Interspecies Conflict/Hippo


5) 5t indian elephant vs 3x 300kg bengal tiger (work together)

6) 2t borneo elephant vs 350kg siberian tiger

7) 2t borneo elephant vs 3x 150kg lioness (work together)

8) 1500kg gaur vs 1200kg black rhino

9) 1500kg gaur vs 300kg bengal tiger

11) 3t hippo vs 2x 300kg bengal tiger (work together)
12) 3t hippo vs 6x 150kg lioness (work together)
13) 3t hippo vs 1x 270kg lion + 4x 150kg lioness (work together)
14) 100kg komodo dragon vs 400kg american aligator

15) 2x 100kg komodo dragon (work together) vs 650kg grizzly bear

Hello David.

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

5t Indian elephant vs 3x 300kg Bengal tiger (work together): The Indian elephant will weigh 15 times more than each Bengal tiger.  Indian elephants are a subspecies of the Asian elephant, and one can be over 2 1/2 times taller at the shoulder than a large Bengal tiger.  With great strength, a heavy body, powerful trunk, and sharp tusks, an Indian elephant can be a very difficult adversary (even for a trio of huge Bengal tigers) to overcome.  Bengal tigers are great hunters and are equipped with sharp claws and teeth, but taking on a healthy adult elephant of this size is not something that can be done under normal circumstances.  The tigers won't be able to feasibly apply a finishing throat bite on this huge pachyderm, and trying to hang onto it (or otherwise get into position to apply offense) will put the cats in peril of being crushed or gored.  Tigers are expert killers of large game and this can't be considered an impossibility, but its certainly very improbable.  Indian elephant wins.

2t Borneo elephant vs 350kg Siberian tiger: The Borneo elephant will weigh 5 times more than the Siberian tiger.  Borneo elephants, when young, may be attacked and killed by tigers, but adults are usually safe.  These elephants aren't aggressive, but any animal will defend itself urgently if its life is in danger.  Siberian tigers are impressive felids with the typical big cat attributes (speed, agility, athleticism, weaponry, killing know-how), and typically hunt suids and cervids (pigs and deer).  They occasionally engage in confrontations with brown bears over kills.  It won't be completely impossible for the Siberian tiger to kill an animal this large through ambush or otherwise, but a face-to-face battle will be a very difficult task for the cat.  A big cat is not going to have a lot of success against a herbivore weighing 5 times as much as it does in a face-to-face battle on most occasions, and the same will be true here.  Borneo elephant wins.

2t Borneo elephant vs 3x 150kg lioness (work together): The Borneo elephant will weigh 12 times more than each lioness.  Lionesses are great at teamwork and hunting strategy, and are equipped to bring down large prey items (sharp teeth & claws, ability to apply finishing bites, power, quickness, agility, etc.).  Even though a Borneo elephant isn't as imposing (pound-for-pound) as an African elephant, it's still an elephant.  3 lionesses sometimes have trouble bringing down a single zebra, wildebeest, or a subadult Cape buffalo, and a 2-ton Borneo elephant will be a much greater challenge for the trio.  Any defensive movement by the elephant (whether intentional or inadvertent) will have the potential to seriously injure any of the lionesses due to the pachyderm's great weight, and the cats will likely break off their attack once they realize the effort isn't worth the potential reward.  Borneo elephant wins.

1500kg gaur vs 1200kg black rhino: Gaurs are huge, well-muscled bovids with large curved horns.  They commomly defend themselves from Bengal tigers, and occasionally use a numbers advantage to intimidate these cats into retreating.  As formidable as gaurs are, the black rhinoceros is simply on another level.  These sometimes-aggressive rhinos have tank-like bodies, tough hides, and sharp frontal horns (sometimes exceeding a meter in length).  Using their mightly legs, they can make strong charges and powerful thrusts with a lot of force.  Even against the larger gaur in this scenario, the black rhinoceros will be able to mortally wound the gaur with a horn thrust before too much time passes.  Black rhinoceros wins.

1500kg gaur vs 300kg Bengal tiger: The gaur will weigh 5 times as much as the Bengal tiger and will be close to twice its shoulder height.  Gaurs are the largest bovids on the planet, and have muscular bodies and thick, curved horns.  They occasionally cross paths with Bengal tigers, and occasionally fall prey to these expert hunters (usually by ambush).  A Bengal tiger is probably the most adept cat in the world when it comes to tackling larger prey items solo, and it frequently comes into conflict with a variety of formidable animals (black bears, crocodiles, wild boars, etc.).  Its speed, agility, athleticism, weaponry (jaws & claws), and finishing know-how serve it well.  Although the Bengal tiger is a superb hunter and killer, engaging in a face-to-face confrontation with a bull gaur of this size will be a tall task indeed.  No cat is better equipped to succeed here, but the bovid will be able to keep the tiger in front of it on most occasions, and any advancement by the felid will leave it vulnerable to a counter-attack from dangerous horns and hooves.  This will be similar (from a size standpoint) to a lioness trying to tackle a Cape buffalo by herself.  Most gaur that fall prey to a Bengal tiger are not full-grown healthy adults, and most kills are by ambush.  No bovid will lose to a felid 1/5 its own weight in a face-to-face battle without some very unusual circumstances occurring.  Gaur wins.

3t hippo vs 2x 300kg Bengal tiger (work together): The hippo will weigh about 9 times as much as each Bengal tiger.  Hippos have huge, wide-opening jaws armed with massive canines & forward-pointing incisors, and very thick skin.  This hippo will be about 35% taller at the shoulder than the tigers.  Hippos are more comfortable in water than they are on land (they aren't built for extended motion on land because of their massive bodies and comparatively small limbs), and while they are capable of quick bursts of speed, they can't sustain a decent level of mobility in a land battle.  Bengal tigers are fantastic hunters of large game, but a hippo is too large for them to waste their time with.  The tigers will be quick enough to avoid the jaws of the hippo, and will likely have little trouble jumping on its back.  The time it will take the tigers to gnaw & claw their way through the thick hide of the hippo will be beyond their stamina threshold, and they will likely break off their attack.  The tigers can win if they display a level of determination not natural to tigers, but they won't attempt this unless they're desperate.  Depends on how you look at it - realistically a stalemate may occur or the tigers will give up (but the hippo will have the more serious injuries); theoretically the tigers have the assets to prevail.  Probably close to 50/50 overall; slight edge to the Bengal tigers.

3t hippo vs 6x 150kg lioness (work together): The hippo will weigh over 3 times as much as all 6 lionesses combined.  Hippos have huge, wide-opening jaws armed with massive canines & forward-pointing incisors, and very thick skin.  The lionesses will have the typical big cat assets (speed, agility, athleticism, jaws & claws, killing know-how), and will have the mobility to avoid the hippo's offense as long as they are cautious.  They will be able to jump on the hippo's back and begin gnawing & clawing in an attempt to subdue it, but this will take a very long time.  Lions don't have a lot of endurance, and the 6 lionesses may likely break off their attack after they determine it's not worth their time to proceed.  Lionesses work well together as a team, but even that won't necessarily shift the battle in their favor against this huge hippo.  Theoretically the lionesses can prevail if they stick to their attack, but realistically they probably won't try.  If the hippo is away from the water, it won't be as effective at maintaining an offense against its attackers.  The hippo can kill a lioness with a single bite, but the cats will be too quick (on most occasions) to let that happen.  Multiple animal conflicts are sometimes hard to assess, but its always wise to consider that "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts" when referring to animals practiced at fighting as a group (even against a larger opponent).  A kill (either way) just won't be a common outcome.  Close to 50/50 overall; stalemate likely.

3t hippo vs 1x 270kg lion + 4x 150kg lioness (work together): This will be similar to the last matchup, with 2 of the 150kg lionesses being replaced by a 270kg male lion.  Each party will find it difficult to defeat the other one.  The hippo can easy kill one of the lions with a single bite, but won't have a great chance to pull this off in a land battle against these quick & agile cats.  However, with the hippo being so stout and possessing very thick skin, the lions will have to make a significant effort to breach the hippo's hide with their claws & teeth.  The 270kg lion will have a better chance to penetrate the hippo's skin than the lionesses will because his jaws & claws will be larger (and he will be stronger), but even this won't guarantee an affliction of serious wounds over the course of the battle.  The lions will probably give up after determining it's not worth the effort, and the huge hippo may succeed in driving the quintet away with its aggression.  Lions typically wrestle opponents into a favorable position in which to apply a suffocation throat bite, and that won't be a realistic option here.  They can eventually dispatch the hippo with an accumulation of slashes and bites, but will probably decide to seek a meal elsewhere in a realistic situation.  Again, a kill (either way) just won't be a common outcome.  Close to 50/50 overall; stalemate likely.

100kg Komodo dragon vs 400kg American alligator: The American alligator will weigh 4 times as much as the Komodo dragon.  Komodo dragons are powerful reptiles with claws suited for effective digging, a whip-like tail, and a dangerous bite with sharp teeth (1" in length) used to tear flesh.  They also have very tough skin (covered in tiny osteoderms to provide protection).  It was once believed that the Komodo dragon's bite was effective in dispatching victims based solely on the presence of bacteria, but it is now known that the komodo also produces a toxin that induces shock in its prey.  Komodo dragons are excellent ambush predators, but don't excel quite as much in face-to-face confrontations.  The Komodo dragon's bite will probably have difficulty penetrating most areas on the alligator's body because it is covered in bony osteoderms as well.  One bite from the alligator will likely be enough to subdue the giant lizard (alligators have tremendous bite forces and cleat-like teeth that can easily hold victims in place).  The potent bite (bacteria/venom) of the Komodo dragon likely won't have the same effect on a reptile as it does on a mammal.  American alligator wins.

2x 100kg Komodo dragon (work together) vs 650kg grizzly bear: The grizzly bear will weigh over 3 times as much as both Komodo dragons combined.  Komodo dragons are excellent ambush predators, but aren't as adept in face-to-face confrontations.  A Komodo dragon's bite can dispatch an animal as large as a water buffalo (although this may take some time).  Grizzly bears are among the most formidable bears pound-for-pound.  As well as having the typical ursid attributes (great strength, endurance, durability, strong bites, powerful forelimbs with large claws, etc.), they can be very aggressive and confrontational.  Although the Komodo dragon's hide is covered in many small osteoderms, a paw swipe from a grizzly bear of this size (4" claws) can potentially cause a lot of damage to the reptile.  The bear's application of blunt force and its forepaw usage (to control positioning) will be assets as well.  The komodos will attempt to bite the bear and possibly use their tails to strike the mammal at close quarters, but they will be outmatched from a physical standpoint.  As with all Komodo dragon matchups, an animal that wins the initial struggle with the komodo may die later if it receives a penetrating bite.  In this matchup, the grizzly bear will dominate the initial skirmish with the 2 Komodo dragons (and likely drive them away before they land a bite that penetrates the bear's thick fur), but will succumb later to any bite that introduces the lizards' toxic saliva into its blood stream.  Because an early penetrating bite landed by one of the komodos can possibly induce shock in the grizzly bear, the possibility of the lizards winning the initial struggle (although remote) is there.  With this massive bear having greater mobility (which will give it the ability to apply its offense more effectively than the Komodo dragons) and better attributes for face-to-face conflict (even against a tandem of the reptiles), it will be favored in this confrontation.  Grizzly bear wins.

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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