Interspecies Conflict/Some Fights


Hey Jonathan,

Bengal Tiger vs Elephant, (with benefit of ambush)
Saltwater Crocodile vs Anaconda
Bengal Tiger vs Kodiak Bear
Rhino vs 2 Tiger

These are my match-ups, so thanks

From, Lawrence

Hello Lawrence.

This question was sent to the question pool; hope you don't mind if I answer it for you.

Bengal tiger (with ambush) vs elephant: An Asian elephant can weigh over 16 times as much as a Bengal tiger.  Bengal tigers are athletic, quick, agile, and powerful.  They are capable of subduing large prey items (like buffalo) solo, and do this by using their quickness and agility to get into a favorable position to deliver a killing bite.  Tigers have sharp teeth and claws, and can be very aggressive.  Elephants are extremely strong & robust animals with sharp tusks.  Even with an ambush, a Bengal tiger will have a lot of trouble trying to subdue an animal as large as an elephant.  Even prides of lions have little success trying to tackle adult elephants, and most elephants taken as prey are sudadult, old, injured, unhealthy, or otherwise encumbered.  It's not impossible for a Bengal tiger to pull this off, but the chances are very remote when a healthy adult elephant is the intended ambush target.  Even a gaur or a water buffalo (both of which weigh much less than any elephant) are difficult animals for a tiger to ambush.  Elephant wins.  

saltwater crocodile vs anaconda: A saltwater crocodile can weigh 5 times as much as a green anaconda.  Crocodiles have incredibly strong jaws, and use these to clamp onto prey items (to drag into the water and drown).  Their hides are covered in osteoderms (bony plates) that provide good protection from attack.  Anacondas are excellent ambush predators, but are poor fighters when face-to-face with another large animal.  These constrictors are powerful enough to suffocate an animal as large as a horse, and few escape its coils once the snake seizes its victim.  The saltwater crocodile, however, is simply too large to be killed by the anaconda's coils, and the crocodile's massive bite can damage the skull or spinal column of the snake.  Regardless of location (land or water), the saltwater crocodile wins.

Bengal tiger vs Kodiak bear: The Kodiak bear will weigh over twice the Bengal tiger's weight.  Tigers are capable of subduing animals larger than themselves (typically herbivores), but a Kodiak bear presents a greater challenge than a typical prey item.  Bears are not as quick or agile as tigers, but still have the ability to counter-attack one that engages it.  The larger bear will have a hefty strength advantage, and its forelimbs can be used to dictate the positioning of the battle.  A paw swipe from this bear can easily injure the tiger, and the ursid's superior endurance will give it a decisive edge in any prolonged encounter.  A tiger would have a decent chance if the weights were reasonably close, but the felid will have it's work cut out for it against a brown bear of this size.  A Bengal tiger is an amazing animal and can't be counted out, but it won't be favored here.  Kodiak bear wins.

rhino vs 2 tigers: This depends on the type of rhino.  A Sumatran rhino weighs over 3 times as much as a Bengal tiger, but this herbivore might be in trouble against 2 tigers.  The Sumatran rhino isn't as imposing or as dangerous as other rhino species, and I would favor 2 tigers to defeat one.  The Javan rhino is over twice the size of the Sumatran rhino, and would be a much harder kill for the tigers.  The tigers can succeed, of course, but would likely get driven away more times than not.  The black rhinoceros weighs over 5 times as much as a large tiger, and is an aggressive animal with a long, sharp frontal horn (and a smaller horn behind it).  Rhinos can make powerful charges and turns with their tank-like bodies, and a black rhino can easily crush or gore an attacker the size of a tiger.  The 2 tigers will find the tough hide hard to breach, and the violent resistence of the herbivore will make it hard for the tigers to advance in their attack.  Against a black rhinoceros, the 2 tigers will fail more times than not.  The white rhinoceros and the greater-horned (Indian) rhino can weigh 8-13 times more than a Bengal tiger, and will be too large and strong to be subdued by 2 tigers the vast majority of the time.  Bengal tigers have reportedly killed adult greater-horned rhinos, so it's not impossible, but certainly improbable with a healthy adult rhino.  Edge to tigers over the Sumatran, close battle with the Javan, the other rhinos (black, white, Indian) win.

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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