Interspecies Conflict/Pack Park


Hey BK I have some questions,

Ok, so is it possible to tame an animal like a raptor? Like the same way we did with wolves?

Some match-ups,

2 Ngandong Tigers vs Bison latifrons
Utahraptor vs 2 African Lions
Paracetherium vs T. rex
5 Deinonychus vs Arctotheium
4 Deinonychus vs 5 Gray Wolves

and hypothetically, if there was a park with a fairly nice climate, lush forests and taiga and winter biomes, about the size of the US, how would the ecosystem function with

Gray Wolves
African Lions
Pleistocene Polar Bear
Bengal Tiger
Saltwater Crocodile
Humans (Bronze Age)

African Elephant
White Rhino
Alpine Ibex
White-tailed deer

Hello Lawrence.

Q: Is it possible to tame an animal like a raptor?  Like the same way we did with wolves?
A: I don't think it can be done at the same level (as mammals), but I won't say it's entirely impossible.  Birds and reptiles can be trained to some degree.  I think any training of a dromeaosaurid would require an expert and would probably be out of a regular person's league.

2 Ngandong Tigers vs Bison latifrons: Bison latifrons (giant Ice Age bison) weighed approximately 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 times as much as a Ngandong tiger.  Bison latifrons was likely similar in build to a modern-day bison, but had longer horns, and was twice as heavy.  Ngandong tigers weighed somewhere between 350-450kg, and may have been the largest cats ever to exist.  When considering that several lions sometime fail to bring down a Cape buffalo, it's unlikely that even these giant cats would be able to tackle a bovid the size of a Bison latifrons.  While the Ngandong tiger tandem could certainly pull it off on occasion, the horns and hooves of this massive animal would deter them more often than not.  The 450kg versions of the Ngandong tiger will make it interesting, but the Bison latifrons will still be slightly favored.  This will be like 2 Sumatran tigers taking on a Cape buffalo...they can certainly succeed, but the odds will be somewhat against them.  Edge to Bison latifrons.

Utahraptor vs 2 African Lions: The Utahraptor will weigh as much as the 2 African lions combined.  The Utahraptor, when standing, will be double the lion's shoulder height.  The Utahraptor was armed with a strong bite, clawed hindlimbs that could deliver a slashing kick, and clawed forelimbs that could aid in gripping adversaries.  It was able to make quick turns and leap well.  African lions are skilled at teamwork, and have the attributes needed to be good fighters (jaws, claws, killing know-how, agility, speed, athleticism, power).  In this battle the lions will need to take the initiative and make contact with the raptor before it can deliver a kick with its claws.  A direct hit from the Utahraptor can disable one of the lions, so they will need to cling to it immediately and bring it to the ground.  Once on the ground, the Utahraptor's weaponry will be somewhat held in check, but it will still be able to bite and claw to some degree.  2 African lions can bring down a 4-legged Cape buffalo, and should be able to do the same to the 2-legged Utahraptor.  The key elements that decide this fight will occur in the first few seconds of it.  If the Utahraptor can injure one of the lions right away, it will have a good chance to repel or overcome the other one.  In most cases, however, if the lions are focused and determined, they will succeed in killing the Utahraptor.  In contrast, the 6 African lions vs 3 Utahraptors matchup ("Health Points" 5/30/15) gave the edge to the Utahraptors even though the mathematical ratios (2 vs 1) are the same in each matchup.  This is due to the level of focus the lions are likely to employ in each battle.  With only 1 target for 2 lions to focus on, the chances of success will be greater.  With 3 Utahraptors for 6 lions to focus on, there's no guarantee the lions will automatically divide into 3 groups with 2 lions assigned to each Utahraptor.  It will be more of an unorganized melee, and the chances the lions will do what they need to do (prepare a proper strategy) to win will be less.  In addition, the lions not being familiar with a Utahraptor won't mean as much with only one to focus on.  In this matchup, however, the overall edge goes to the 2 African lions.

Paraceratherium vs T. rex: Paraceratherium (also called Indricotherium) weighed anywhere from 2-3 times as much as Tyrannosaurus.  Paraceratherium may have been the largest mammal ever to walk the earth.  It could have easily peered into a 2-story window.  Paraceratherium somewhat resembled a giant okapi, but with the stockiness of a rhinoceros.  It was likely immune to predation once full-grown, and never had to deal with predators anywhere close to the size of a Tyrannosaurus.  Tyrannosaurus was a fearsome theropod with a taste for meat.  It had huge jaws armed with stout, sharp teeth and a tremendous bite force.  It preyed upon animals close to its own size on occasion, such as the 3-horned Triceratops.  Paraceratherium may have been able to charge into an attacker (using its body weight to apply concussive force) or bite, but it likely wasn't practiced at any combat outside of other Paraceratheriums.  Tyrannosaurus would have probably been able to apply damaging bites to the larger herbivore without fear of effective retaliation.  It's unlikely Paraceratherium would have been able to defend itself against a Tyrannosaurus to nearly the same degree as a ceratopsian like Triceratops would have.  This would be a predator/prey relationship.  Tyrannosaurus wins.

5 Deinonychuses vs Arctotherium: Arctotherium (South American giant short-faced bear) weighed over 20 times as much as a single Deinonychus.  The 5 Deinonychuses will have the advantage of teamwork (presumably), but both parties have good weaponry, and the bear is quite massive.  Deinonychus has a set of claws on its hindlimbs and forelimbs, a strong bite with sharp teeth, and good running and leaping ability.  Arctotherium was closest in kin to the spectacled bear among modern bears, but was twice as tall at the shoulder and close to 9 times as heavy.  Its assets in this battle will be strength, size, endurance, forelimb usage (to grab or swipe), sharp claws, and strong jaws.  The dromeaosaurids will definitely cause trouble for the bear, but the Arctotherium's ability to quickly kill any of the raptors will be key.  It will take a while for the Deinonychuses to make a serious dent, and the Arctotherium will likely have dispatched one or 2 of them in the early stages of the fight.  The theropods can certainly pull this off with a coordinated attack, but Arctotherium can fight back better than most targets the Deinonychuses are accustomed to dealing with.  Edge to Arctotherium.

4 Deinonychuses vs 5 Gray Wolves: Deinonychus weighed about 25% more than a gray wolf.  The 4 Deinonychuses will weigh about the same as the 5 wolves collectively.  Gray wolves work well together as pack when hunting and fighting, but not being able to focus on a single opponent will make this battle somewhat of a free-for-all.  A gray wolf has a strong bite and good endurance, but Deinonychus was a multi-faceted threat that likely matched the agility and lateral quickness of the canid.  Deinonychus had a strong bite of its own (jaws with sharp teeth), clawed forelimbs to grab and hang on with, and powerful hindlimbs armed with dangerous slashing claws.  Having a size and weaponry advantage on a one-on-one basis gives any of the Deinonychuses not dealing with multiple wolves a chance to make a quick kill, and give each raptor one wolf to focus on.  Edge to 4 Deinonychuses.

Park question: A lot of interactions that may occur are dependent on whether or not the habitats or each species overlap.  For example, the Pleistocene polar bear won't cross paths with the hippo due to one being in colder regions and one being in warmer regions.  If there's a chance 2 species may meet, I'll address the potential interaction.  With the amount of species here that have never interacted (with or without assuming a time for adaptation to occur is in place), there's no way to know for sure how these animals will function.  

Deinonychus: Deinonychus will be a menace to most other animals in the park, especially the young and unhealthy.  They will clash with gray wolves (and can best them one-on-one), avoid lion prides (but may threaten cubs or solo lionesses), encounter Arctotherium at kill sites with hostilities possible, avoid Bengal tigers (which can easily kill a single Deinonychus), avoid the large predator Allosaurus, and stay away from waterways and bodies of water in which saltwater crocodiles reside.  The humans will be smart enough to be a threat in a counter-attack, as they will be prepared for the approach of any Deinonychus if they are vigilant.     They will attack human settlements if they can.  They will target various prey items, including adult Dryosaurus, white-tailed deer, zebra, and elk.  Large numbers of them may take on moose if their paths cross, and may attack a hippo if it strays far from water.

Gray Wolves: Gray wolves are pack animals, and won't typically risk injury to one of its members by taking on a very dangerous adversary.  They won't likely live near lion prides, but would avoid them if contact is imminent.  May squabble over a carcass with Arctotherium, but will avoid any contact beyond harassment with this huge animal.  Will avoid the Bengal tiger unless the numbers are heavily in their favor.  A tiger will not hesitate to kill a wolf.  Allosaurus will be avoided, and the speed of the wolves will enable them to stay out of harm's way if the big theropod approaches.  Will avoid water in which saltwater crocodiles reside.  Will contact humans from time-to-time, and casualties on both sides may occur.  Will hunt white-tailed deer, possibly Alpine ibex, elk, moose, zebra, and possibly Dryosaurus.  All other adult prey items will be too large for the wolves.

African Lions: This will be one of the most dominant entities in the park due to large numbers and individual physical prowess.  Will battle Arctotherium over a kill, but may be driven away if their numbers aren't high enough.  Will fight the Bengal tiger if their paths cross, but these cats will likely carve out their own niches to allow for a certain degree of coexistence (lions on the plains; tigers in the jungle).  Will avoid the Allosaurus due to the danger involved (huge theropod with enormous bite), but may attack one if the numbers are well in the cats' favor.  Will probably attack any saltwater crocodile on land if the reptile is deemed a threat (mainly to young cubs), but will exercise caution with this very dangerous animal.  Will avoid waterways in which these crocodiles reside.  A crocodile is a formidable adversary for any big cat on land, but in the water it has a huge advantage and should be ardently avoided by the lions.  Will attack any human settlements close by, but won't seek them out at a high level as long as prey is readily available.  Will predate upon zebra, subadult hippos, any cervid they can ambush, possibly Dryosaurus, and the young of the larger animals.

Arctotherium: This huge bear (over 1500kg; 2m at the shoulder) was probably a scavenger as well as a hunter.  Would be large enough to defend itself (on most occasions) from any big cat or big cat group.  Would need to avoid Allosaurus, as it would not be large enough to fight one off or mobile enough to avoid its attack once it came close.  Would be large enough to fight off a saltwater crocodile in the water as long as the water wasn't too deep.  May come into occasional conflict with humans with both parties taking the role as hunter from time-to-time.  Will bully smaller animals from kills, and will hunt cervids, maybe zebra, and possibly Dryosaurus.  Would be a good match for a hippo, but won't likely attempt to tackle one (especially near the water).  Won't be able to overpower some of the larger prey items (elephants, rhinos, Stegosaurus, Ankylosaurus).  

Pleistocene Polar Bear: Would live in colder regions, and would only have possible contact with gray wolves in regards to competing predators.  Only a very large pack of wolves would be able to deter it from its daily routine.  It would prey upon elk and moose primarily, and would possibly catch the Alpine ibex on occasion (probably won't encounter other herbivores).  Human abodes won't likely be near, so interaction won't be common.

Bengal Tiger: Will be a very active and effective hunter.  Will avoid Allosaurus due to its size, but will be quick enough to stay out of its way.  Will be a potential threat to a saltwater crocodile on land, but will avoid any large ones or any that are in the water.  Will avoid the water's edge where any crocodile is.  Will kill humans if the opportunity exceeds the lure of whatever other prey is available.  Will hunt the young of many species, and will attack adults of a few.  The Dryosaurus, deer, elk, and zebra will be targeted if the tiger crosses their paths, and any chance encounter with the moose or ibex will result in a kill attempt as well (a large moose will have a chance to repel a tiger if the encounter is face-to-face).  A tiger may attempt an attack on a hippo if the herbivore is far from water, but it won't be worth the effort on most occasions.  The elephant, Apatosaurus, white rhino, Stegosaurus, and Ankylosaurus will be too big (or too dangerous) as adults for the tiger to routinely target as food sources.

Allosaurus: The most dominant single predator in the park.  Fearsome jaws, serrated teeth, huge appetite.  Will have no trouble from other predators on most occasions.  May bully other predators from their kills.  Can potentially kill an subadult elephant, but an adult African elephant will weigh twice as much and will have a very good chance to repel the attacking theropod.  The Apatosaurus (formerly known as Brontosaurus) will be targeted quite often, but a large one can defend itself from Allosaurus on occasion.  A large white rhino will give an Allosaurus a tough battle, and can injure the dinosaur with its horns.  Close fight at close weights.  Allosaurus preyed upon Stegosaurus, and would do so here.  Stegosaurus was armed with a 4 long spikes on its tail, and these could be swung at an enemy with great effect.  A full-grown Stegosaurus would be able to defend itself from an Allosaurus more times than not, but would need to worry when the theropod approached.  Dryosaurus and hippopotamus would be potential prey items as well.  Ankylosaurus was well armored and had a club of bone on the end of its tail that could be swung with great force.  An Allosaurus would risk broken bones in such an encounter.  Other animals could be overpowered by Allosaurus, but would be too fast for the dinosaur to catch without an ambush (deer, zebra, elk, etc.).  Humans will need to avoid it and take cover.

Saltwater Crocodile: The saltwater crocodile will be most formidable in the water, as it can snatch unsuspecting animals from the river's edge and drown them.  Its armored hide and vice-like jaws make it a tough adversary.  It will be safe from other predators on most occasions while in the water, but can be vulnerable if it ventures onto land.  It will prey upon subadult animals of some species and adults of others.  Elephants, rhinos, hippos, Apatosaurus, and Ankylosaurus are safe from the crocodile, and only the larger bears would have little to fear at the water's edge.  Any other animal can be taken (including humans).

Humans (Bronze Age): The humans would have weapons like swords, spears, axes, etc.  Will need to use their intelligence to assess the dangers and opportunities around them.  Will likely hunt cervids for food.  Will need to have areas of "safe harbor" to retreat to, as even armed humans will be vulnerable out in the open.

Herbivores: The Ankylosaurus, African elephant, and Apatosaurus will be the dominant herbivores.  Stegosaurus and the white rhinoceros will be next in line.  The hippo will rule the river's edge, but will give way to the 5 more dominant herbivores on most occasions.  Only the Allosaurus can seriously threaten these 6 herbivores (the elephant and Ankylosaurus are the safest), but a huge number of Deinonychuses can threaten almost anything.  There may be some pushing around from time-to-time with these herbivores vying for feeding areas, but most will peacefully coexist and stay clear of one another.  The moose, zebra, and elk will be common prey targets, but will be dangerous targets for some.  The antlers and hooves of the cervids can be good weapons, and a zebra's kick is very powerful and damaging.  The Alpine ibex will be safe from most predators in the mountains, but can be overpowered if caught.  The Dryosaurus doesn't have the size to be safe from predation in this park, and may need to hide from danger.  The white-tailed deer is very swift and alert, and is a difficult prey item without an ambush.  Many herbivores will have difficulty because their defenses will help against some predators, but not others.  Defending against the very large (Allosaurus, Arctotherium), the fast (lions, tigers, wolves, Deinonychuses) and the numerous (lions, wolves, Deinonychuses) is a steep challenge for any herbivore.  A zebra in Africa has a variety of predators to defend itself against (lions, crocodiles, hyenas, etc.), but the dangers it will face in this park are more diverse and harder to adapt defenses for.  Same is true for most of the other animals.  The predators will have new and unique challenges as they compete against numerous creatures with diverse abilities for food.  There is a lot of room and various types of habitats, so each animal will need to settle into the area that best suits it.

Good matchups and good park question!

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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