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Interspecies Conflict/Reptiles vs mammals etc.



I remember watching a speculative documentary (I think it was called "Chased by Dinosaurs") that said reptiles typically can survive wounds which would be fatal to mammals, for example a deep bite to the flank, is that true?

Also could you answer these match-ups?

2 Lioness vs Postosuchus

Saurophaganx vs Mapusaurus

5 adult grey wolves vs Smilodon Populator

4 Giganotosaurus vs Brachiosaurus

2 adult T.rex and one adolescent T.rex (about 1 tonne) vs 5 Allosaurus

Jaguar vs 3 hyenas

Grizzly bear vs Alioramus

3 Ngangdong tigers vs Saurosuchus

Hello Jack.

Q: I remember watching a speculative documentary (I think it was called "Chased by Dinosaurs") that said reptiles typically can survive wounds which would be fatal to mammals, for example a deep bite to the flank, is that true?
A: I believe there is some credence to that theory, but I don't think it can be made as a "blanket statement" saying that all reptiles have greater ability to survive injury than all mammals.  Generally speaking, I think that some reptiles can function and survive with wounds that some mammals wouldn't be able to function or survive with.  One example is the crocodile Gustave (an old Nile crocodile believed to measure over 6m in length and weigh over 1t) which has survived many years with multiple bullet wounds.  I imagine such injuries would be quite an impediment (perhaps fatal) to a similar-sized mammal.  Mammals sometimes don't have skin as tough as a reptile's skin (which can be a difference in durability), but more importantly a gaping wound in a warm-blooded animal will likely be more prone to rapid bleeding (which can lead to the demise of the wounded animal).  In many cases, I think this is true.

2 Lionesses vs Postosuchus: The top-weight estimation for Postosuchus is 680kg, but it may have weighed somewhat less.  A lioness can weigh as much as 181kg, but averages about 127kg.  Lionesses are great at using teamwork when tackling a large prey animal (like a zebra or a buffalo), and this will work to their favor.  The cats will have the advantages of quickness, agility, athleticism, and the technique of a finishing throat-bite, but the Postosuchus will have a larger bite and armored hide to help it out.  Two lionesses would have a hard time defeating a 680kg crocodile on land, and the 680kg Postosuchus will be able to attack and counter-attack will greater mobility than a similar-sized crocodile will.  The lionesses will be favored if the actual weight for Postosuchus is a bit less than 680kg (which is certainly a possibility), but not against a large one weighing almost 4 times as much as each of them.  Slight edge to Postosuchus.

Saurophaganax vs Mapusaurus: Saurophaganax (which some believe to be an Allosaurus maximus or a variation of it) and Mapusaurus have similar weaponry (large jaws with bladelike teeth for slicing) and the ability to hunt large sauropod dinosaurs (Mapusaurus may have hunted in groups).  Here is an answer I gave for this matchup almost 2 years ago:

"Saurophaganax vs. Mapusaurus: Not a lot is known about Saurophaganax, but it was probably close to the weight of Mapusaurus.  Many estimations place Saurophaganax as being heavier than Mapusaurus, and some assign Mapusaurus as the heavier dinosaur.  With both having fearsome jaws & teeth and formidable predatory capabilities, the heavier theropod will likely be the winner."

Most of my recent sources actually assign a higher weight to Mapusaurus, and there's not enough difference in these 2 dinosaurs (currently known) to consider a factor other than weight if the difference is indeed that great.  Edge to Mapusaurus.  

5 adult grey wolves vs Smilodon Populator: The Smilodon populator will weigh almost 7 times as much as each grey wolf.  Grey wolves work very well together when hunting or fighting.  5 adult grey wolves will be capable of bringing down a large elk or a moose, but a Smilodon populator will pose a significant challenge to the canids.  Although the grey wolves will have better stamina and solid lateral quickness, the reaction time of the Smilodon (and its ability to swipe powerfully with sharp claws) will put any approaching wolf in serious danger.  The Smilodon probably won't use its bite (with long upper canines) in this fight, and it really won't need to.  The 5 grey wolves won't realistically approach such a huge, dangerous felid in a realistic situation.  A Smilodon populator can easily kill a single grey wolf in seconds, and the canids won't take such a risk.  Even a smaller Smilodon fatalis will likely be too formidable for 5 grey wolves.  Smilodon populator wins.

4 Giganotosauruses vs Brachiosaurus: Brachiosaurus likely weighed 5-6 times as much as a single Giganotosaurus.  Giganotosaurus was even larger than the fearsome Tyrannosaurus, and had huge jaws armed with serrated triangle-shaped teeth that reached 20cm in length.  It often preyed upon large sauropods.  Brachiosaurus, for a time, was considered to be largest land animal ever.  Discoveries of larger sauropods have moved it down the list, but it is still a huge animal.  If the Giganotosaurus quartet work together and avoid the tail and great weight of the Brachiosaurus, they can eventually land enough bites to bring the herbivore down.  If there's no water nearby for the Brachiosaurus to retreat to, it may be in trouble here.  The skull of Giganotosaurus was enormous, and this carnivore would be able to remove a large enough chunk with each bite to adversely effect the Brachiosaurus.  The Brachiosaurus can certainly survive this encounter, but in most cases it will be lunch for the theropods.  Edge to 4 Giganotosauruses.

2 adult T.rex and one adolescent T.rex (about 1 tonne) vs 5 Allosauruses: The combined weight of each side will be close.  An adult Tyrannosaurus will weigh about 2 1/2 times as much as a large Allosaurus.  The adolescent Tyrannosaurus will likely be too young to be a factor in this battle.  While it is plausible that the 5 Allosaurus will work in unison, they will need to land an accumulation of bites to the Tyrannosauruses to slow them down.  A single bite from one of the elephant-sized Tyrannosauruses will potential cripple an Allosaurus, and the smaller theropods won't be able to easily prevent this from happening.  The Allosaurus' bite is designed to slash (bladelike teeth), and the Tyrannosaurus' bite is designed to crush (stout, deep-rooted teeth) and remove large chunks of flesh).  The number advantage by the Allosauruses will quickly dwindle soon after the onset of this battle.  The Allosauruses can win, but they won't be favored.  Edge to Tyrannosaurus trio.

Jaguar vs 3 hyenas: The jaguar will weigh close to twice as much as a single spotted hyena.  Jaguars are among the strongest cats pound-for-pound, and have jaws strong enough to crush turtle shells.  Spotted hyenas are very durable, have good endurance, and can crush bone with their jaws.  A jaguar can easily kill a single hyena, but will have trouble focusing on one target while being attacked from all sides.  Hyenas work well as a team, and will have a good chance of wearing the jaguar down (which has less stamina than the hyenas do).  Even though the jaguar will have better quickness, agility, and weaponry (jaws and claws), it will have trouble dealing with a trio of hyenas that are practiced at dealing with lions.  3 striped or brown hyenas probably won't be favored against a large jaguar, but 3 spotted hyenas can give a lioness (which is larger than a jaguar) a decent run for her money.  Close fight, but edge to 3 spotted hyenas.

Grizzly bear vs Alioramus: This depends on the size of Alioramus.  It was a tyrannosaurid and may have been similar in many ways to a Tyrannosaurus or Tarbosaurus, but it was considerably smaller.  Without complete fossils or the age of the individuals the fossils belonged to, it's not easy to determine an exact weight for Alioramus.  If it was as robust as a Tyrannosaurus and using an approximate hip height of almost 2m, it may have weighed somewhere in the 650-750kg range.  However, if it was more slender for its size, it may only weigh somewhere in the 500kg range.  Either way, it probably weighed more than a large grizzly bear (usual max is 450kg; average around 315kg depending on region).  Here is an answer from a few months ago that includes the most formidable bear pound-for-pound (the grizzly) and one of the most formidable theropods pound-for-pound (the Tyrannosaurus) in a battle at equal weights:

"T.rex vs Grizzly Bear:  A grizzly bear weighing the same as a Tyrannosaurus-rex will have a shoulder height about 55% the height of the dinosaur (if the dino stands upright).  The grizzly's ability (or inability) to avoid the huge bite of the T-rex will be key in this battle.  The grizzly bear is probably the most formidable bear pound-for-pound, but the Tyrannosaurus is perhaps among the most formidable of the theropods.  The grizzly bear will have endurance and paw usage as its chief assets, and it has the strength to wrestle the Tyrannosaurus to the ground in a close-quarters engagement.  However, the bear's lateral quickness won't be great enough to consistently avoid the damaging bite of the dinosaur.  Both can win here, but it seems the Tyrannosaurus has better means of causing greater injury early on than the grizzly bear does.  If the bear can force the dinosaur to the ground before receiving a damaging bite, it will have a decent chance.  Close to 50/50."

The Alioramus might not be as formidable pound-for-pound as a Tyrannosaurus (and because of this I lean toward the grizzly at close weights), but it may have a decent weight advantage over the grizzly bear (and because of this I lean toward the Alioramus at absolute weights).  Without knowing more about Alioramus (only a skull and some skeleton parts of undetermined age have been found), it's hard to say how much of a weight advantage the theropod will need to defeat a grizzly bear.  If we use the top-end estimate for the weight of Alioramus and a very large grizzly bear from the coastal area of Alaska, it's probably a 50/50 affair.   

3 Ngangdong tigers vs Saurosuchus: The Saurosuchus likely weighed over twice as much as each Ngandong tiger (the estimated maximum weight for the Ngandong tiger varies from 350-450kg) and possibly close to 3 times as much.  The Ngandong tiger was probably the largest cat to ever exist, and it had the same attributes and abilities (agility, athleticism, speed, jaws & claws, killing know-how) as modern-day tigers.  Saurosuchus was armed with strong jaws and sharp teeth, and its body what protected to a degree with armor-like hide.  With 3 attacking tigers dividing the Saurosuchus' focus, the Saurosuchus will have trouble landing a solid bite on animals with such quick reflexes.  The tigers should be able to tire the Saurosuchus out and eventually get into position to apply an effective finishing bite.  Bengal tigers usually hunt solo, but hunting in pairs has occurred.  Assuming the 3 Ngandong tigers work in one accord (which would not be far-fetched), they should succeed in a kill more times than not.  Only a very large version of Saurosuchus would have a chance to fend off 3 of these huge striped predators.  Edge to 3 Ngandong tigers.

Very interesting matchups!

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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