittin' on the porch" version won't be able to compete at the same high level.  Dholes often hunt in packs, and can bring down prey items much larger than themselves.  They have strong bites and can be aggressive.  An APBT that is trained to fight will be much more comfortable and capable in a one-on-one battle than a dhole will even though the dhole is a wild animal.  The APBT will have a size and strength advantage, and the dhole will probably be looking to disengage soon after the onset of a conflict with one.  A dhole will do well against an untrained domestic pit bull, but not one that is trained to fight to the death.  APBT wins.

Gray Wolf vs Clouded Leopard: A gray wolf will weigh almost 2 1/2 times as much as the clouded leopard.  The gray wolf will have advantages in size, strength, stamina, and bite size.  The clouded leopard will have greater quickness, agility, and athleticism.  A gray wolf is more comfortable in conflicts when it has help from the rest of the pack, but it will be a very capable opponent for the smaller clouded leopard.  The clouded leopard has sharp claws to hold and slash with, and its upper canines are as long as matchsticks (somewhat like a mini saber-toothed cat).  The cat will have the physical attributes necessary to kill an animal the size of a wolf, but won't be able to easily get into a favorable position to sink its teeth in a vulnerable spot while the wolf is lunging toward it with its comparatively huge bite.  The clouded leopard won't be able to avoid the gray wolf's jaws once the distance between them evaporates, and the felid's options will be limited once the canid latches on to it.  The clouded leopard may be able to deliver enough defensive claw swipes (with front and rear paws) to drive an uncommitted wolf away, but if a wolf is determined to attack aggressively, the cat will be in trouble.  A red wolf would be a more closely matched opponent for a clouded leopard (and I would slightly favor the clouded leopard there).  Edge to gray wolf.   

Bengal Tiger vs Himalayan Brown Bear: The Bengal tiger can exceed the weight of a Himalayan brown bear, which is the smallest subspecies of brown bear, but their weights can be close.  A Bengal tiger is a fantastic hunter and can ambush and kill large, dangerous animals like buffalo and wild boar.  It does encounter bears (sloth bears, Asiatic black bears, etc.) from time-to-time, so it would not be out of its element in a battle with one.  The Himalayan brown bear is a very stocky bear with a pronounced shoulder hump.  Bears have some advantages over big cats (greater pound-for-pound strength, greater endurance, big paws with long claws), but big cats have some advantages over bears (speed, agility, quick-killing throat bites, sharp claws).  A brown bear against a big cat is a close battle at parity.  The tiger will have trouble securing a throat bite while in the range of the bear's claws, and this makes the bear a more dangerous opponent for the tiger than a bovid of the same size would be.  The tiger can certainly overcome or drive the bear away, and the bear can certainly overcome or drive the tiger away.  If the tiger has a decent weight advantage it will have a good chance to prevail, and the bear will be favored with any decent weight advantage as well.  The Himalayan brown bear is very rare and there's not as much known about it as its larger cousins (like the grizzly, Kodiak, or Eurasian brown bears), but it still has the "brown bear" attributes that make it a very capable fighter.  Overall close to 50/50; depends on the weights.  

Q: How did the Gray Wolf and Grizzly Bears survive the North Americas?  Weren't they competing with dangerous predators like Smilodon, Dire Wolves and Arctodus?
A: I don't think anyone knows for sure, but there are some theories.  In comparing animals that went extinct to ones that survived, the biggest factor wasn't/isn't necessarily how formidable they were/are.  The gray wolf is a very adaptable animal with a large habitat range (including cold ones) and a varied palate (it's a carnivore and an omnivore).  The dire wolf was highly carnivorous (its diet was almost exclusively meat), and it did not live in colder climates.  Smilodons were also highly carnivorous like big cats of today, and it targeted large animals for its meals.  It wasn't nearly as adaptable as the gray wolf, and many of the items it preyed upon also went extinct and may have deprived them of a major food source toward the end of their existence.  A grizzly bear's ability to hibernate is valuable, as well as its omnivorous appetite.  Some believe that early humans likely killed off many large prey items for animals like Arctodus, and the smaller prey items that remained were too quick to be caught.  Ecological changes may have occurred in various habitats to a great enough degree to make survival much more difficult for some, and this may have led to their eventual extinction.  Good question!

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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