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Interspecies Conflict/Meow...Scratch!The Feline Family Is In The House!

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Question
Hello again BK,how are things going? Things are going great for me since the weekend is here. Now lets get down to it. Matchups-

Moose vs Elk

Snow Leopard vs Orangutan

Giant Anteater vs Pygmy Hippo

Gorilla vs Cheetah

Black Bear vs Leopard

Kodiak Bear vs Giant Forest Hog

Chimpanzee vs Wolverine

Thank You

Answer
Hello Trish.  Things are going good.


Moose vs Elk: A moose can weigh about 45% more than an elk.  A moose is the largest member of the deer family, and had wide-spreading antlers that can be used to shield itself from attack and potentially injure any foe (the antlers have sharp "tines" along the edges, and the moose can generate power behind these weapons).  The smaller elk has long, branching antlers with many sharp points.  These points can easily injure an adversary.  In conflicts between herbivores with relatively similar weaponry, the heavier animal will usually be favored.  A moose and elk engaged in battle will primarily push against one another with their antlers, and the heavier moose will eventually bully the smaller cervid into a retreat.  Moose wins.

Snow Leopard vs Orangutan: An orangutan will weigh approximately 50% more than a snow leopard, but the weight range of both animals can vary somewhat.  A snow leopard typically weighs about 120lb, but can reach heavier weights on occasion.  Orangutans sometimes exceed 200lb in weight.  Snow leopards are great hunters that can tackle prey items much larger than themselves.  They are agile, quick, and athletic.  A snow leopard's sharp claws and teeth make it a formidable adversary, and it has the ability to make a quick kill with a well-placed neck bite.  Orangutans are massively strong apes with long arms spanning close to 7.5 wide.  They are typically peaceful animals and aren't skilled combatants, but can deliver a decent bite if threatened.  The orangutan's limbs are very flexible, and it is capable of great range of motion with its arms.  It is at home in the trees, but has limited mobility on the ground.  Without having trees nearby to escape to, an orangutan would be in danger if a snow leopard decided to attack it.  The ape's strong arms and bite would be a deterrent, but the quicker cat would likely be able to get into a good position early on.  A determined orangutan would have a decent chance to repel the snow leopard on occasion, but it won't be equipped as well in a serious battle with the carnivore.  Edge to snow leopard.

Giant Anteater vs Pygmy Hippo: A pygmy hippo can weigh over 4 times as much as a giant anteater.  Giant anteaters are armed with sharp claws on their front limbs.  They use these to tear and opening into termite mounds (and ant hills), but can also use them to repel predators (like jaguars and cougars).  A giant anteater can rise up on its hind legs to swipe with its long (close to 4") claws and this can seriously injure an attacker.  Not a lot is known about pygmy hippos and their fighting abilities.  They do have large canines in their mouths that could do some damage to another animal with a good bite, but they aren't as aggressive as their larger relatives.  These 2 animals would likely coexist peacefully if they shared a habitat, and any aggression shown by one would likely drive the other one away.  In a serious battle each animal will have the potential to injure the other, but the much larger size and weight of the pygmy hippo will give it the edge more times than not.  Edge to pygmy hippo.

Gorilla vs Cheetah: A gorilla can weigh over 3 times as much as a cheetah.  Gorillas are the largest primates in the world, with some reaching 460lb in weight.  They are very strong, have long arms (that span 8.5ft) with grabbing hands, and powerful bites (and imposing canines).  Gorillas aren't practiced fighters against animals other than other gorillas, but they can be dangerous adversaries despite this.  Cheetahs are fantastic hunters, but aren't built to fight well.  They have slender, streamlined bodies and small heads.  Cheetah's claws aren't sharp compared to other large cats, because they are semi-retractable and serve as "cleats" to help the cat grip the ground when running (and can attain speeds of over 60mph).  A cheetah will use this speed to overtake swift herbivores like gazelle, and trips the fleeing animal to bring it to the ground.  It will then apply a bite to the throat to induce suffocation.  Cheetahs often get driven away from their kills by animals they are capable of defeating in a serious fight, but will relent to avoid injury (an injured cheetah can't hunt properly and will face possible starvation).  Realistically, a cheetah will want nothing to do with any kind of confrontation with a gorilla.  The cheetah would not realistically be able to get the gorilla in any position where the ape could not effectively fight back.  The gorilla will have a significant size & strength advantage, and will easily drive the cheetah away without any trouble.  Gorilla wins.

Black Bear vs Leopard: A black bear can weigh almost as much as 3 leopards.  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).  Leopards are among the strongest cats pound-for-pound (it's believed that only the jaguar exceeds it in that regard), and demonstrate this strength by hauling heavy prey items into the trees with them.  They have large heads and muscular neck & shoulder areas.  A leopard can certainly drive a black bear away with an aggressive attack, but a black bear determined to do battle will be too strong for the leopard to handle.  The bear's forepaw usage will give it great control at close quarters, and its paw swipes will be stronger than the leopard's.  A leopard certainly wins at parity, but a black bear exceeding 500lb will have too many advantages over a 200lb leopard.  Black bear wins.

Kodiak Bear vs Giant Forest Hog: A Kodiak bear can weigh almost 2 1/2 times as much as a giant forest hog and will measure about 40% taller at the shoulder.  Kodiak bears, along with polar bears, are the largest of today's bears.  They don't typically target large animals to predate upon (they love fish), but are very capable combatants with their ursid attributes (strength, endurance, durability, forelimb usage, jaws & claws).  Giant forest hogs among the largest of all suids, and have stocky, durable bodies and sharp tusks that can be used to effectively defend themselves.  It will be important for the Kodiak bear to keep the giant forest hog from creating the distance needed to use its tusks, but the bear should have the strength to do this against this smaller animal.  Suids are a unique challenge due to their tough hides, formidable weaponry, and good lateral movement.  A giant forest hog will be a difficult task to any bear, but the huge Kodiak will have enough size to be favored in this matchup.  The swipes of the bear may be able to stun the giant forest hog as it charges in, and the bear's bite will likely come into play once it arrests the movements of the pig with its forepaws and body weight.  Kodiak bear wins.  

Chimpanzee vs Wolverine: A chimpanzee can weigh 3 times as much as a wolverine.  Chimpanzees don't typically engage in one-on-one confrontations with other types of animals.  They usually attempt to gain the advantage in a situation through loud, intimidating actions with the help of other chimpanzees.  Wolverines are famous for being strong, bold, and ferocious.  They can kill animals larger than themselves, and occasionally drive larger predators away from kills.  The chimpanzee 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 one-on-one encounter the wolverine would easily drive the chimp away, but in a serious battle the chimpanzee would probably figure out how to utilize its physical advantages (size, grabbing hands) and prevail most of the time.  Decent fight, but overall edge to chimpanzee.



Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


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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