Interspecies Conflict/Hippo


Hello Bk its nice to be talking to you again via the internet and I hope every thing is going good with you. Okay down to business. Lets say these animals did battle with a hippo,what would there chances be of over coming it? Heres the list of animals-



















Thank you

Hello Trish.  Good to hear from you again.

Hippo vs Gorilla: A big hippopotamus can weigh 13 times as much as a gorilla.  Hippos have large stout bodies and huge jaws that can open almost 4' wide.  These jaws are armed with huge canines that are sharp-edged and forward-pointing incisors.  The hippo's canines can easily slash or puncture the body of an adversary, and their incisors can be used to thrust forward to cause serious injury as well.  Hippos are very aggressive and territorial in rivers or at the river's edge, and are considered by many to be Africa's most dangerous animal to humans.  An adult hippo can't really swim, but it can move through the water by walking or bouncing along the bottom.  They prefer water to land, as water helps buoy their tremendous weight.  A hippo on dry land isn't quite as formidable because it can't move around as comfortably, but it can attain decent speeds for short distances and make quick movements when it needs to.  Anything taking on a hippo must be careful not to be crushed by its weight or savaged by its jaws while attempting to apply any type of offense.  It's something very difficult to do.  A gorilla is an animal with impressive strength, powerful arms with grabbing hands, and sharp teeth set in jaws that can close with a lot of force.  A gorilla can be a tough opponent for many animals based on these assets, but this ape isn't accustomed to dealing with animals outside its own species.  Even when dealing with other gorillas a gorilla will usually resort to acts of intimidation or bluffing before any serious hostilities ensue.  A hippo would be entirely too large for a gorilla to deal with even if a gorilla hypothetically had the proper instincts to attack the hippo in the most effective way possible.  A gorilla can grab, pull, bite, and apply blunt force with its arms, but none of these things would make enough of an impact on a hippo to deter the larger animal from crushing the ape underfoot or mauling it in its huge jaws.  A pygmy hippo might be a decent battle for the gorilla, but not a well-armed 3-ton behemoth.  Hippo wins.  

Hippo vs Giraffe: A hippo can weigh about 50% more than a giraffe.  A giraffe is the tallest animal in the world at over 18ft in height.  A giraffe defends itself from predators with very strong kicks (especially from the back legs), and these kicks are powerful enough to kill a lion.  When giraffes battle one another, they swing their long necks into one another like clubs.  These blows can be mighty enough to cause injury, and the "horns" (called ossicones) can cause open wounds if enough force is applied.  A giraffe would be unwise to swing its neck toward a predator (and offer the attacker a vulnerable part of its body), and it probably wouldn't try it with a hippo.  A hippo is a much more aggressive animal than a giraffe, and any disagreement between the 2 would almost certainly end with the relatively docile giraffe giving the hippo a wide berth.  While a kick from the giraffe's hoof to a hippo's head could potentially injure it, a bite from the hippo's jaws could do some serious damage to the legs of the giraffe.  Any realistic encounter will lead to the hippo simply bullying the giraffe into a retreat without a real battle taking place.  Edge to hippo.

Hippo vs Rhino: There are 5 types of rhinos, and a couple of them would have trouble with a big hippo.  The Sumatran rhino will only weigh about 30% of the hippo's weight and will be too small to deal with it.  The Javan rhino will be about 2/3 of the hippo's weight, but has a relatively short horn, and will have a tough battle on its hands with the heavier animal.  The Indian rhinoceros in comparable in weight to a hippo, and although it has a short horn like the Sumatran rhino does, its greater size and higher comfort level on land will give it the edge over a hippo on land (close battle in shallow water).  The white rhino and the black rhino are both armed with 2 horns, and the one in front is noticeably long and sharp.  This horn can be used to impale an adversary, and can cause serious injury to a hippo.  The white rhino can exceed a hippo in size and weight, and a black rhino will weigh about half as much.  With their tank-like builds, armor-like hides and potent weaponry, the white and the black rhino will have the edge over the hippo.  The hippo can win, but its bite won't be quite as effective as the thrusting horns and powerful movements of the Indian, white, and black rhinos.  Hippo wins over Sumatran, probably close to a 50/50 with the Javan, loses on most occasions to the other 3.

Hippo vs Shark: There are many types of sharks, and how well a hippo will do against any of them depends on the water depth.  Hippos aren't swimmers, but most large sharks can't maneuver well in shallow water.  Sharks rely on vertical mobility to attack prey from the bottom.  A hippo will outweigh the largest predatory shark, the great white, by about 20%.  A hippo's bite can seriously injure a shark, but a shark's bite (many rows of sharp serrated teeth) can seriously injure a hippo.  In a water battle, mobility in very important.  In shallower water a hippo will likely have the advantage over any shark, but once the water gets deep enough to allow for anything close to full mobility for the shark, it will be able to apply its offense with greater ease.  This really depends on the shark used, and the water depth in which the battle takes place.

Hippo vs Lion: A hippo can weigh approximately 11 times as much as a lion.  A lion has the big cat attributes (speed, agility, athleticism, power, killing know-how, etc.) and encounters the hippo from time-to-time.  If a group of lions can attack a hippo on dry land, they have a chance to succeed.  Lions are adept at tackling large prey items in a group, and a hippo will have trouble defending itself against a pride of them without having a river to run into.  Even so, a hippo will be very dangerous, and the lions will need to be careful.  A hippo can kill a lion with a single bite, and its weight could easily crush a lion.  The thick skin of a hippo (6") makes it hard to claw and bite through, and a single lion would probably give up before making much headway.  A single lion will be quick enough to stay out of the hippo's way and possibly leap upon its back, but making a kill will not be easy at all.  A determined lion might have a small chance, but a typical encounter will end up with the hippo simply chasing the lion away before any contact is made.  Edge to hippo.

Hippo vs Tiger: A hippo can weigh approximately 10 times as much as a Bengal tiger and approximately 9 times as much as a Siberian tiger (the only 2 tigers that would have any chance at all against a hippo).  Tigers are superb hunters and are very skilled at ambushing large prey items.  A tiger typically hunts alone, and can bring down animals as large as gaur and water buffalo.  Predation of Indian rhinos has been reported as well.  A single tiger probably has the best chance out of all terrestrial predators of subduing an adult hippo, but even a battle entirely on land won't be easy at all for the cat.  While the tiger will have the ability to dodge the hippo's charges and avoid getting injured by the larger animal's tusks, it will have a limited amount of time to apply its own offense of teeth and claws before it tires or becomes disinterested.  A tiger can pull this off, but it will be a great deal of work.  Hanging onto a huge hippo that will be resisting while positioning its own body weight to keep from falling off will be an energy-sapping activity, and a killing bite won't be easy to apply on an animal with such a thick neck area.  If the tiger digs and gnaws long enough it can cause significant damage to the hippo's hide, but its unlikely to progress that far in a realistic encounter.  Although the Bengal and Siberian tiger certainly have a chance, they won't be favored, and any confrontation near the river's edge will shift things more heavily into the hippo's favor.  The only cats that have ever existed that would have a decent chance to defeat a hippo are the American lion, the Smilodon, and the Ngandong tiger.  Edge to hippo.

Hippo vs Crocodile: A hippo can weigh almost 3 times as much as the largest crocodile (the Saltwater and the Nile are the 2 largest).  Crocodiles are covered in osteoderms (bony growths) that provide protection, and have incredibly strong jaws that are lined with pointed teeth.  When these jaws seize a victim, it is almost impossible to escape.  Crocodiles kill by drowning, and can spin their bodies powerfully in water to rip off chunks of flesh from a grabbed prey item.  They have limited mobility and stamina on land, but are a force to be reckoned with in shallow or deep water.  Hippos can dominate crocodiles because they typically enjoy a massive size advantage, and their jaws are able to inflict serious damage to the reptile in a very short amount of time.  The girth of the hippo makes it hard for the crocodile to be able to open its jaws wide enough to grab onto any meaningful location on its body.  A crocodile weighing close to a hippo's weight would be a match for it in the water, but most hippos are way too large for a crocodile to deal with.  Hippo wins.

Hippo vs Jaguar: A hippo can weigh as much as 20 jaguars.  Jaguars are considered to be the strongest cat pound-for-pound, and have tremendously strong jaws that can bite through turtle shells and caiman armor.  Jaguars use their stocky, muscular builds to effectively grab and control adversaries (with the help of sharp claws), and work themselves into a position to kill with a crushing bite to the skull or spine.  A jaguar will be quick and agile enough to avoid the offense (charging, biting) of a hippo, but will have trouble avoiding trouble if it attempts to attack itself.  It's quite possible a jaguar's tremendously strong, crushing bite can penetrate some areas on the hippo's skull with enough persistence, but for a jaguar to get into a position to do that will be next to impossible while the hippo is resisting.  A jaguar is one of the most formidable combatants for its size in the animal kingdom, but a hippo is out of its league.  Hippo wins.

Hippo vs Walrus: A hippo will weigh about 50% more than a walrus.  Walruses have thick, tough hide that gives them great protection from many attacks and long tusks (around 3ft long) that can be used to stab.  If a hippo battled a walrus on land, the hippo would be able to move around much easier than the walrus could.  It could bite the walrus and probably avoid getting stabbed with its tusks most of the time.  The hippo's bite wouldn't be able to get through the hide of the walrus easily, but it could do it using the sharp-edged lower canines in its jaws.  The walrus could injury the hippo with its tusks if the hippo got into range, but the walrus would have a hard time hitting its mark without being able to move around well.  In shallow water, the walrus could move around a little better, but it wouldn't be enough to give it a good chance against the larger hippo.  In water deep enough for the walrus to swim around freely, it would gain the upper hand against the hippo.  It would be able to swim around easily and stab the hippo with its tusks.  Hippo wins on land, hippo has edge in shallow water; walrus wins in water over 5 or 6 ft deep.

Hippo vs Elephant: An African elephant can weigh twice as much as a hippo.  Elephants are the heaviest land animals, and full-grown ones are virtually immune from any kind of attack from another animal.  Elephants are immensely strong, and can be very aggressive.  They are capable of killing rhinos and hippos by using their great strength, weight, and sharp tusks.  No animal on land can defeat a full-grown elephant one-on-one, and the hippo is no exception.  The hippo's bite can injure any land animal including the elephant, but it won't be able to get close enough to get a good bite or tusk thrust in before the elephant simply plows into it and drives it away.  Even the huge prehistoric Hippopotamus gorgops and Hippopotamus antiquus would not be favored against an African elephant.  The African forest elephant and the Asian elephant would also be favored to defeat a hippo.  Elephant wins.  

Hippo vs Anaconda: A hippo can weigh 15 times as much as an anaconda.  Anacondas are powerful constrictors capable of suffocating animals twice their own size in their coils.  They aren't great face-to-face fighters on land due to poor mobility and endurance, but are formidable in the water against anything in their size range.  An anaconda can squeeze with a lot of force, but a hippo is simply too big for it to constrict.  It's possible for an anaconda to adversely affect a hippo by wrapping around its neck and squeezing tightly, but there's no reasonable way for the snake to get into that position without putting itself at grave risk.  A hippo's huge teeth can easily cause massive injuries to an anaconda.  Even the prehistoric Titanoboa (a constrictor weighing well over a ton and exceeding 40ft in length) would not be favored against a hippo.  Hippo wins.

Hippo vs Bear: Bears range in size from the 145lb sun bear to the huge polar bear and Kodiak bear which can both reach 1,500lb in weight.  A large hippo can weigh 3-4 times as the largest bear.   Kodiak bears and polar bears are powerful fighters, but don't have the size to take on a hippopotamus.  The jaws of a hippo can cause massive damage to a bear, and the bear simply won't have the lateral quickness (front-to-back; side-to-side) to get out of the way.  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 leaping ability (like a big cat) to jump on top of the hippo.  Brown bears and polar bears can usually handle most animals close to their weight range, but the larger hippo will be too formidable for it.  None of the other bears (American black, Asiatic black, spectacled, sloth, etc.) will have a chance to win at all.  The largest bear known to exist (Arctotherium) weighed well over 3,000lb, but even it would have trouble with a hippopotamus. Hippopotamus wins.

Hippo vs Gaur: A hippo can weigh over twice as much as a bull gaur.  A gaur is a powerful, muscular bovid with sharp horns and the ability to gore opponents with strong charges and thrusts.  Despite its large size, it can move around fairly well on land.  Although the gaur will be the animal with greater mobility in this battle (assuming it stays on land), its attack will need to be sustained for a longer period of time than the hippo's to inflict the same amount of damage.  A gaur can certainly injure a hippo with its horns, but the toothy assault by the hippo can potentially cause greater damage with less effort.  A gaur won't be overwhelmed every time, but it's actually too light to be favored here against one of the most aggressive & dangerous animals Africa has to offer.  A gaur will have the edge at close weights, and its chances will wane if water is involved.  Edge to hippo.

Hippo vs Bison: A hippo can weigh almost 3 times as much as a bison.  Bison are strong, stocky, and armed with thick horns that curve up from the sides of their heads.  The bison has a very robust neck and shoulder area and fights primarily by using its head as a battering ram (but will also "hook" with its horns).  A bison will have a decent mobility advantage on land, but it will need an accumulation of horn strikes to overcome the hippo.  The bison won't be able to maintain a consistent attack without eventually putting itself in range of the hippo's huge jaws, and can be bowled over if the larger animal charges onto it.  An angry, determined bison might succeed in driving a hippo away if the encounter is entirely on land (hippos are much less territorial & assertive on land), but will have too much of a size disadvantage to win if the hippo stands its ground.  I would favor a bison at close weights, but the hippo will typically have entirely too much size.  Hippo wins.

Hippo vs Squid: A hippo will weigh about 6 times as much as the largest squid known (the colossal squid).  The largest colossal squid ever measured weighed over 1/2 ton, and it's possible ones exist that exceed a ton.  Colossal squid are likely slow movers, but can quickly "wrap up" an animal that comes within range of their long tentacles (which are armed with hooks).  Sperm whales prey on prey upon colossal squid, but these cephalopods apparently put up a good struggle.  In a battle between a colossal squid and a bull hippo, there won't be a water depth the fight can take place in where both animals will be in their element.  In shallower water the hippo will be at home, and will have sufficient mobility to attack the squid with its jaws (and can kill it with a bite to the mantle).  The squid won't have much room to move in shallower water (especially up & down), and probably won't be able to get into the position it wants to wrap up the hippo before getting seriously injured itself.  The colossal squid may be able to secure its tentacles around the hippo's body (and perhaps be in a position of relative safety from a counter-attack), but the hippo will be strong enough to drag the cephalopod where it wants to go (even back onto land).  In deeper water (where the hippo's maneuverability will be limited), it won't be able to attack the squid as effectively and will be in danger of being drowned once ensnared by the squid's tentacles.  There's really not an arena where a fair fight can take place (even without considering climate).  The hippo can kill the squid much easier than the squid can kill it in shallower water, but loses that advantage in deeper water.  In shallow water (probably 6-8ft deep or less) the hippo will be favored, but in deeper water (probably anything 6-8ft deep or more) the colossal squid will be favored.   

Hippo vs Whale: There are many types of whales.  Some weigh less than a hippo, but many weigh much, much more.  A blue whale can weigh almost as much as 60 hippos.  A sperm whale can weigh over 20 times as much, and it would take about 10 dwarf sperm whales to equal the weight of a single bull hippo.  A hippo can kill a smaller whale in shallow water, but will struggle to mount any meaningful offense to any aquatic animal in deeper water.  The larger whales will be hard to injure due to their size and girth, but most larger whales won't even pay attention to the hippo.  A sperm whale can certainly injure a hippo with a solid bite or by ramming into it, but the water depth required to make that battle occur would present drowning as the hippo's biggest danger.  There's no fair arena for a hippo to battle larger whales, and the smaller whales will have greater maneuverability unless the water gets quite shallow.  This really depends on the whale used and the water depth the battle occurs in.

Hippo vs Leopard: A hippo can weigh about 30 times as much as 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 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.).  In a battle with a hippo, a leopard will have the speed and agility to avoid any of the hippo's offense, but will have no real way to apply any meaningful offense itself.  Even if the hippo stood still and allowed the leopard to attack it, the leopard would be too small to make a dent.  Leopards can kill prey items larger than themselves, but not this much larger.  Hippo wins.

Hippo vs Buffalo: The most powerful buffaloes are the water buffalo and the Cape buffalo.  A hippo can weigh almost 2 1/2 times as much as a water buffalo and 4 times as much as a Cape buffalo.  Buffaloes can be dangerous adversaries for predators due to their powerful builds, sharp horns, and sharp hooves.  Against a hippo, however, a buffalo will have problems.  A hippo's bite can cause serious injuries, and a charging hippo can easily knock a buffalo to the ground.  A buffalo will have greater lateral quickness on land, but it won't be able to mount an effective offense of repeated horn strikes without making itself vulnerable to the hippo's offense.  A buffalo would win at close weights in a land battle, but the hippo's simply to big and heavy in reality.  The prehistoric Bison latifrons (a 2-ton bovid) would have a good chance to defeat a hippo, but no current buffalo species will.  Hippo wins.

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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