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Interspecies Conflict/Interspecies Conflict Round Up

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Question
Hi Bk here is a series of matchups in ternament form that I would like your opinion on.Here it comes.

1.Nile Crocodile vs Gorilla

2.Black Caimon vs Leopard

3.Kodiak Bear vs American Bison

4.Cape Buffalo vs Polar Bear

5.Lion vs Bengal Tiger

6.Green Anaconda vs Walrus

Round 2

7.Winner of match 1 meets winner of match 2

8.Winner of match 3 meets winner of match 4

9.Winner of match 5 meets winner of match 6

Round 3

10.winner of match 7 meets winner of match 8

11.winner of match 9 meets winner of match 10

Thanks

Answer
Hello Gian.


1. Nile Crocodile vs Gorilla: A large Nile crocodile can weigh over 4 times as much as a large gorilla.  Nile crocodiles are covered in bony growths (osteoderms) that protect them from most attacks and huge jaws that can generate a tremendous bite force.  They kill by drowning, and their teeth clamp on tightly to their quarry making escape almost impossible.  The crocodile's tail can be used as a weapon as well, as it can be swung with a lot of power.  Gorillas are very strong primates with long arms, grabbing hands, and a decent bite of their own.  However, they don't have experience taking on animals of other species.  In a land battle a gorilla will have a solid mobility advantage and will have better endurance, but won't be able to apply any meaningful offense against the crocodile without putting itself in peril.  Once the gorilla gets close to the crocodile, the crocodile will have the ability to turn quickly to seize the ape in its jaws, and the gorilla will have few options from that point.  Even on land, the crocodile will be too well-equipped for a gorilla to deal with.  Realistically, a gorilla would not go anywhere near a large crocodile if they somehow come in contact with one another.  Nile crocodile wins.  

2. Black Caiman vs Leopard: A black caiman can weigh over 4 times as much as an African leopard.  Black caimans are covered in bony growths that afford them protection against many attacks, and powerful jaws filled with sharp, gripping teeth.  These reptiles are the apex predators of the Amazon along with jaguars and anacondas, and occasionally battle these other species.  Leopards are one of the more successful African predators, and are strong enough to carry large prey items into trees.  They routinely deal with dangerous animals (hyenas, warthogs, baboons, etc.), and sometimes cross paths with crocodiles.  As with other crocodilians, the black caiman will have limited mobility and stamina on land, and will only be able to battle strongly for a short time.  A leopard won't have much of a chance against a black caiman in a water battle, but will only have a slim chance against one on land.  Even jaguars (50% heavier than a leopard and an experienced reptile killer) have difficulty with adult black caimans, and a leopard will be facing a tough challenge against any crocodilian weighing 4 times as much as it does.  Tigers and jaguars have a lot of experience dealing with crocodilians and know how to avoid the jaws and take the reptile's back to apply a finishing bite, but a leopard isn't going to have the same degree of success as these other cats.  I'd certainly favor a leopard at reasonably close weights, but not when the sizes are this far apart.  Black caiman wins.

3. Kodiak Bear vs American Bison: The American bison is the largest land animal in the Americas, and the Kodiak bear is tie with the polar bear as the largest land predator in the world.  The bison weighs more than the Kodiak bear here (almost 50% more), and it will be more than a match for the ursid.  Bison have very powerful shoulder & neck areas, and they can generate a great deal of force by ramming with their heads or goring with their horns.  The Kodiak bear will have a tough time controlling the head & neck of the bison, and it will not be able to avoid the charges of the larger herbivore.  Bears are reasonably agile and can make quick turns, but they aren't as adept as big cats at getting out of the way of a charging adversary.  In other words, they won't be able to move their bodies laterally quick enough to keep from being a target.  Kodiak bears have well-developed shoulder muscles, and can deliver strong strikes with their paws, but only a perfectly-placed one will slow the bison down.  If the bison is determined to plow into the bear, the bear will be on the defensive and have few options.  Bears aren't used to tackling large, mobile herbivores on a regular basis, and will be in trouble against one this big.  The bear would only win if everything fell perfectly into place for it, and that just won't happen most of the time.  American bison wins.

4. Cape Buffalo vs Polar Bear: These animals will be close to the same weight, and the polar bear's shoulder height (when on all fours) will be about 90% the height of the Cape buffalo.  Even though they aren't used to tackling large, mobile prey (the muskox being the exception), they have the tools to pull this off.  The bear's large paws and incredible strength will give it some control as it latches onto the front of the bovid (to neutralize the horns and force the bovid to the ground).  Bears have great endurance, and this will come into play during a prolonged struggle (assuming climate isn't an issue).  The buffalo will be attempting to gore the bear, but the bear's robust build (with a 10cm layer of blubber) can take a lot of abuse without it slowing down.  This will be a very close fight because the buffalo's mobility and horn thrusts will be problematic (and can certainly drive the bear away in a realistic encounter), but a determined polar bear will have the edge.  As long as the weights are close (around 680kg is a typical top weight for both), slight edge to polar bear.

5. Lion vs Bengal Tiger: : A Bengal tiger will weigh about 10% more than an African lion.  These are 2 very similar creatures biologically, and there are only subtle differences between the two (the lion is slightly taller at the shoulder; the tiger is slightly longer).  The male lion is charged with the protection of the pride.  Other male lions will attempt to invade the pride to gain territory & females, and the leader of the pride must do battle to keep his throne.  As a result, male lions are constantly fighting other male lions.  Even at kills, lions will fight amongst themselves for their share of the food.  Tigers are usually solitary hunters (hunting in pairs has occurred), but males will fight over territory.  The mane of the lion is used primarily to intimidate rivals & attract females, but might also serve to soften the paw swipes of a rival male.  A male tiger is a better hunter than a male lion, but the lion will probably have the edge as a combatant.  A lion is certainly capable of defeating a heavier tiger just like a tiger is capable of defeating a heavier lion (slight edge to lion at parity), but the 10% difference should be enough to give the heavier cat the edge on most occasions.  Edge to Bengal tiger.

6. Green Anaconda vs Walrus: A bull walrus can weigh approximately 10 times as much as a green anaconda.  Green anacondas are excellent ambush hunters, but aren't great face-to-face combatants against other large animals.  They can use their coils to suffocate an animal as large as a horse, but a walrus will simply be too big.  Walruses are robust mammals with very tough skin and meter-long tusks.  These massive pinnipeds occasionally defend themselves from polar bears.  Even if a green anaconda wrapped itself around a walrus, it would not have the power to asphyxiate it (it's doubtful the coils would even reach 2 times around the walrus' body).  On land the walrus would be heavy enough to potentially crush the anaconda, and in the water it could potentially stab the snake with its tusks.  Walrus wins.

7. Nile Crocodile vs Black Caiman: A Nile crocodile can weigh over twice as much as a black caiman.  These animals have similar assets and abilities.  Both have armored hide, powerful tails, strong bite forces, and gripping teeth.  This would be a reasonably close fight at parity, but a Nile crocodile is not going to lose to a black caiman half its own weight.  Nile crocodile wins.

8. American Bison vs Polar Bear: The American bison can weigh almost 50% more than a polar bear.  The polar bear is a very powerful bear that occasionally tackles large walruses, but a walrus isn't very mobile on land.  Walruses weigh more than bison do, but there's a big difference in the mobility of a 4-legged herbivore and a pinniped with flippers.  The polar bear will be more apt to grab the front end of the bison and try to overpower it than the Kodiak will (the Kodiak will be more apt to strike with its paws), but it will not be large enough to consistently keep the bison from creating the distance it needs to effectively use its horns & head.  The bear can't jump onto the bison's back like a big cat can, and to defeat the bison it will need to overpower it.  While the bear may be stronger pound-for-pound than the bison, the bison's method of applying it's strength into offense is more effective than the bear's method of applying it (in this particular matchup).  The bear will find it hard to finish the bison without bringing it to the ground, and the odds are against it doing so.  American bison wins.

9. Bengal Tiger vs Walrus: A walrus can weigh over 6 1/2 times as much as a Bengal tiger.  Bengal tigers are superb hunters, are capable of bringing down animals as large as buffalo solo.  These striped cats are a fantastic blend of agility, quickness, and athleticism.  Walruses are formidable adversaries for polar bears, and their tough hides and long tusks are great assets in such battles.  A walrus isn't very mobile on land, and the more mobile tiger will be a difficult target for the pinniped's tusks or its crushing weight.  The tiger will be able to maneuver to the side of the walrus and leap upon it (similar to how it would attack a crocodile on land), but the thick blubber and very tough hide will make clawing and biting have minimal effect (even the huge polar bear takes a long time to breach the walrus' tough hide).  The walrus won't be able to throw the tiger off of it with ease (because of the tiger's sharp claws holding onto it), but it will attempt to do so, and the tiger's attempts to apply an effective throat or neck bite will probably be an exercise in futility.  The tiger's sharp teeth can cause problems for the walrus if the cat's jaws clamp onto the right place (close to the head), but the tiger will probably tire and lose interest once it discovers it can't easily overcome the much larger mammal.  A Bengal tiger can certainly pull this off, but it will likely struggle to maintain its determination once its endurance starts to wane.  Each animal will have a small chance to overcome the other, but a stalemate is probably the most likely result.  It's hard to bet against the tiger based on its ability to play "keep away" and easily get into a good position on the walrus' back, but the walrus isn't built or shaped like any animal a tiger typically attacks.  A tiger with the same killing technique of a jaguar (biting through the skull) would likely be favored, but the tiger might not know this is what it needs to do with this particular opponent.  Difficult matchup to assess, but I'd give the slight edge to the walrus.

10. Nile Crocodile vs American Bison: The American bison will have a small weight advantage over the Nile crocodile.  Nile crocodiles are practiced at seizing large animals (zebra, wildebeest, buffalo, etc.) at the water's edge with their powerful jaws and pulling them into the water to drown.  How formidable a crocodile is in water is well ahead of how formidable a crocodile is on land, but on land it's no pushover.  Its armored hide offers good protection from attack, and its jaws and tail can be utilized as dangerous weapons.  Bison are huge, stocky bovids with massive shoulder & neck areas.  They can ram with their heads and hook with their horns, and a full-grown one is usually safe from predation.  Assuming this battle occurs on land, the bison will have advantages in mobility and stamina.  It will be able to lower its head and strike the crocodile with its head and horns, but will need to be wary of being seized in the reptile's jaws.  A crocodile won't be able to "death roll" an animal as big as a bison on land (they are capable of spinning smaller animals they grab on land by twisting their bodies), and the crocodile's bite won't have great effect without latching onto the right area (leg, face, etc.).  The bison will be strong enough to shake the crocodile off if the predator doesn't clamp on securely, and the crocodile may tire even if a good grip is applied (thus preventing the crocodile from finishing the kill.  The crocodile has the tools to win a land battle with a bison, but it's unlikely it will find itself in the right position to take advantage of these tools.  As long as water doesn't enter into the equation, the bison should prevail more times than not.  Edge to American bison.  

11. Walrus vs American Bison: A walrus can weigh almost twice as much as an American bison.  The walrus will have limited mobility on land, and this will make it hard for it prevent the bison from ramming into it.  However, the walrus' thick layer of blubber and tough hide will enable it endure the bison's assault better than most animals would.  The walrus will have the power to knock the bison over if it pushes against it during the struggle, and this action might also be a peril to the bovid's relatively thin legs.  Although the bison will have better lateral movement, it will be vulnerable to getting impaled by the walrus' tusks at close quarters.  The walrus will need to be wary of its head receiving the brunt of the impact of the bison's offense on occasion (this will the best way for the bison to effectively injure the walrus).  Very close fight overall, but a land battle will probably favor the more mobile American bison.  Slight edge to American bison.


Good tournament!  Lots of close, interesting matchups.


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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