Interspecies Conflict/None


Hello BK!

I had to stay up late for you to answer this one! Otherwise you're always maxed out.This time, my matches are pretty close. But I want the answers in terms of maximum weight of both competitors, no parity. Sometimes, parity is just an imaginary scenario. Letís go,

1.   Kodiac Brown Bear vs Cape Buffalo

2.   Jaguar vs Warthog

3.   Spotted Hyena vs Wild boar

4.   Spotted Hyena vs Chacma baboon

5.   Spotted Hyena vs Chimpanzee

6.   The animals in my fights are usually those from the families of cats, dogs, hyenas and primate. I think primates have the greatest agility and nimbleness but lesser weaponry, cats have a balance of agility and weaponry, dogs are much slower and clumsier and but have much greater stamina and lastly, hyenas are even more stiff but have good stamina and a really durable frame. But I think the family that is the most fit for combat is the mustelid family. They have great strength, speed, stamina and weaponry, let alone the aggression. What do you think?

7.   American black bear vs Jaguar

8.   Kodiac brown bear vs Saltwater croc

9.   Clouded Leopard vs Chimpanzee

10.   It is a well-known fact that in the cat family, the jaguar is the strongest cat pound for pound. But I heard somewhere that the clouded leopard is the strongest cat pound for pound.

11.   Wolverine vs Chimpanzee

12.   Kodiac brown bear vs Hippopotamus

13.   Gray Wolf vs Brown Hyena

14.   Saltwater croc vs Leopard seal

15.   Tiger Quoll vs Indian gray mongoose (This one in detail!)

16.   Yellow throat marten vs fossa

17.   Tasmanian devil vs Rhesus macaque

18.   Yellow throated marten vs Tasmanian devil

19.    Tasmanian devil vs Black backed jackal

20.   Ratel vs Olive baboon

21.   Tasmanian devil vs Guinea Baboon

22.   Black footed ferret vs Banded Mongoose

23.   European Polecat vs Egyptian Mongoose

24.   Black backed jackal vs

25.   Main event: Caracal vs Ratel

Hello Jem.  Good to hear from you again.

With most of my answers, I use the maximum weight (although average is sometimes requested).  I don't buy into a lot of maximum weights given for some animals (gorillas and anacondas exceeding 226kg for example).  I'll use a reasonable max here.

1. Kodiac Brown Bear vs Cape Buffalo: These animals are typically close in top weights, but a massive Cape buffalo may get as much as 1/3 heavier on rare occasions.  Kodiak bears are strong, durable, and well-armed (jaws & paws), but aren't accustomed to dealing with large, mobile adversaries.  Cape buffalo fend off lions on a regular basis, and their thick horns can be dangerous weapons.  The bear won't have the lateral quickness to avoid a charge or thrust by the buffalo with any consistency.  The Kodiak bear will have a decent chance if the weights are close, but a Cape buffalo weighing 1/3 more will have the edge.  

2. Jaguar vs Warthog: These 2 animals will be close in weight.  Jaguars have the assets most big cats share (quickness/agility/jaws & claws/finishing know-how), and are widely considered to be the strongest felid pound-for-pound.  They also have a unique killing method (crushing the skull or spine with its vice-like jaws) that serves them well, and their stocky, muscular builds enable them to excel against most low-to-the-ground adversaries.  Warthogs are nimble animals with long, curved tusks used to defend themselves.  They can seriously injure an attacker with a slash of these tusks, and it will be important for the jaguar to gain control of the warthog's front end with its front paws to avoid this.  The jaguar will need to be cautious, but it has the weaponry & know-how to succeed here on most occasions.  A jaguar might be driven away in a realistic encounter, but should prevail if determined to battle to the end.  Edge to jaguar.

3. Spotted Hyena vs Wild boar: The wild boar will weigh almost 3 times as much as the spotted hyena.  Wild boars have tough hides and sharp tusks.  Spotted hyenas are durable have very strong jaws, but they are somewhat ungainly in motion.  The hyena won't be quick enough on a consistent basis to avoid getting tusked by the large boar.  Wild boar wins.

4. Spotted Hyena vs Chacma baboon: The spotted hyena will weigh over 70% more than the chacma baboon.  Both animals have dangerous bites (hyena has a bone-crushing bite, baboon has a piercing bite with 2 long upper canines), but the hyena is more durable.  The baboon will have an agility and mobility advantage, but that won't make up for the size difference against the tough-as-nails hyena.  Spotted hyena wins.

5. Spotted Hyena vs Chimpanzee: These animals will be close in weight.  A chimpanzee will probably have the strength & assets (grabbing hands & bite) to compete, but a spotted hyena will be too formidable.  The spotted hyena is rugged and battle-tested, and its crushing bite will be perilous for the ape.  The chimpanzee might succeed in repelling a spotted hyena (with an aggressive display) in a realistic encounter, but in an actual battle the hyena will be too durable & dangerous for the chimp to deal with.  Hyena wins.

6. Q: The animals in my fights are usually those from the families of cats, dogs, hyenas and primates. I think primates have the greatest agility and nimbleness but lesser weaponry, cats have a balance of agility and weaponry, dogs are much slower and clumsier and but have much greater stamina and lastly, hyenas are even more stiff but have good stamina and a really durable frame. But I think the family that is the most fit for combat is the mustelid family. They have great strength, speed, stamina and weaponry, let alone the aggression. What do you think?
A: I actually think it's close between the mustelid family and the bear family.  Some mustelids are better than others (in combat) and some bears are better than others (in combat).  The 3 mustelids that stand out the most in this regard are the wolverine (pound-for-pound as tough a combatant as you'll find), the honey badger (famous for being fearless), and the stoat (can kill prey items many times their own size).  It's hard to bet against the robust grizzly bear as a fighter, but the mustelids probably deserve top billing as much as any other group.   

7. American black bear vs Jaguar: The black bear will weigh about 70% more than the jaguar.  Black bears aren't as aggressive or formidable as brown bears, but they are still capable fighters with the attributes shared by various bears (great strength & endurance, large paws & claws, durability).  Jaguars are considered to be the strongest cat pound-for-pound, and have tremendously strong jaws that can bite through turtle shells & caiman armor.  Jaguars use their stocky, muscular builds to effectively grab & control adversaries, and work themselves into a position to kill with a crushing bite to the skull or spine.  The carnivorous jaguar will be more accustomed to combat than the omnivorous black bear, but it won't be large enough to deal with the ursid's offense (bites & paw swipes).  A jaguar can compete with any animal in its weight range, but a black bear will usually be too heavy.  Black bear wins.

8. Kodiac brown bear vs Saltwater croc: The crocodile will weigh almost 50% more than the bear.  Crocodiles lack mobility & endurance on land, and this can make them vulnerable against a mobile, similar-sized opponent.  A crocodile is capable of making quick lunges and can latch onto an attacking bear, but a bear is solidly built and strong enough to escape.  Grabbing onto a thick limb of a bear is different than grabbing onto a more slender leg of a bovid, and the bear has the ability to use its claws & teeth to mount an effective counter-attack.  The paw swipes of a Kodiak bear can stun a crocodile with a strike to the head.  Bears are very strong, well-armed, and have amazing endurance.  The crocodile won't be able to cause enough damage to the bear in their skirmish before it runs out of steam and becomes a sitting duck.  In shallow water, however, the battle will be much closer.  The crocodile will have more mobility, and the greater ease of motion will allow it to last much longer in a confrontation.  If it latches onto the bear in shallow water at these sizes, it will have a chance to spin its body "the death roll" with lots of power.  The bear will have trouble controlling the crocodile with its paws & claws, and the torque of the spinning crocodile can cause serious damage to its limbs if the jaws latch on.  In water deep enough to allow the crocodile to move & spin freely (probably 3 ft), the crocodile will have the edge (unless it's an old, past-its-prime version) over the bear.  If the water depth is less than this, the bear will still have a chance to control the crocodile a little bit and mount a decent offense, but it will be a close fight.  The Kodiak bear will be about 5ft tall at the shoulder, but once the water gets deeper than 3 or 4ft, it will be in trouble.  Bear has edge on land, croc has edge in shallow water, and croc dominates in deep water.

9. Clouded Leopard vs Chimpanzee: The chimpanzee will be close to 2.5 times heavier than the clouded leopard.  Clouded leopards are extremely agile cats with unusually long upper canines (almost like a mini-Smilodon!).  Chimpanzees are strong apes with grabbing hands and decent bites, but they usually use aggressive displays in an attempt to drive adversaries away.  A clouded leopard has the ability to kill a chimpanzee, but will have trouble with the much larger ape in a face-to-face battle.  Edge to chimpanzee.

10. Q: It is a well-known fact that in the cat family, the jaguar is the strongest cat pound for pound. But I heard somewhere that the clouded leopard is the strongest cat pound for pound.
A: Most consider the jagaur to be at the top with the leopard a close 2nd.  The clouded leopard may be a very strong cat pound-for-pound, and it may be close to these 2 big cats, but its other physical assets (amazing agility, climbing ability, long canines for quick kills) don't seem as indictative for an animal that needs brute strength like the jaguar and leopard do.  It's hard to say for sure when comparing animals of vastly different sizes, but the stocky muscular build of the jaguar and the ability of the leopard to pull heavy prey items into trees is somewhat telling of their strength.  Comparing the strength of big cats usually starts with what they do as well as physical appearance, and it's not an exact science.  Seeing a lion wrestle with a zebra or a buffalo or seeing a tiger drag a gaur carcass across the jungle floor certainly give these two cats ammuniton for the discussion.  I don't think it's possible for anyone to pin this down accurately.

11. Wolverine vs Chimpanzee: The chimpanzee will be 3 times heavier than the wolverine.  The chimp will have the advantage of being able to grab and bite from many angles, but will probably not have the know-how to effectively finish the mustelid.  The wolverine has strong claws, jaws that can crush bone, and tough skin, but it will find it difficult to overpower an ape of this size.  In a realistic encounter the wolverine would easily drive the chimp away, but in a fight to the finish the chimp would figure out how to utilize its physical advantages and prevail most of the time.  Chimpanzee wins.

12. Kodiac brown bear vs Hippopotamus: The hippo can weigh over 3 or 4 times as much as the bear.  Kodiak bears are powerful fighters, but don't have the size to take on a hippopotamus.  Hippos have jaws that can open almost 4ft wide, and are armed with sharp lower canines (and forward-pointing incisors) that can cause massive damage to a bear.  The bear can injure the hippo with paw swipes, but it would take a lot of them to have great effect.  The bear doesn't have the lateral quickness to avoid getting bit by the hippo's jaws (which would be key), and doesn't have the leaping ability (like a big cat) to jump on top of the hippo.  Brown bears can usually handle most animals close to their weight range, but the larger hippo will be too formidable for it.  Hippopotamus wins.

13. Gray Wolf vs Brown Hyena: The gray wolf will weigh almost 20% more than the brown hyena.  The brown hyena's bite will likely be stronger than the wolf's, but both bites will be able to do damage.  The gray wolf will have the edge in lateral quickness.  The brown hyena can be aggressive, and a realistic encounter may lead to the wolf backing down.  Close fight, but slight edge to the larger gray wolf.

14. Saltwater croc vs Leopard seal: The saltwater crocodile will weigh almost as much as 3 leopard seals.  Leopard seals are active predators, and have jaws armed with 1" canine teeth.  They move through the water with ease.  Crocodiles are covered largely in osteoderms (bony growths), and have vice-like jaws and a powerful tail.  On land or in shallow water, the crocodile would be favored due to its large size, jaws, & the limited mobility of the seal.  Once in deep water, the leopard seal would have a decided mobility advantage over the saltie.  However, the seal would find it hard to exploit this advantage because its teeth wouldn't easily penetrate the crocodile's tough skin.  The crocodile's ability to make quick movements with its head would give it a chance to clamp onto the seal as the mammal attempted to land multiple bites.  It might take a while, but the crocodile would get the upper hand at some point.  A leopard seal could win if the weighs were a bit closer, but it's giving up a lot of size to the armored reptile.  Edge to saltwater crocodile.

15. Tiger Quoll vs Indian gray mongoose: The tiger quoll will be almost twice as heavy as the mongoose.  The quoll has a slightly stouter body, and is known for having a very high bite force.  The mongoose is nimble & feisty (and is famous for dispatching cobras), but it's a little outmatched here.  Tiger quolls typically eat larger prey items than the Indian gray mongoose (quolls eat small mammals of larger size than the mongoose's prey, which is usually small rodents and reptiles).  Both animals are quick and agile, but neither one has a great enough edge in those departments to make a difference once the two engage.  It will basically be a bite vs bite affair, and the quoll's advantage there will be the difference.  Tiger quoll wins.

16. Yellow-throated marten vs fossa: A fossa can weigh over 3 times as much as a yellow-throated marten.  Yellow-throated martens are great climbers that feed primarily on small rodents, birds, insects & fruit.  Fossas are the largest land predator in Madagascar, and feed primarily on lemurs.  Fossas are great climbers as well, and are quite agile.  The size advantage of the fossa will be too much for the marten to overcome.  Fossa wins.

17. Tasmanian devil vs Rhesus macaque: A big Tasmanian devil can get close to 50% heavier than a rhesus macaque.  Tasmanian devils have one of the strongest bite forces (pound-for-pound) among mammals, and use this bite often in conflicts with other devils to cause serious wounds.  The rhesus macaque has agility, mobility, sharp teeth, and grabbing hands, but it won't be able to deal with the huge bite of the larger Tasmanian devil in a close-quarters battle.  The monkey can play "keep away", but once it attempts to apply any offense against the Tasmanian devil, it will leave itself vulnerable to those jaws.  Tasmanian devil wins.

18. Yellow throated marten vs Tasmanian devil: A Tasmanian devil can weigh over double the yellow-throated marten's weight.  Tasmanian devils fight amongst themselves often, and they can cause serious wounds with their extremely strong bites.  They can be very aggressive.  martens have agility and effective bites, but one will be too small to take on the Tasmanian devil.  Tasmanian devil wins.

19. Tasmanian devil vs Black backed jackal: The black-backed jackal will weigh slightly more than the Tasmanian devil.  The Tasmanian devil will bring ferocity and a huge bite to the battle, while the black-backed jackal will rely on lateral quickness to stay within a range that better suits it (for offense and defense).  Black-backed jackals are actually quite aggressive themselves, and one will not be frightened away very easily.  However, considering the fierce disposition of the devil and the chances it will have to land a bite once the jackal gets close, it will likely send the jackal packing once the canid figures out the risk.  Edge to Tasmanian devil.

20. Ratel vs Olive baboon: The olive baboon can weigh almost 2.5 times as much as a ratel.  Ratels are fearless mustelids with very tough skin (loose and almost impenetratable), strong claws, and strong bites.  Olive baboons are robust monkeys with long upper canines and good mobility (and leaping ability).  A ratel might be able to drive an olive baboon away with persistance, but will have trouble with one in a serious fight.  With a size advantage and a dangerous set of teeth, the olive baboon will have the edge.

21. Tasmanian devil vs Guinea Baboon: A guinea baboon will typically weigh about 50% more than the Tasmanian devil, but a big one can get twice as heavy.  Tasmanian devils are aggressive mammals with big bites, but one will have trouble with a guinea baboon that's willing to fight.  The baboon will have the edge in mobility and will have the use of grabbing hands, and will likely be able to bite multiple times before getting bit itself.  A Tasmanian devil will realistically drive the baboon away, but if the baboon (the twice-as-heavy version) decides to engage, it will probably have the advantage.  Edge to guinea baboon.

22. Black-footed ferret vs Banded Mongoose: The banded mongoose will weigh almost 2.5 times as much as the black footed ferret.  The black-footed ferret favors prairie dogs as prey, and will chase them down burrows.  The banded mongoose eats small prey items (like termites).  The ferret is capable of putting up a good fight against a heavier mongoose, but it might be outmatched by one this much heavier in a face-to-face rumble.  Edge to banded mongoose.  

23. European Polecat vs Egyptian Mongoose: The Egyptian mongoose will weigh almost 3 times as much as the European polecat.  The European polecat is considered to be a relative of the ferret, and it can climb and swim well.  With both animals having quickness, agility, and jaws as their main assets, the deciding factor goes to size.  The polecat will probably have a decent edge at parity, but it's too small here to be favored.  Egyptain mongoose wins.

24. Black backed jackal vs no opponent listed!

25. Main event: Caracal vs Ratel: The caracal can weigh up to 40% more than the ratel.  The ratel has thick skin that will protect it from a lot of the caracal's offense (claws & bite), and the ratel's offense (also claws & bite) will be sporadic against the quicker feline.  Durability will be the ratel's biggest advantage, and quickness will be the caracal's biggest advantage.  A realistic encounter will likely end up with the ratel driving the caracal away.  At parity I would side with the ratel, but at these weights its closer to a 50/50.

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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