Interspecies Conflict/New Conflict

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Question
Hey BK, I have some new match-ups
Note: These animals are at their healthiest and heaviest,

Dire wolf vs Spotted Hyena
Spotted Hyena vs Deinonychus
Spotted Hyena vs Deinonychus (parity)
Gray wolf vs Deinonychus (parity)
Cave Hyena vs Jaguar
3 Cave Hyena vs Smilodon
APBT vs Smilodon (parity)
Jaguar vs Smilodon (parity)
APBT vs African lion (parity)
APBT vs Bengal tiger (parity)
Utahraptor vs 3 Cave Hyena
APBT vs Spotted Hyena (parity)
APBT vs Velociraptor (parity)

And separate question, have you heard of or seen ARK Survival: Evolved? What do you think of it's feature of taming almost every prehistoric (or mythical) creature on the island?

Answer
Hello Lawrence.


Dire wolf vs Spotted Hyena: The dire wolf will weigh slightly more (over 10%) than the spotted hyena.  Both animals have similar attributes (strength, toughness, experience in conflicts with other animals, formidable jaws).  The spotted hyena is very durable and has tremendous jaw strength, but it is somewhat ungainly in its movements compared to some canids (and may not have the same level of lateral quickness as a dire wolf).  At equal weights this is probably a 50/50, but the small weight advantage enjoyed by the canid gives it the edge.  Edge to dire wolf.

Spotted Hyena vs Deinonychus: Deinonychus will typically have a slight (5%) weight advantage over a large spotted hyena.  Spotted hyenas are (on average) the 2nd largest land predator in Africa.  They have bone-crushing jaws, great stamina, great durability, and often rumble with other dangerous African predators (lions, leopards, etc.) over disputes over carcasses.  The Deinonychus could deliver a bite with its sharp teeth, kick with slashing claws, and grip with claws on its forelimbs.  It could also jump well and make quick turns.  A very large hyena may approach 80kg which will make it a bit heavier than the Deinonychus (almost 74kg), and this will be a very close battle with the hyena having the slightest of edges.  However, with most spotted hyenas having a top-end weight of no more than 70kg, the Deinonychus will be slightly favored.

Spotted Hyena vs Deinonychus (parity): Deinonychus was well-equipped for battle with sharp claws to kick with and decent sized jaws to bite with.  A spotted hyena will have a chance to win with a well-placed bite, but without the ability to jump onto the Deinonychus, the chances of avoiding the theropod's diversified offense won't be good.  The powerfully-built spotted hyena is very durable and battle-tested, but Deinonychus will still be favored slightly.  Edge to Deinonychus.

Gray wolf vs Deinonychus (parity): A gray wolf typically hunts and fights in a pack, but a single one can be a capable fighter if forced to do so.  The gray wolf has great endurance and good lateral quickness.  Its jaws are strong, and it has various types of teeth designed to do various tasks (front teeth for holding, side teeth for shearing, back teeth for crushing).  A wolf may be able to land a killing bite on occasion, but the dromaeosaurid's unique type of offense will make it hard for the wolf to avoid injury in the scuffle.  Slight edge to Deinonychus.

Cave Hyena vs Jaguar: The jaguar will weigh about 1/3 more than the cave hyena.  This battle will be somewhat similar to a spotted hyena taking on a large tom leopard.  The cave hyena was a hunter of large game, and its physical prowess (crushing jaws, durability, endurance) made it a tough opponent much like today's spotted hyenas.  The jaguar is at the top of the felid list in regards to pound-for-pound strength, and its jaws are strong enough to crunch through turtle shells and caiman armor.  These cats typically subdue prey items with a bite to the skull or spinal column.  It's very possible that in a realistic confrontation between these 2 that the cave hyena will drive the jaguar away (as a spotted hyena will usually drive a leopard away even if the leopard is larger), but if the jaguar is determined to fight to the end, it will be strongly favored due to its agility, athleticism, presence of claws, and ability to get into a killing position.  Edge to jaguar.

3 Cave Hyenas vs Smilodon: A Smilodon populator will weigh almost 4 times as much as each cave hyena, the Smilodon fatalis will weigh over 2 1/2 times as much as each hyena, and the Smilodon gracilis will weigh about the same as each cave hyena.  Smilodon populator was very robust and muscular, and was capable of wrestling its quarry to the ground to deliver a bite with its long upper canines (almost 30cm long) into a vulnerable area to dispatch the prey item.  It was armed with sharp claws as well, and its muscular limbs enabled it to deliver a powerful paw swipe or grip strongly onto struggling prey.  A Smilodon populator will be too large and powerful for 3 cave hyenas to contend with.  The huge cat will easily be able to kill any cave hyena that gets close (imagine 3 spotted hyenas trying to tackle a maximum-sized Bengal tiger).  The Smilodon fatalis is smaller than the Smilodon populator, but it will still be large enough to keep the cave hyenas at bay and kill them in a serious battle (similar to 3 spotted hyenas taking on a very large lioness or an average-sized lion).  Smilodon gracilis will be in big trouble against 3 cave hyenas (imagine 3 spotted hyenas taking on an average-sized leopard).  Even a single cave hyena will be a decent opponent for a Smilodon gracilis (slight edge to the cat, though).  The 2 larger Smilodons will be favored here.     

APBT vs Smilodon (parity): The American Pit Bull Terrier (if game-bred) is the king of canine combatants on a pound-for-pound basis.  It is very strong, muscular, athletic, durable, and relentless.  The APBT (again, if game-bred) will battle without abatement to the end and this is something that can wear larger opponents down over the course of a fight.  The APBT will typically rush in immediately to latch on with its jaws (although it can release to land multiple bites), and make violent movements with its body to induce tissue damage and blood loss.  The Smilodon is probably the top felid combatant on a pound-for-pound basis, and may be the absolute one as well.  The outcome of this battle will depend on how we determine the abilities of each animal as they are scaled to match the other.  If the APBT is able to keep its attributes and abilities in proportion to its own body as it is grown to the size of the Smilodon, it will have too many advantages to make this a fair fight.  If we consider how a 400kg APBT would actually operate realistically, the fight will be much closer.  More recently, in parity fights where one animal is "scaled-up", I consider how the smaller animal will actually perform in a fight at its new larger size instead of giving it an unfair advantage.  To give an example of what I mean, I'll use a cheetah.  A cheetah can run over 100kph and can weigh about 65kg.  If we make it twice as tall/long/wide, it should be able to run 200kph if it keeps all of its abilities in proportion to its size.  However, it is highly unlikely that a cheetah weighing 520kg will be able to run 200kph.  One that size will probably be slower than the ones that run 100kph!  In this battle, if we assess it fairly, the Smilodon's ability to control positioning with its claws will be its largest advantage, and the APBT's "berserker" approach (which may remove any diversification from its strategy) won't necessarily be an asset 100% of the time.  Edge to Smilodon.   

Jaguar vs Smilodon (parity): This is probably the best modern felid combatant (pound-for-pound) against the best prehistoric felid combatant (pound-for-pound).  Both are stocky, muscular, and strong, but the Smilodon probably has the edge in those areas.  The jaguar is probably quicker, but that advantage won't be as valuable as strength once the 2 cats engage.  The Smilodon will likely control positioning, and may be able to land its bite before the jaguar can.  The jaguar will have more areas to land a solid bite (skull or spine), but the Smilodon will need to avoid driving its "sabers" into an area that isn't soft.  Close fight; slight edge to the Smilodon.

APBT vs African lion (parity): The African lion is right up there with the jaguar in regards to combat ability because of the frequency at which it battles other male lions to defend its territory.  It will have the advantages of quickness, agility, finishing know-how, and weaponry (claws) over the APBT, but the APBT will have greater endurance and a bite to match the cat's.  It's not in a lion's nature to back down from a fight, but one might think twice before standing its ground against a charging APBT that weighs as much as it does.  Still, the advantages of the lion are enough to slightly favor it here.  Slight edge to the African lion.

APBT vs Bengal tiger (parity): This will be similar to the APBT vs lion battle.  A tiger doesn't battle other tigers as much as a lion battles other lions, but it still has the same attributes and abilities.  Game-bred APBTs are powerful, relentless combatants that ignore pain & injury throughout the course of a battle.  These canids will rush in immediately, and will seek to lock their jaws onto the face or head area of an opponent.  APBTs will typically employ a "bite & shake" method of attack once they engage (to induce injury & blood loss), and very few animals within its weight range will have an answer for this kind of assault (even if their weaponry, on paper, is better).  An APBT scaled to the tiger's size will come close to matching its quickness & athleticism, but will still be, essentially, a one-trick pony (big bite).  Tigers are fierce, capable fighters (as all big cats are), and have sharp claws (front & back) that can be used to inflict serious injury (primary the back ones by rapid kicking) & secure a good position (primarily the front claws).  The tiger won't be able to prevent the APBT from clamping on eventually, but it should be able to use its controlling forelimbs (and fast reflexes) to keep the canid from getting the bite location it wants.  The tiger's counter-attack with its claws can slowly weaken the APBT, and the possibility of the felid getting into a good enough position to secure a finishing throat-bite is decent.  An APBT is built & equipped in such a way to make it a hard puzzle to solve, but big cats (at equal weights) have the assets to pull it off.  With the APBT having greater stamina, the tiger won't succeed every time.  Close to 50/50; edge to the Bengal tiger.

Utahraptor vs 3 Cave Hyenas: The Utahraptor will weigh almost 5 times as much as each cave hyena.  Utahraptor was a huge dromaeosaurid with the same diversified weaponry possessed by Deinonychus (solid bite, clawed forelimbs for holding, clawed hindlimbs for kicking, piercing, & slashing).  The cave hyenas are certainly capable of bringing down an animal weighing 5 times as much as they do much like 3 modern-day spotted hyenas can bring down a herbivore exceeding 5 times a spotted hyena's weight, but the Utahraptor will present problems for the 3 mammals.  Utahraptor can jump well, make quick turns, and the cave hyenas won't have the lateral quickness to consistently avoid the slashing kicks of the theropod.  Utahraptor wins.

APBT vs Spotted Hyena (parity): The spotted hyena will have a stronger bite and a tougher body, but the APBT will be have advantages in athleticism, agility, and tenacity.  The APBT will be more willing to engage, and will likely drive the hyena away before anything serious evolves.  Both can win with proper bite placement, but the APBT will be more comfortable in a one-on-one battle than the spotted hyena will be.  

APBT vs Velociraptor (parity): This is a very interesting matchup. I addressed this matchup at regular weights last month (9/11/15 "Superhuman") in which the APBT won based on (among other things) being twice as heavy.  Even at parity the APBT will seem to be able to physically dominate, but its one-track mind when attacking might lead it into big trouble with this particular opponent.  The Velociraptor has the same attributes shared by Utahraptor and Deinonychus (good jumping ability, ability to make quick turns, solid bite, clawed forelimbs for holding, clawed hindlimbs for kicking, piercing, & slashing).  The APBT will likely rush in to latch onto an area of Velociraptor close to its head/neck area, and will attempt to make violent movements with its own body to induce tissue damage.  The Velociraptor will be able to counter-attack better than most other opponents, and the APBT may be so focused on its attack that it doesn't address the need to defend itself from the damaging kicks of the theropod.  Both animals will be creating injuries on the other, and it's a matter of which one expires first.  The body of the Velociraptor won't hold up well to the APBT's prolonged assault, and it will probably be overcome first.  However, the APBT will likely receive injuries that may prove to be fatal soon after the conclusion of the battle.  Slight edge to APBT.


Q: Have you heard of or seen ARK Survival: Evolved?  What do you think of its feature of taming almost every prehistoric (or mythical) creature on the island?
A: I haven't heard of it before now.  I did do an internet search to learn a little bit about the game, and it seems very interesting.  I watched some footage of the game being played on "YouTube" as well.  The idea of taming otherwise dangerous creatures is a novel idea, but many modern animals can't be tamed even when its seems like it might be possible.  For example, water buffaloes can be tamed, but Cape buffaloes can't be.  Looks like a fun game, though!   


Best regards.  

Interspecies Conflict

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BK

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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