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Interspecies Conflict/Ruff,Ruff,Whats That?Doggie Says Its Fighting Time.


Hello again Jonathan,its nice to be talking to you again because I've got some more cool fights.

Spotted Hyena vs Snow Leopard

Elephant Seal vs Walrus

Killer Whale vs Great White Shark

Bengal Tiger vs Green Anaconda

Wolverine vs Clouded Leopard

Gorilla vs Komodo Dragon

Thank You

Hello Trish.

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

Spotted Hyena vs Snow Leopard: A spotted hyena will typically weigh about 30% more than a snow leopard, but a big snow leopard can actually exceed the hyena in weight.  This is a close fight.  It's basically durability, endurance, and a bone-crushing bite (hyena) vs quickness, agility, and sharp teeth & claws (snow leopard).  The snow leopard would use his superior mobility and speed to gain favorable positioning on the clumsier hyena, but the cat's jaws & claws would take time to make a serious dent in the hyena.  The snow leopard's best chance is to quickly secure a throat bite and hang on tight, but the threat of the hyena's jaws will make it difficult for the feline.  If the battle lasts more than a few minutes, the hyena will gain the advantage (the cat will tire).  However, snow leopards are superb hunters and know how to quickly dispatch animals much heavier than themselves.  In a normal confrontation, the hyena will send the cat packing, but in a fight to the death a big snow leopard will have the slightest of edges.  Close to 50/50.

Elephant Seal vs Walrus: A Southern elephant seal can weigh over twice as much as a walrus.  Even though the walrus is smaller, it is better equipped for this battle (presence of 1m tusks and extremely tough hide).  The elephant seal's bite will cause minimal damage to the walrus without great accumulation, but the tusks of the walrus can seriously injure the elephant seal if they impale its body.  The walrus will have a maneuverability advantage in the water as well.  A walrus will likely give way to the larger animal in a realistic encounter (especially on land, where the elephant seal will "bully" the walrus into a retreat), but in a serious water battle the tusked pinniped will have the advantage due primarily to tusk usage.  Slight edge to walrus overall.   

Killer Whale vs Great White Shark: A great white shark rarely exceeds 4,400lb, but weights over 5,000lb may be possible.  A killer whale can weigh as much as an elephant (6-8 tons), and can be 50% longer than the shark.  Great white sharks are great ambush predators (typically attack from underneath & deliver bites with razor-sharp teeth), but aren't great face-to-face combatants.  Killer whales are intelligent & crafty, and often strategize with others in the pack to capture prey.  Their jaws are large, and their conical teeth can reach 4" in length.  Although a shark is capable of making quick movements, it is not as maneuverable in the water as a killer whale.  The killer whale's greater size & better mobility will be its greatest advantages in this battle.  Killer whale wins.

Bengal Tiger vs Green Anaconda: The Bengal tiger will be anywhere from 25% to 50% heavier than the green anaconda.  Tigers have the typical big cat attributes (speed, agility, athleticism, and weaponry), and are practiced at killing animals as large as buffalo.  They also engage in battles with several other species (bears, various canids & suids, crocodiles, etc.) on occasion.  A large anaconda can use its coils to suffocate an animal as large as a horse, but the tiger will be too agile to be caught in them in a face-to-face conflict.  The tiger's teeth & claws can shred an anaconda in due time, and the boa will have limited stamina & mobility on land (and won't be able to maintain an effective defense).  In water the same actions will apply, but the tiger should still be OK.  The green anaconda will be able to move around more freely, but the Bengal tiger will still be too large & dangerous.  A tiger vs an anaconda in the water at parity would be a close fight, but the cat has too much size here.  Only in deep water (where the tiger can't readily touch the bottom) will the anaconda be favored.  Bengal tiger wins.

Wolverine vs Clouded Leopard: The clouded leopard will weigh about 20% more than the wolverine.  Wolverines are powerful & ferocious fighters, with strong jaws & sharp claws.  They have few equals in their weight range when it comes to confrontation.  Clouded leopards are extremely agile, and have strong jaws armed with upper canines as long as matchsticks (almost like a miniature, less-stocky version of a saber-tooth cat).  The clouded leopard can use its quickness & front limbs to position an opponent for the delivery of a killing bite.  This battle is interesting because both animals have advantages over each other.  The wolverine is likely stronger pound-for-pound, and its thick fur will protect it from injury more than the clouded leopard's fur will protect it.  The clouded leopard has better agility and a somewhat more formidable bite (and better tools to finish a fight).  This would be a fierce altercation, and the wolverine would drive the clouded leopard away in a realistic encounter, but the cat's larger size will give it the edge here if they choose to engage.  At equal weights I will favor the wolverine, but the clouded leopard with a 20% weight advantage gets the nod.  Clouded leopard wins.

Gorilla vs Komodo Dragon: A gorilla can weigh over twice as much as a Komodo dragon.  Gorillas have powerful arms that can span 8.5ft, and can use these to grab, pull, or apply blunt force.  Gorillas also have sharp teeth and high bite forces, and can cause significant wounds in the occasions they fight with other male gorillas that attempt to invade the troop.  Gorillas aren't practiced at tackling animals outside their own species (occasionally deal with leopards), and seldom battle among themselves (will use intimidation as opposed to engaging).  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.  Most matchups involving the Komodo dragon are unique, as the lizard will likely kill any mammal it delivers a good bite to even if it loses the initial battle.  Because a gorilla won't have the know-how to effectively kill the Komodo dragon, any attempt by the ape to apply any offense (grabbing, biting, striking) will leave it vulnerable to receiving a potentially fatal bite (Komodo dragon bites can kill adult water buffalo!).  A male gorilla defending its troop will fight to the death, and doing this (hypothetically) against an invading Komodo dragon will likely repel the reptile and send it looking elsewhere for lunch.  A gorilla will likely get the better of any serious face-to-face battle with the komodo, but any general encounter (where the gorilla isn't defending its family) will likely favor the lizard (any bite it lands will probably deter the gorilla from any further attempts at offense).  Depends on the situation; could go either way.

Nice title by the way!

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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