Interspecies Conflict/Battles

Advertisement


Question
Hi BK, nice to meet you by the way. So here are some really cool animal fights I would like to get your opinion on and due to the number of questions you could be short if you like. So here they are.

1. Nile Crocodile vs Great White Shark
2. Leopard vs Wolverine
3. Lion vs White Rhino
4. Cape Buffalo vs Hippo
5. Gorilla vs Lion
6. Kodiak Bear vs Giraffe
7. Bengal Tiger vs Jaguar
8. White Rhino vs African Elephant
9. Hippo vs Walrus
10.Leopard vs Cougar
11.American Bison vs Cape Buffalo
12.Gorilla vs Great White Shark
13.Lion vs Bengal Tiger
14.Hippo vs Giraffe
15.Green Anaconda vs Jaguar
16.Gorilla vs Jaguar
17.American Bison vs Walrus
18.White Rhino vs Nile Crocodile
19.Lion vs Kodiak Bear
20.Bengal Tiger vs Kodiak Bear
21.Cape Buffalo vs Gaur
22.Leopard vs Spotted Hyena
23.Wolverine vs Gray Wolf
24.Black Bear vs Gorilla
25.White Rhino vs Hippo
26.Great White Shark vs Elephant Seal
27.Lion vs Hippo
28.Bengal Tiger vs Gaur
29.Nile Crocodile vs Walrus
30.Giraffe vs Green Anaconda

Thank You

Answer
Hello Carly.  Nice to meet you as well.


1. Nile Crocodile vs Great White Shark: The great white shark can be over twice as heavy as the Nile crocodile.  In open water, the shark will have greater mobility, and will have a better chance to land a bite.  The bites of each animal will do different things, and their hides are different as well.  A shark's bite is meant to slice, and a crocodile's bite is to grab and hold (they mainly kill by drowning).  The hide of the crocodile is largely covered by osteoderms (bony plates), but there are some areas on a crocodile's body that can be readily breached by the razor-sharp teeth of the shark.  Sharks have tough hide as well, and their rotund bodies will make it hard for the crocodile to hold on tight because of the wide gape that will be required.  The killing technique of the crocodile (seize & drown) won't work as well on the aquatic shark as it will on a land-based animal that can't fight effectively in the water.  The crocodile can attack a fin, and a nose bite might be effective, but the shark will have better success in a bite war.  At equal weights I would probably favor a crocodile in shallow water (because the shark often relies on vertical mobility when it attacks) and the shark in deeper water (due to better mobility).  At the given weights, the shark is simply too large.  Great white shark wins.

2. Leopard vs Wolverine: A large leopard can weigh over 4 times as much as a wolverine.  Leopards are powerful cats that often drag heavy prey items (like warthog & impala) up into trees to keep them from other predators.  A leopard's head is large, and its shoulder and neck muscles are impressively developed.  The leopard often engages in skirmishes with other dangerous animals (hyenas, baboons, African wild dogs, etc.), and can fight effectively with its sharp claws and jaws.  Wolverines are among the strongest mammals pound-for-pound, and are well-armed with strong jaws (can crunch through frozen meat and bone) and sharp claws (perfect for digging; can inflict serious wounds).  They are notoriously aggressive and combative, and have driven bears and wolves away from their kills.  A wolverine's supple body gives it the ability to fight from multiple positions, and its thick fur offers a certain degree of protection.  It can kill prey items larger than itself including large members of the deer family impeded by deep snow.  A wolverine can compete with any animal close to its weight range in a physical confrontation, but the leopard will be too large for the mustelid to overcome.  The wolverine can drive the leopard away, but the big cat will have a better chance of killing it in a serious fight than the other way around.  Leopard wins.

3. Lion vs White Rhino: A white rhinoceros usually doesn't exceed 5,000lb in weight, but a large one can reach 4 tons.  The African lion averages 400lb, but can approach 550lb on occasion.  The white rhino will measure 50% taller at the shoulder than the lion.  Lions are great fighters, and males commonly engage in fierce battles for territory and females.  Like other big cats, their speed, agility, athleticism, and weaponry (jaws and claws) make them great combatants.  The white rhino is the 2nd largest land animal after the elephant.  It has a tank-like build, very tough skin, and a set of sharp horns on its nose.  The rhino can make powerful turns and thrusts to trample or impale adversaries, and only the elephant (or another rhino) can compete with it one-on-one among land animals.  A very large pride of lions can overpower a white rhino with persistence, but it's a very risky endeavor.  A healthy adult white rhino is simply out of a solo lion's league, and no land predator in the world will be favored against one in a one-on-one battle.  White rhino wins.

4. Cape Buffalo vs Hippo: The hippo will weigh 3-4 times as much as a Cape buffalo.  Cape buffaloes have thick, curved horns that point down and then up, and the base forms a shield of bone (called a boss) to help shield the skull from injury.  Cape buffaloes are ill-tempered by nature (and can't be domesticated), as they have to deal with attacking lions, hyenas, and African wild dogs.  They have been known to kill lions in confrontations, and it usually takes multiple lions to bring one down.  Hippopotamuses have large jaws with imposing canines, and these sharp-edged teeth can cause serious wounds to any opponent.  Hippos can be very aggressive and territorial in or near water, but aren't as comfortable when completely on land.  Although they are capable of quick bursts of speed on land, they don't have the greatest mobility or stamina there.  A Cape buffalo will need to apply a prolonged attack with its horns to seriously injure the thick-skinned hippo, but the hippo can easily injure the bovid with a single bite or a strong charge.  A Cape buffalo will have a decent chance against a smaller hippo close to its own weight, but not against a 2-3 ton behemoth.  Hippo wins.  

5. Gorilla vs Lion: A male African lion can weigh about 20% more than a gorilla.  A lion has all of the typical big cat attributes & abilities (speed, agility, athleticism, explosive action, killing know-how, etc.) and is armed with powerful jaws, sharp teeth, and sharp claws.  A male lion's primary responsibility is protection of the pride, and commonly battles other male lions for territory and females.  Although the lionesses do most of the hunting, the male will join in on occasion to help overpower large prey items.  A male gorilla is charged with the defense of his troop, and will fight to the death to protect it.  Gorillas are extremely strong primates with long, powerful arms that can span 8 1/2ft.  They can bite with a lot of force and have sharp upper canines.  Gorillas occasionally cross paths with leopards (which are usually 1/3 the weight of lions), and these cats have been known to predate on them (by ambush).  Gorillas don't have experience battling animals outside their own species (and encounters with other gorillas usually don't advance past bluffing), but their physical attributes make them capable adversaries.  They usually fight by pulling and biting, and the forceful motion of their arms during a struggle can potentially be impactive.  The gorilla will likely have more brute strength than the lion on a pound-for-pound basis (and perhaps an absolute basis), but the ape won't have an effective enough means of using that advantage before the lion mauls it or uses its speed and agility to get into a favorable position and sink in a finishing bite (throat or spine).  The lion will have a better idea of what it needs to do in this fight than the gorilla will, and will dominate this encounter.  Even a lioness will be heavily favored to defeat a gorilla in a face-to-face battle.  Lion wins.

6. Kodiak Bear vs Giraffe: A bull giraffe can weigh well over twice as much as a Kodiak bear.  Giraffes are the tallest land animals, sometimes reaching over 18ft in height.  They are peaceful animals, but they are capable of defending themselves against predators (like lions and hyenas) with very strong kicks.  Even groups of lions have failed to bring down one of these giants on a hunt, and many lions have been injured by the giraffe as it defended itself.  A Kodiak bear is a very powerful animal with great endurance and durability.  It is armed with mighty jaws and huge paws (with long claws).  Kodiak bears aren't accustomed to dealing with large, mobile prey the size of a giraffe (they usually eat fish and sometimes fruit).  A giraffe's kick is strong enough to injure a bear, and the bear isn't mobile enough to avoid being a target if it gets close.  The bear's paw swipes probably won't reach any vital areas.  A direct hit on the giraffe's leg might wobble it, but the likelihood of that kind of precision is low.  I would favor a Kodiak bear against an equal-weight giraffe, but not one over twice as heavy.  Giraffe wins.

7. Bengal Tiger vs Jaguar: A Bengal tiger can weigh almost twice as much as a jaguar and stand about 40% taller at the shoulder.  Both of these cats have the typical big-cat attributes (speed, agility, athleticism, weaponry, etc.), but the much large Bengal tiger will be too formidable for any other big cat half its own size.  The jaguar's pound-for-pound strength is at the top among big cats as well as its bite force for its size (the jaguar can kill with a bite to the skull or spine), but these assets won't be enough to overcome the tiger's size.  The smaller Sumatran tiger will be a better match for a jaguar because their sizes will be similar.  Even an average-sized Bengal tiger (420-440lbs) will be favored against the largest of jaguars (350lb ones in the Pantanal region of South America).  Bengal tiger wins.

8. White Rhino vs African Elephant: An African elephant can weigh at least 50% more than a maximum-sized white rhino, and will measure about 75% taller at the shoulder.  The white rhino is a very strong animal with a tank-like build and very tough skin.  The longer of its 2 nose horns can be a devastating weapon (possibly the best weapon among land animals), and its ability to charge or thrust with great force makes it a formidable opponent.  As powerful as a white rhino is, the one land animal that can trump it is the elephant.  An elephant's size and strength will exceed the rhino's, and it can injure the smaller animal by forcefully using its weight or stabbing with its long tusks.  The more aggressive elephant will be able to drive the white rhino away with little resistance in most situations.  The white rhino will be slightly favored at parity due to having tougher hide and a more combat-effective weapon, but at typical sizes the elephant will be too big and strong.  African elephant wins.

9. Hippo vs Walrus: Hippos are usually heavier than walruses (around 50% more).  Hippopotamuses have jaws that can open almost 4ft wide, and they have large teeth that can bite & slash opponents.  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.  Hippos can't really swim, but they walk along the bottom of the river and push off on the ground to bounce up and down when they move about.  Hippo wins on land or in shallow water; walrus wins in water over 5 or 6 ft deep.

10. Leopard vs Cougar: The cougar can weigh about 15% heavier than the leopard (if we use the larger species found in Africa and the Middle East).  The cougar is taller at the shoulder, and will have a slight reach advantage in a paw-swipe exchange.  Cougars have powerful back legs that enable them to leap with amazing ease, and they are capable of killing herbivores much larger than themselves.  The leopard is stronger pound-for-pound (and drags heavy prey items up into trees), and has a larger head & neck area.  Both cats are battle-tested (cougars deal with wolves, wolverines, & bears; leopards deal with lions, hyenas, baboons, etc.).  At equal weights I favor the leopard due to it having more power in a close-quarters conflict with gripping and biting, but at max weights I give the slightest of edges to the cougar because its size advantage (about 30lb) will help "even out the playing field".  Close to 50/50; slight edge to cougar.

11. American Bison vs Cape Buffalo: The American bison will weigh about 35% more than the Cape buffalo.  The bison has a very robust neck and shoulder area (its body in front of its shoulders is close to the weight of its body behind the shoulders) and fights primarily by using its head as a battering ram.  The Cape buffalo is not as stocky, but is still a well-proportioned & powerful animal.  It is very aggressive, well-practiced in battling predators, and has horns that curve outward that it uses to gore adversaries with. At these weights the bison would dominate this encounter.  I would still favor the massive bison at parity, but only slightly so.  American bison wins.

12. Gorilla vs Great White Shark: A great white shark will weigh over 10 times as much as a large silverback gorilla (and the distance from the belly of the shark to its back not including fins will exceed the shoulder height of a gorilla on all fours).  However, location will be a bigger issue than size in this battle.  Gorillas are brutally strong mammals with long canines (2") and very strong bite forces, but they aren't practiced fighters against animals that aren't gorillas.  Great white sharks are aquatic predators with notoriously deadly bites (huge jaws filled with very sharp teeth) that can potentially cause massive avulsions in anything they attack.  Gorillas don't venture into water (they aren't swimmers), and one would be disadvantaged in a water battle.  If this fight takes place in water, the shark will simply bite the gorilla and kill it.  If this battle takes place on land, the shark won't be able to move laterally and will only have a chance if the gorilla gets near its mouth.  The gorilla won't be able to do much damage to the shark (its many scales give it a very tough skin), and the huge fish will likely expire before the gorilla can (theoretically) make a dent.  There's really no place to make this a fair fight, but the great white shark wins overall.  

13. Lion vs Bengal Tiger: A Bengal tiger will weigh about 10% more than an African lion.  These are 2 very similar creatures biologically, and there are only subtle differences between the two (the lion is slightly taller at the shoulder; the tiger is slightly longer).  The male lion is charged with the protection of the pride.  Other male lions will attempt to invade the pride to gain territory & females, and the leader of the pride must do battle to keep his throne.  As a result, male lions are constantly fighting other male lions.  Even at kills, lions will fight amongst themselves for their share of the food.  Tigers are usually solitary hunters (hunting in pairs has occurred), but males will fight over territory.  The mane of the lion is used primarily to intimidate rivals & attract females, but might also serve to soften the paw swipes of a rival male.  A male tiger is a better hunter than a male lion, but the lion will probably have the edge as a combatant.  A lion is certainly capable of defeating a heavier tiger just like a tiger is capable of defeating a heavier lion (slight edge to lion at parity), but the 10% difference should be enough to give the heavier cat the edge on most occasions.  Edge to Bengal tiger.

14. Hippo vs Giraffe: The hippo will weigh about 50% more than the giraffe, and its shoulder height will be about 1' below the giraffe's belly.  Giraffes are typically peaceful creatures, and usually attempt to run from danger.  However, when forced to defend themselves (usually from lions), they can kick strongly with their hooves (kicks from the back legs are especially powerful).  Hippopotamuses have large jaws with imposing canines, and these sharp-edged teeth can cause serious wounds to any opponent.  Hippos can be very aggressive & territorial in or near water, but aren't as comfortable when completely on land.  Although they are capable of quick bursts of speed on land, they don't have the greatest mobility or stamina there.  A giraffe is capable of seriously injuring a hippopotamus with a well-placed kick, but it will likely give way to a hippo determined to rumble.  A hippo's jaws will be a threat to the giraffe's extremities, but attempting a bite will put its head in range of the giraffe's offense.  Both can win, but the likely scenario will have the aggressive hippo bullying the more docile giraffe into a retreat (they will normally coexist peacefully, though).  A giraffe infused with unnatural ill will toward the hippo would have a good chance of repelling it with kicks, but as is it won't have that kind of determination.  Overall edge to hippo.

15. Green Anaconda vs Jaguar: The weight of an anaconda varies somewhat (usually doesn't exceed 400lbs), but it can weigh as much as 1/3 more than a jaguar.  Jaguars have better reptile-killing instincts than other big cats, and know to target the skull or spine with its powerful bite.  Anacondas are superb ambush predators, but aren't very good combatants on land against similar-sized adversaries due to poor mobility & stamina.  The jaguar will have the agility and quickness to avoid the anaconda's offense (bite & coiling attempt) on most occasions, and should be able to subdue the snake.  In shallow water, the contest gets closer.  The jaguar can still win with a well-timed pounce and attack with its jaws & claws, but it will need to be wary.  The anaconda's mobility and stamina will be much greater (in water than on land), and this will make it more difficult for the jaguar to have precision with its assault.  In addition, the anaconda will have a better chance of getting its coils around the jaguar, and it won't be an easy escape for the cat once the snake's positioning is advanced.  The jaguar's skill set will give it a decent chance to succeed in shallow water, but it won't be a guarantee against a large anaconda.  Land: Jaguar wins.  Shallow water: close to 50/50, depending on actual water depth.  Deep water: Green anaconda wins.

16. Gorilla vs Jaguar: A jaguar will weigh about 2/3rd the gorilla's weight.  Jaguars are widely considered to be the strongest cat pound-for-pound, and they have stocky bodies with short, powerful legs.  Their bite force is high enough to pierce turtle shells and caiman armor, and they typically bite through a victim's skull or spine to dispatch it.  Jaguars sometimes haul heavy prey items into trees (much like leopards do in Africa) to escape rising flood waters.  Gorillas are muscular animals with strong bites (and sharp 2" teeth), powerful forearms (spanning about 8 1/2ft), and grabbing hands.  Gorillas aren't accustomed to taking on large animals of another species, and won't have the know-how to bring their impressive physical attributes to bear in a fight with a jaguar (what they look like they can do and what they actually will do are 2 different things).  Gorillas typically resort to bluffing when hostilities arise with other gorillas, but any serious fighting involves pulling, biting, and pounding (although blows that land may be more inadvertent than precise).  If a gorilla was more experienced at fighting other types of animals, its physical attributes would certainly give it the ability to defeat a jaguar most of the time.  As is, however, that's not the case.  An angry gorilla might succeed in intimidating a jaguar into a retreat on some occasions (and perhaps most occasions), but a jaguar intent on completing a kill should be able to do so more times than not.  The jaguar's crushing bite, sharp claws, and killing experience will be enough to overcome the gorilla's size and strength.  The cat will close in on the gorilla and use its agility and quickness to find a good location to sink its teeth into.  Edge to jaguar.

17. American Bison vs Walrus: A walrus can weigh almost twice as much as an American bison.  The walrus will have limited mobility on land, and this will make it hard for it prevent the bison from ramming into it.  However, the walrus' thick layer of blubber and tough hide will enable it endure the bison's assault better than most animals would.  The walrus will have the power to knock the bison over if it pushes against it during the struggle, and this action might also be a peril to the bovid's relatively thin legs.  Although the bison will have better lateral movement, it will be vulnerable to getting impaled by the walrus' tusks at close quarters.  The walrus will need to be wary of its head receiving the brunt of the impact of the bison's offense on occasion (this will the best way for the bison to effectively injure the walrus).  Very close fight overall, but a land battle will probably favor the more mobile American bison.  Slight edge to American bison.

18. White Rhino vs Nile Crocodile: The white rhinoceros will be 2 1/2 heavier than a large Nile crocodile.  On land, the white rhino will dominate.  It can gore the crocodile with its horn and trample it.  The white rhino's tank-like body is too stout for the crocodile to clamp onto effectively, and even a bite on the leg won't keep the rhino from dragging it around.  In water, the rhinoceros will still be too large and stout for the crocodile to drown.  As long as the rhino can touch the bottom, it can overpower the crocodile at every stage of the fight.  In deep water (even though rhinos can swim) the rhino won't be able to employ its weapons to effectively attack the crocodile, and the crocodile will have superior mobility, but the crocodile will be too small to effectively kill the mammal.  Nile crocodiles have ganged up on single black rhinos at the water's edge at times, but a full-grown white rhino will be safe from crocodile predation.  White rhino wins.

19. Lion vs Kodiak Bear: A Kodiak bear can weigh almost 3 times as much as a lion.  A Kodiak bear has great strength and endurance, and can use its clawed forelimbs (to swipe or grab) effectively in a fight.  It also has a large set of powerful jaws.  Lions are among the best combatants in the big cat world (males battle other males routinely), and they can use teamwork to overpower large prey items.  A lion will have a quickness and agility advantage over a bear, but will have trouble with one the size of a Kodiak.  The large animals a lion can tackle (buffalo, zebra, etc.) can't fight the way a bear can (supple body/paw usage).  Big cats and brown bears are closely matched at similar weights, but a 550lb lion will have a steep hill to climb if faced with a 1,500lb Kodiak bear.  Kodiak bear wins.

20. Bengal Tiger vs Kodiak Bear: The Kodiak bear will weigh about 2 1/2 times the Bengal tiger's weight.  Tigers are fantastic hunters and are capable of subduing animals larger than themselves (typically herbivores) solo, but a Kodiak bear presents a greater challenge than a typical prey item because it can better defend its throat area (which the tiger will likely target).  Bengal tigers occasionally have confrontations with sloth bears and Asiatic black bears, but seldom encounter any bear much larger than themselves.  Bears are not as quick or agile as tigers, but still have the ability to counter-attack one that engages it.  The larger bear will have a hefty strength advantage, and its forelimbs can be used to dictate the positioning of the battle.  A paw swipe or well-placed bite from this bear can easily injure the tiger, and the ursid's superior endurance will give it a decisive edge in any prolonged encounter.  A tiger would have a decent chance if the weights were reasonably close, but the felid will have it's work cut out for it against a large Kodiak bear.  Kodiak bear wins.

21. Cape Buffalo vs Gaur: The gaur will weigh at least 50% more than the Cape buffalo on most occasions and stand over a foot taller at the shoulder.  Cape buffaloes are aggressive and unpredictable, and are dangerous prey items for lions (it usually takes multiple lions to bring one down and the risk to the lions is high).  Comparatively, the gaur is sometimes predated upon by the Bengal tiger, and it is one of the most dangerous prey items the tiger ever attempts to tackle.  The gaur and the Cape buffalo are both powerful and well-armed (thick horns and sharp hooves), but the gaur is much bigger, and that will make a difference in a one-on-one battle.  Among bovids, the gaur is at the top of the list among strongest combatants.  Close fight at parity.  Gaur wins.

22. Leopard vs Spotted Hyena: A maximum-sized leopard can outweigh a spotted hyena by 15-30%, but the hyena's average weight exceeds the leopard's.  This battle occurs on occasion in Africa, and one-on-one confrontations usually favor the hyena.  Leopards are solitary hunters, and they can't afford to sustain an injury that would impede their ability to capture food.  Spotted hyenas are very durable and have an impressive bite force, and these 2 assets are huge in ranking it as one of the most formidable adversaries another animal can face.  However, hyenas aren't the most agile or graceful movers Africa has to offer (they are somewhat clumsy), and their jaws are their only offensive weapon.  Leopards, like all big cats, are very agile and quick, and are well-practiced at killing other animals solo.  Not only do they have jaws, but they have claws on each paw that can be used offensively (paw swipes, back paw kicking & raking, gripping into hide to hold another animal in place).  The ability for a cat to use its paws to grab and control an opponent is huge.  If a leopard was forced to battle a spotted hyena to the finish, its abilities and weaponry would enable it to prevail more times than not.  It would definitely receive injuries in the struggle, and it would take some time to achieve victory, but the leopard would be able to secure a neck or muzzle bite to slowly suffocate the hyena while its paws held it in place.  Realistically a spotted hyena will dominate most encounters, but in a hypothetical fight to the finish between determined individuals will favor the leopard.  Conditional, but slight edge to the leopard.

23. Wolverine vs Gray Wolf: A gray wolf can weigh as much as 3 wolverines.  The wolf's only weapon is its bite, but it's a big one, and the wolf has the lateral movement to employ it effectively against the stockier mustelid.  Wolverines have sharp claws on their powerful limbs, and their jaws can crunch through frozen meat and bones.  They also have supple bodies that enable them to fight effectively from their backs.  As ferocious as the wolverine can be, it is seriously outweighed here against a very capable predatory combatant.  Wolverines are famous for driving away larger animals including wolves and black bears, but this is an example of the saying "it's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog".  In a realistic encounter, a wolverine will have a good chance of driving the wolf away.  Wolves usually deal with adversaries as a pack, and aren't as comfortable engaging in one-on-one battles.  A solo wolf can bring down a much larger cervid on occasion.  Wolverines are about as tough as they come in regards to pound-for-pound combatants, but a grey wolf can approach 60kg in weight, and wolverines rarely reach above 19kg.  Not an easy contest for the wolf, but it should have the size and bite to eventually pull this off.  Gray wolf wins.  

24. Black Bear vs Gorilla: The American black bear will weigh approximately 25% more than the gorilla.  Gorillas are very strong animals with powerful arms, grabbing hands, and dangerous bites.  However, they are normally peaceful, and aren't used to engaging animals of other species in face-to-face conflict.  This isn't to say these primates aren't capable fighters, but their lack of experience will be a detriment.  An angry gorilla beating its chest and showing its teeth is a very intimidating sight, but conflicts among them rarely get serious.  It can use its forelimbs offensively, but will primarily grab, pull, and bite.  Black bears are better armed than gorillas because of the presence of claws.  They are extremely strong (possibly stronger than the gorilla pound-for-pound), and have very good endurance.  Bears can rip open hide with paw swipes, and can use the claws (and forelimbs) to grip into an opponent's body to deliver a damaging bite.  A silverback gorilla defending his troop might easily intimidate an invading black bear into a retreat in a realistic scenario, but he will be outmatched in a serious battle.  The Asiatic black bear is smaller than an American black bear, but it will be very close to a gorilla's weight (20lb less at max weights), and will be favored as well.  Black bears are simply better equipped for battle than gorillas.  Black bear wins.

25. White Rhino vs Hippo: These animals are similar in weight, but the white rhino will be about 20% taller at the shoulder.  The white rhinoceros has tough hide and 2 nose horns (the front one reaching well over 3ft in length).  This rhinoceros is well-adapted to a terrestrial lifestyle, and has strong, sturdy legs that enable it to make powerful turns with its body when using its horn to thrust at an adversary.  The thick-skinned hippopotamus can open its jaws close to 4ft wide, and has long, lower canines used for slashing and forward-protruding lower incisors used primarily for thrusting (in conflicts).  Hippos are able to move about on land (and can move quickly in short bursts), but their legs are too small (compared to their heavy bodies) to enable them to maintain a prolonged terrestrial lifestyle.  They are well-adapted to the water where their large bodies have buoyancy.  The advantages a white rhino enjoys in this contest is a weapon (horn) that has greater reach than the hippo's weapon (jaws), and stockier legs that allow for more powerful movements on land.  In a realistic confrontation the more aggressive hippo may succeed in driving the rhinoceros away (especially near water where the hippo is territorial), but if both parties are determined to fight, the white rhinoceros is better-equipped to win.  In shallow water the contest will be closer, but as long as the water depth is not enough to greatly impede the rhino's movement, it will still be favored.  A hippopotamus will need a decent weight advantage to be favored against a white (or black) rhinoceros on land.  White rhinoceros wins.

26. Great White Shark vs Elephant Seal: The elephant seal weighs about 2/3 more than the great white shark.  The seal will have greater mobility overall, but it's bite will have minimal effect on the shark without accumulation.  The shark's bite can easily breach the hide of the seal, and at that point the mammal will be in trouble (from blood loss).  The elephant seal won't have a way to dispatch the shark before taking bites itself, and that will bring its doom.  An elephant seal can certainly drive a great white shark away in a face-to-face encounter (sharks prefer to ambush and typically avoid confrontations without doing so), but the seal won't be safe with this shark lurking about.  Great white shark wins.

27. Lion vs Hippo: A large bull hippo can weigh 10-11 times as much as a lion, and can be 25% taller at the shoulder.  African lions occasionally attack solo hippos that stray from the relative safety of the water's edge, but these massive herbivores can be very dangerous adversaries.  Although hippos are somewhat cumbersome on land in comparison to some other herbivores, they can make surprisingly quick movements when they need to.  Their jaws can open close to 4ft wide, and are armed with sharp-edged canines and forward-pointing incisors that can cause serious injuries quite easily.  Hippos can be very combative & territorial when they are in the river or at the river's edge, but aren't as comfortable when they are entirely on land.  A lion certainly has the quickness & agility to avoid the huge bite of the hippo, and should have little trouble attacking it from behind or on top (if it leaps upon it).  However, the skin of the hippo is very thick, and biting/clawing through it will be a difficult, time-consuming task.  Lions don't have great stamina, and one would likely give up before too much damage was inflicted on the hippo's body.  As long as the lion is careful, it can avoid the hippo's offense, but won't be able to overcome this huge herbivore without a level of prolonged dedication & determination that big cats simply don't have.  The lion has the tools to win in theory, but it just won't occur in a realistic situation with an animal of this size.  Hippo wins.

28. Bengal Tiger vs Gaur: The gaur can weigh 4-5 times as much as the Bengal tiger and will be close to twice its shoulder height.  Gaurs are the largest bovids on the planet, and have muscular bodies and thick, curved horns.  They cross paths with Bengal tigers from time-to-time, and occasionally fall prey to these expert hunters (usually by ambush).  A Bengal tiger is probably the most adept cat in the world when it comes to tackling larger prey items solo, and it frequently comes into conflict with a variety of formidable animals (black bears, crocodiles, wild boars, etc.).  Its speed, agility, athleticism, weaponry (jaws & claws), and finishing know-how serve it well.  Although the Bengal tiger is a superb hunter and killer, engaging in a face-to-face confrontation with a bull gaur of this size will be a tall task indeed.  No cat is better equipped to succeed here, but the bovid will be able to keep the tiger in front of it on most occasions, and any advancement by the felid will leave it vulnerable to a counter-attack from dangerous horns and hooves.  Most gaur that fall prey to a Bengal tiger are not full-grown healthy adults, and most kills are by ambush.  No bovid will lose to a felid 1/4 its own weight in a face-to-face battle without some very unusual circumstances occurring.  Gaur wins.

29. Nile Crocodile vs Walrus: The walrus will weigh over 50% more than the crocodile and in some cases over twice as much.  Walruses have thick, tough skin that is very difficult to penetrate.  Crocodile's teeth aren't meant to puncture, but to grab & hold (so the croc can kill by drowning).  A crocodile can overpower a large herbivore at the water's edge because there are many places on the victim's body for the jaws to latch onto (leg, head, etc.),  but the rotund body of the walrus will make it hard for the crocodile to open its jaws wide enough to get a decent grip.  Another point to consider is that most of the animals a Nile crocodile dominates at the water's edge aren't aquatic, and therefore out of their element.  The killing technique of a crocodile won't work as well on an aquatic animal like a walrus than it will with a terrestrial one like a zebra or a buffalo.  The crocodile could target the tail or a flipper, but this won't likely disable the larger walrus.  The walrus will have the mobility to get into position to impale the crocodile with its tusks (in the side or belly), and should be able to prevail on most occasions (in water or on land).  Walrus wins.

30. Giraffe vs Green Anaconda: A bull giraffe can weigh 10 times as much as a green anaconda, and the giraffe's height and the anaconda's length will be similar.  A giraffe is a typically peaceful animal (prefers to run from danger), but can be a dangerous foe for any attacking predators due to its extremely powerful kicks.  The green anaconda isn't a great fighter on land due to its limited stamina and mobility, but is very capable in the water.  An anaconda is a great ambush predator, and will seize potential victims in its jaws (filled with backward-pointing teeth) before pulling its coils toward the prey to begin constriction.  This huge snake can asphyxiate animals heavier than it is, but it won't have much of a chance to kill a giraffe.  A giraffe will easily be able to trample an anaconda on land, and the snake won't have the strength to effect the giraffe's movements in the water.  The anaconda is probably capable of killing a giraffe if it somehow gets its coils around its neck, but the giraffe won't realistically let that happen (assuming they could actually encounter one another).  The giraffe won't have much to worry about even if it just stands still and ignores the anaconda.  Giraffe wins.


Best regards.

Interspecies Conflict

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


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.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.