Interspecies Conflict/Wild Cats


Hello BK,
Which cat (under 10 kg average weight) do you consider strongest pound for pound?
Some fights(Assume each animal average sized male with no ambush)
Ocelot vs Coyote
Racoon vs Red Fox
American Badger vs Bop cat
Canadian Lynx vs African Golden cat
Spinosaurus vs Trex (on land)
Pleistocene Cave Hyena vs African Leopard/cougar
Spotted Hyena vs Sun Bear
giant jaguar vs bengal tiger
Entelodont vs Grizzly bear
American Lion vs Grizzly bear
Polar bear vs kodiak bear
Similodon Gracilis vs jaguar
Ngandong Tiger vs Smilodon Populator
Similodon fatalis vs bengal tiger
Can you specify the average weights of Similodon populator,American lion and Ngandong Tiger?
Can you throw some light on the agility of ngandong tiger?How fast could it run?

Hello Mukul.

Q: Which cat (under 10kg average weight) do you consider strongest pound for pound?
A: I'd probably go with the bobcat.  It is powerful, and can kill prey items larger than itself.  The ocelot is a bit too heavy to be considered here as it's average weight is a bit more than 10kg, but its pound-for-pound strength is probably similar to the bobcat's.

Ocelot vs Coyote: A coyote will have a small weight advantage over the ocelot (15% or more).  ocelots are quick and agile, and have claws to aid them in this contest (for swiping and gripping).  However, ocelots don't take large prey, and aren't used to tackling animals larger than themselves.  A coyote will have a bigger bite, and will have much better endurance.  An ocelot will put up enough resistance to drive a coyote away most of the time, but a determined coyote can cause major problems for it.  At equal or close weights I favor the ocelot, but a larger coyote will certainly have the advantage.  At average weights it's close to 50/50, but realistically the ocelot will repel the coyote more times than not.

Raccoon vs Red Fox:  This will be a close fight.  The fox will typically be 1/3rd heavier.  The red fox will have the advantage of a bigger bite, more predatory instincts, and greater lateral quickness.  The raccoon will have the advantage of sharp claws, a more stout body, and greater mobility at close quarters.  In a normal confrontation it's likely the raccoon will have the aggressiveness to drive the fox away, but a determined fox has the ability to dart in and out with quick bites to wear down the raccoon (although this would take a while).  The raccoon could scratch up the fox with an accumulation of claw swipes, and it has a decent bite of its own.  Raccoons have been known to repel domestic dogs much larger than they are.  At parity I would favor the raccoon, but a fox with a 33% weight advantage would make this fight close to a 50/50.

American Badger vs Bop cat: The bobcat will weigh about 15% more than the American badger.  American badgers have flat, wide bodies and short limbs.  They are excellent diggers, and have sharp claws and strong bites.  American badgers prey upon burrowing mammals (like ground squirrels and pocket gophers), birds, and reptiles (including rattlesnakes).  They can swim and dive, and enjoy the water.  Bobcats are fast, agile cats with sharp claws on each paw.  They can be fierce fighters, and can sometimes kill animals larger than themselves.  A bobcat is capable of killing an animal like a badger, but a badger would likely drive the bobcat away in a realistic encounter.  Edge to American badger.

Canadian Lynx vs African Golden cat: These cats will weigh about the same.  Both have similar attributes (agility, speed, athleticism, jaws & claws), but the African golden cat typically takes larger prey.  The Canadian lynx primarily feeds on snowshoe hares, but is capable of taking larger prey at times.  It's large paws enable it to run across snow and help it to be a good swimmer.  The African golden cat is an extremely good climber and leaper.  Close to 50/50; slight edge to African golden cat.

Spinosaurus vs T-rex (on land): Spinosaurus out weighed Tyrannosaurus by about 20%.  Although Spinosaurus is considered to be the largest carnivorous dinosaur to walk the earth, it wasn't the most formidable of all of them.  Spinosaurus was primarily a eater of fish and shore-dwelling creatures, and its teeth were conical and sharp to grip onto struggling prey items.  It was also armed with forelimbs 2m in length equipped with hooked claws.  Tyrannosaurus was a predator of large terrestrial animals (sometimes engaging in conflicts with the formidable Triceratops) and had a fearsome set of jaws lined with dagger-like teeth (some up to 15cm in length).  The biggest factor in this battle will be the bites of the competitors.  Spinosaurus had a long, slender skull while Tyrannosuarus had a massive, robust head.  The tremendous bite force of Tyrannosaurus would give it a much more effective bite than Spinosaurus, and the Spinosaurus' claws and larger size would not have been enough to close the gap.  Spinosaurus likely ran across Carcharodontosaurus (an 8t theropod) on occasion, but likely backed down from this more powerful predator.  Tyrannosaurus wins.    

Pleistocene Cave Hyena vs African Leopard: The cave hyena will have a small weight advantage over the African leopard.  The cave hyena was durable, had a tremendous bite force, and formed clans to tackle very large prey items.  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 with great finishing ability, 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.).  Even though the leopard has more versatile weaponry (jaws and claws) than the cave hyena (jaws) and possesses greater speed and agility, it will not risk injury in a confrontation that might interfere with its ability to hunt.  The leopard will be able to win this if it fights to the bitter end, but that won't realistically happen.  Any realistic confrontation will result in the cave hyena driving the leopard away.  Edge to leopard in fight to the death; edge to cave hyena in realistic encounter.

Pleistocene Cave Hyena vs cougar: These animals will be close in weight, but the cave hyena may be heavier on average.  Cougars are athletic, agile, quick, and masters of stealth.  They can subdue prey items much larger than themselves with a neck or snout bite, and their teeth and claws make them very capable combatants.  However, as with the cave hyena vs leopard matchup, the cougar will retreat from the cave hyena in a realistic confrontation.  The cougar is equipped to win a fight to the death, but that won't realistically happen.  Edge to cougar in fight to the death; edge to cave hyena in realistic encounter.

Spotted Hyena vs Sun Bear: These animals will be close in weight.  Spotted hyenas have bone-crushing jaws & great durability.  Sun bears have sharp claws & loose skin that enables them to effectively counter-attack even when grabbed in an attacker's jaws.  Even if the hyena latched onto the bear, it would likely be in a position to inflict damage to the hyena with its claws.  A sun bear would be able to repel a spotted hyena on most occasions in a realistic confrontation, and would be slightly favored in a serious fight.  Edge to sun bear.

giant jaguar vs Bengal tiger: The giant jaguar was similar in weight to a modern-day lion, and the Bengal tiger is about 10% larger.  The giant jaguar was probably stronger pound-for-pound, but the strength would be reasonably close at absolute weights.  Jaguars have stocky builds & very strong jaws, but the Bengal tiger has longer limbs (and would likely win a "swipe war" with the jaguar).  Because the giant jaguar will have a more primary options on where to deliver its bite (skull/neck) than the tiger (neck), it will be a dangerous adversary.  The larger size of the Bengal tiger will help it in its attempt to control the positioning, and that may be key.  Close battle, probably a 50/50.

Entelodont vs Grizzly bear: The largest entelodont was Daeodon, and it weighed over twice as much as a grizzly bear.  Daeodon had dimensions similar to a wood bison, but had a head that looked somewhat like a warthog's.  As well as tusks, it had a strong bite capable of causing damage in a conflict.  Daeodon's neck muscles were very strong in order to hold up its huge head and give its jaws the power to crush through bones when it scavenged.  Grizzly bears are probably the most formidable bears pound-for-pound, as they are strong and aggressive.  They have strong jaws and powerful limbs armed with long claws.  A grizzly bear would do OK against an entelodont close to its own size, but not against a huge Daeodon.  Entelodont wins.

American Lion vs Grizzly bear: The grizzly bear will probably weigh as much as 30% more than the American lion, but the larger estimates of the cat's size make it only slightly lighter.  I consider an African lion and a grizzly bear to be a very close matchup at parity.  The American lion was built a little differently than the African lion, but they were close enough to be on par in terms of fighting ability.  Bears have the advantages of endurance, strength, & durability.  Big cats have the advantages of quickness, agility, and killing know-how.  The lion will need to use its agility to get into a good position to land a killing bite, but the bear will have the ability to fight back regardless of where the lion latches on.  It's very difficult for a bear to be overcome due to its solid build and powerful claws (it can counter-attack from most positions), and its great endurance is a huge edge in a long fight.  It's unlikely the American lion will be able to finish the bear before running out of steam itself.  Edge to the grizzly bear.

Polar bear vs Kodiak bear: These bears will weigh about the same.  The polar bear is sleeker (built for swimming), but probably is stronger pound-for-pound.  The Kodiak bear has a stockier build, and probably is stronger than the polar bear in the shoulder/neck region (and can generate stronger paw swipes).  The polar bear might have the edge in positioning if the 2 began wrestling around, but the paw swipe war would likely favor the Kodiak bear (which has long claws).  Brown bears are typically more confrontational & aggressive than polar bears, and a realistic encounter would probably end up with the Kodiak bear driving the polar bear away.  In an actual fight to the end, I would slightly favor the more robust Kodiak bear.

Similodon Gracilis vs jaguar: A jaguar will weigh at least 25% more than a Smilodon gracilis on average, and the jaguar from the Pantanal region may weigh close to 50% more.  Smilodons wrestle prey items into position to use their upper canines to penetrate a vulnerable area (usually the throat) on their victims.  Jaguars are believed to be the strongest modern cat on a pound-for-pound basis, and they have huge heads and incredible bite forces.  The jaguar kills with a spine or skull bite, and this can be a more assessable killing route than targeting the throat.  The jaguar will have the strength to control positioning once contact is made, and will have a decent chance to land a significant bite.  Edge to jaguar.

Ngandong Tiger vs Smilodon Populator: These 2 cats were likely close in size, but the Ngandong tiger may have exceeding it in size (according to some estimations).   Smilodons were stockier than tigers, and were well-practiced at wrestling adversaries into position to be fatally bitten by their long upper canines.  All tigers are quick & agile (and likely exceed the Smilodon in these categories), and commonly tackle large prey items when hunting.  The specialized weaponry of the Smilodon (its "sabers") can end the fight quickly, but gaining positioning against a potentially heavier felid like a Ngandong tiger won't be easy.  At equal weights I favor the Smilodon populator, but a battle using the top averages for the Ngandong tiger could go either way.  Depends on the actual weights.

Similodon fatalis vs Bengal tiger: These animals will be close in weight, but the Smilodon fatalis may have a slight weight advantage.  Bengal tigers are superb hunters, and can ambush and overpower prey items as large as water buffalo and gaur.  The Bengal tiger will have more speed and agility, but the greater strength of the Smilodon will serve it better once contact is made.  Both can win, but the Smilodon will have the edge.  Edge to Smilodon fatalis.

Q: Can you specify the average weights of Similodon populator, American lion and Ngandong Tiger?
A: The Smilodon populator was believed to max out at 400kg, which would make its average somewhere around 290kg.  The American lion's weight has ranged from 350kg to over 420kg (some sources say it's not as big as it once was believed to be).  Its average likely ranges 250kg (the top weight of today's African lion) to 305kg.  Weights for the Ngandong tiger have ranged from 350kg to 1/2 ton.  Its average likely ranges from 250kg to 330kg.

Q: Can you throw some light on the agility of Ngandong tiger? How fast could it run?
A: All big cats are agile, but the larger ones don't have quite the agility as ones smaller than it does.  A Siberian tiger is over twice the weight of a Sumatran tiger, as isn't quite as agile because of the greater amount of weight is has to move around.  The Ngandong tiger likely weighed between 2 1/2 and 3 times as much as a Sumatran tiger, and between 15% and 50% more than a Siberian tiger.  It was not as agile as these smaller cats, but the difference isn't profound at all.  The Ngandong tiger was probably just as agile as any other animal in its weight range, and had enough agility to accomplish its hunting and killing goals.  Having more weight means it probably didn't run as fast as smaller tigers, but I'd guess the heaviest version could probably exceed 65-70kph in short bursts.  The smaller version might be able to approach 80kg in short bursts.

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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