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Question
Hi BK here are some animal battles I would like to get your opinion on. here we go.

Kodiak Bear vs Gorilla

Leopard vs Ostrich

Cougar vs Spotted Hyena

Cape Buffalo vs Walrus

Lion vs Giraffe

Nile Crocodile vs Wild Boar

Thanks

Answer
Hello Gian.


Kodiak Bear vs Gorilla: A Kodiak bear can weigh over 3 times as much as a large silverback gorilla.  Bears have great strength, durability, and stamina.  Kodiak bears have long claws on each paw, and these can be mighty weapons.  Gorillas are very strong primates with long arms (to grab, pull, apply blunt force) and decent bites (high bite force, sharp canines).  They aren't experienced at battling other species of animals, and most conflicts between troops are primarily intimidation.  The Kodiak bear can seriously injure a gorilla with its weaponry, and will easily overpower the ape at every phase of the conflict.  Bears trump apes at equal weights, and the massive Kodiak has a huge size advantage.  The sloth bear or spectacled bear would be a better matchup for a gorilla.  Kodiak bear wins.  

Leopard vs Ostrich: An ostrich can weigh over 50% more than a leopard.  Leopards are among the strongest cats pound-for-pound, and have large heads and well-developed shoulder & neck muscles.  They can haul heavy prey items into trees by seizing the animal tightly in their jaws and climbing strongly with their claws gripping into the tree.  They are superb hunters, and can tackle prey items much larger than themselves.  Leopards are also battle-tested, as they commonly engage in confrontations with a variety of dangerous animals (hyenas, baboons, etc.).  Ostriches are the largest birds in the world.  They can exceed 9ft in height and weigh well over 300lbs.  They live primarily in eastern and southern Africa.  An ostrich can outrun a greyhound.  It uses its long neck and large eyes to scan the landscape for predators (primarily cheetahs, lions & hyenas).  If it spots a predator it will attempt to hide, flap its wings in an attempt to intimidate, or run.  If forced to fight, it will kick forward with strong legs armed with long claws.  A leopard taking on an ostrich face-to-face will be more problematic than an ambush, but the cat can still succeed.  The quickness and agility of the leopard should enable it to avoid most of the ostrich's kicks, and the ostrich will have trouble defending itself once the leopard leaps upon it.  An ostrich can certainly drive a leopard away in a realistic encounter, but a determined leopard will have the tools to overcome the bird more times than not.  Edge to leopard.

Cougar vs Spotted Hyena:  The cougar can weigh over 40% more than the hyena.  Spotted hyenas are tough, durable animals that can withstand attack better than most predators.  Their fearsome jaws have bone-crushing power.  The toughness & jaw power are the main assets the hyena brings to the table in this encounter.  The cougar is agile, quick, and has solo killing experience.  Its claws give it the ability to swipe & clinch, and they can aid the cat in dominating the position battle with the hyena (and land a bite on the throat or muzzle to induce suffocation).  The hyena's movements are somewhat clumsy, but it should still be able to land some bites as the cougar attempts to advance its positioning.  In a realistic face-to-face encounter the hyena will likely drive the cougar away, but if both parties are determined to rumble, the cougar will have too many advantages.  It would take a long time for the cougar to completely dispatch the hyena, but it should gain the upper hand (or paw) most of the time before too much time has passed.  At closer weights the cougar would have a real battle on its hands, but with the weight advantage it enjoys, it should prevail against the hyena more times than not.  Edge to cougar.

Cape Buffalo vs Walrus: A walrus can weigh 2 1/2 times as much as a Cape buffalo.  Cape buffalo are aggressive, ill-tempered, and unpredictable.  They are battle-tested (dealing with lions, hyenas, crocodiles, etc.) and well-armed (sharp hooves, thick/sharp horns).  A Cape buffalo will have the mobility to ram into the walrus (perhaps several times) before the walrus can effective defend itself with a decent tusk thrust, but the thick hide will be very hard to penetrate.  The walrus' blubber underneath the tough hide is very thick as well, and will cushion the animal from many of the buffalo's charges.  The horns won't have as much effect on the walrus as they would a lion or hyena, and the buffalo's smaller size will keep it from generating enough power to seriously injure the pinniped.  A stalemate may result, but the walrus has a slight edge overall.

Lion vs Giraffe: A giraffe can weigh several times more than a lion.  Lionesses do most of the hunting in a lion pride, but males occasionally join in for larger prey items.  Giraffes are sometimes targeted by lion prides, and many bulls survive encounters with multiple lions.  A giraffe is the tallest land animal at over 18ft, and its vulnerable areas are usually well out of reach.  Its kick is very powerful (especially from its back legs), and a direct hit can easily kill a lion.  In order for a lion to kill a giraffe, it would need to apply a throat or neck bite.  Getting into such a position will be very difficult, because leaping high upon a giraffe and hanging onto it with over 400lbs of body weight won't be easy because of how the giraffe is shaped (and the fact that the herbivore will be actively resisting).  Each attempt the lion makes to leap & cling onto the giraffe's hide will be dangerous for it each time it fails (it will be in range of the giraffe's kicks).  The chances of any big cat bringing down a bull giraffe solo is quite small.  Giraffe wins.  

Nile Crocodile vs Wild Boar: A Nile crocodile can weigh over 4 times as much as a wild boar.  A Nile crocodile is heavily covered in osteoderms (bony growths) that serve as armor, and it has a tremendously strong bite force.  Its teeth are used to grip prey items and pull them into the water to drown.  Crocodiles have limited mobility and stamina on land, but are capable of making quick movements in short bursts.  Their powerful tails can be used as a weapon, but it is mainly used to aid in swimming.  Wild boars have tusks that protrude and curve from both upper and lower jaws that can be very sharp along the edges and abruptly pointed at the ends.  These can be used to slash attackers.  Wild boars also have very tough hides, and they have good lateral quickness.  This is an interesting matchup on land because the crocodile isn't at its best out of the water, but the wild boar isn't experienced at attacking large armored reptiles.  Although the wild boar will have the quickness to slash at and potentially injure the crocodile if it makes contact with a less-protected area, it won't likely have the know-how or precision to be highly effective.  Attempting an attack on the huge reptile will place the boar in danger, as the crocodile will have the ability to seize the suid in its jaws as it comes close.  Once the crocodile gets a good grip on the boar, escape will be very difficult.  The wild boar won't be without hope on land, but it won't be favored.  Any water that enters the equation will give the crocodile a decisive advantage. Nile crocodile wins.


Good questions!


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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