Interspecies Conflict/Series of randoms

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Question
Hello I always have a very small window of opportunity so I'll get straight to the point.

1. Lets say all the herbivorous life was eliminated from Africa leaving only the predators. would they take to preying on one another for survival. how do you picture it?

2. Lets say Neanderthals never went extinct and survived to our modern world among modern people. Would they adapt to our style of living the same way we did? Would they go to school, get jobs, Marry and have children. Basically all that modern stuff we as a society have come to expect?

3. Is Megalodon the single most formidable animal that ever lived? Seriously I can not find a good one on one opponent. I mean I know a pod of Orca's large enough can take one out but that's not one on one. I mean a one on one matchup between single combatants. And weather on land or aquatic Megalodon seems to reign supreme among all existing wildlife. Do you know of any single animal that could be a close matchup?

4. Have you heard of the hypothetical Bloop creature? I know it was really just an ice quake but let's say an animal like that really lived and was a predator. How would it fair in our oceans and what would it feed on based on the sketches of said creature?

5. And finally Anancus vs. Therizinosaurus

Hope I stayed within your fields.

Answer
Hello Max.


Q: Lets say all the herbivorous life was eliminated from Africa leaving only the predators. would they take to preying on one another for survival. how do you picture it?
A: Most of the predators would be in big trouble because anything suitable to eat would be scarce.  The rare occasions a lion pride captured another predator (crocodile, hyenas, etc.) would not provide all of them with enough meat, and nursing cubs would suffer.  Hyenas would be in decent shape for a while due to their numbers (most numerous large predator in Africa)and ability to hunt and scavenge.  Baboons (if they remain due to being predatory at times) will be targeted prey items by large predators, but climbing trees will help them tremendously.  Cheetahs will be forced to hunt jackals and other small predators, and they won't get enough food most of the time.  Leopards are adaptable, but not having access to meaty herbivores will cause them (and other predators) to slowly diminish.  The lions will be able to kill any predator they come across, but they will eventually starve due to their large appetites that won't be satisfied.  Crocodiles can go a long time without food, but most other predators will know to avoid them, and these reptiles may eventually starve unless they discover a reliable food source.  Wild dogs may be able to overpower a solitary hyena, leopard, or cheetah, but catching one won't be easy.  It's really hard to predict exactly what will happen, but predators generally don't do well in an ecosystem when herbivores are removed.  Hyenas will probably outlast all others, but they will eventually perish as well.   

Q: Lets say Neanderthals never went extinct and survived to our modern world among modern people. Would they adapt to our style of living the same way we did? Would they go to school, get jobs, Marry and have children. Basically all that modern stuff we as a society have come to expect?
A: It's hard to guess, but I think they'd probably lack the intelligence or intellect (at least initially) to excel in school or in the work force the same way modern people do if they hadn't evolved past the point we last knew of them.  They would possibly elect to stick with what they know - hunting and living off the land.  The brain of the Neanderthal was comparable in size to that of the human today, so it's certainly possible for Neanderthals to have eventually adopted many of our ways and customs.  If they had never died out, they would have likely evolved past their known levels of intelligent and intellect and been able to adapt better (to some degree) in our world if they chose to do so.  Many people today (some in remote areas) live off the land and do just fine.  Placing anyone in a foreign land or a foreign time will require adaptation to achieve productivity.  It's debatable whether or not Neanderthals were part of an evolutionary chain that eventually led to modern humans or simply "ran their course" before the establishment of Homo Sapiens.  There is no evidence that Neanderthals and humans ever met (or engaged in conflict), but many believe there may have been a 10,000-year overlap.  Neanderthals were very adaptable (made tools and weapons, cooked meat, successfully hunted, etc.), and evidence of them burying their own is one possible indication that their assimilation into a modern world wouldn't be so far-fetched.  Not really sure about this one, but that's my thoughts on it.  

Q: Is Megalodon the single most formidable animal that ever lived? Seriously I can not find a good one on one opponent. I mean I know a pod of Orca's large enough can take one out but that's not one on one. I mean a one on one matchup between single combatants. And weather on land or aquatic Megalodon seems to reign supreme among all existing wildlife. Do you know of any single animal that could be a close matchup?
A: Megalodon, by many accounts, was over 15m in length and weighed around 50 tons.  Some sources assign even larger dimensions for this giant shark.  I would rank it at the top, but there are a few creatures that may have been able to give it a run for its money.  Livyatan melvillei was a huge toothed whale that may have exceeded the modern-day sperm whale in size.  It had huge teeth (over 25cm in length) on the upper and lower jaw, and was probably a fearsome predator.  Livyatan is probably the closest competitor that can be found for a Megalodon, but Megalodon would be favored to win.  The modern-day sperm whale is the closest creature alive in regards to competition for the giant shark, but even it falls short.  There were many huge pliosaurs that terrorized the prehistoric seas, but the estimates of their sizes and weights have steadily decreased as time has passed.  Some sources stated that Liopleurodon reached 25m in length, and current estimations are less than half of that.  A 25m long Liopleurodon would have been more than a match for a Megalodon, but it's doubtful any pliosaurs came close to such incredible dimensions.  The largest pliosaurs may have been Pliosaurus funkei and Pliosaurus macromerus, and estimations for their lengths generally do not exceed 13m or so.  They probably only weighed half of what Megalodon did, and would not have been favored in a battle with one at those sizes.  There were some other formidable creatures in the prehistoric oceans (Carcharocles Chubutensis, Basilosaurus, various mosasaurs, Dunkleosteus, etc.), but none I would favor to defeat a Megalodon.   

Q: Have you heard of the hypothetical Bloop creature? I know it was really just an ice quake but let's say an animal like that really lived and was a predator. How would it fair in our oceans and what would it feed on based on the sketches of said creature?
A: I haven't heard of the Bloop creature.  I researched it a bit to learn what I could, and the original theory that stated it may have been a creature estimated the size of it to be many times greater than the size of a blue whale.  An aquatic predator larger than a blue whale would likely do whatever it wanted and eat whatever it wanted.  Even if it was a plankton-feeder like some large whales or the whale shark, its size would make it immune to attack from any other sea creature.  Even a Megalodon would probably ignore it.

Anancus vs. Therizinosaurus: Anancus weighed 2/3 more than Therizinosaurus (some estimations of Therizinosaurus' weight place it close to the weight of Anancus).  Anancus resembled a modern elephant in build (and almost in weight), but its tusks pointed straight forward and approached 4m in length.  Therizinosaurus was armed with meter-long claws on its front limbs, but they may have been used to intimidate enemies (like the predatory Tarbosaurus) as opposed to being effective "slashing" weapons.  Anancus would have a reach advantage in a fight with its long tusks being able to impale Therizinosaurus before the dinosaur could reach the mammal with its claws.  The long tusks of Anancus might have been somewhat awkward to use, but the mammal would have been able to use its body weight offensively against an opponent if it needed to.  Edge to Anancus.


Interesting questions!


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.

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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.

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Associate degree in unrelated field; biology classes in college.

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