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Interspecies Conflict/Cape Buffalo vs Muskox


Hi again BK, who would win between a Cape Buffalo and a Muskox?

Thank You

Hello Trish.

Cape Buffalo vs Muskox: The Cape buffalo will weigh about 2/3 more than the muskox.  The Cape buffalo has a reputation of being aggressive and ill-tempered, and it is well-deserved.  It is a very dangerous prey target for a lion pride, and has killed lions on occasion.  The Cape buffalo has a thick set of horns that join at the forehead to form a bony shield (called a boss), and it can impale attackers with them.  Its hooves are dangerous as well.  In addition to lions, Cape buffaloes have to deal with spotted hyenas and Nile crocodiles on occasion.  Muskoxen usually employ the same ramming techniques as bison, but also will try to hook & toss with their horns if they can.  Herds are occasionally attacked by wolves, and will form a ring (with horns pointing outward) with the young protected in the middle.  As long as they remain in this formation, the muskoxen will usually be safe.  However, the wolves will often hang around in hopes of causing a panic in enough of the herbivores for them to break the formation, and the predators will then seek out a weak member.  Sometimes one of the muskoxen will leave the ring to charge at one of the wolves.  Muskoxen appear to be very robust & solid, but their shaggy coats exaggerate this perception somewhat (a shaved muskox wouldn't look as imposing).  In most bovid vs bovid battles, the heavier animal will win, and that is the case here.  Cape buffaloes (which can't be domesticated) are larger, stronger, meaner, and more battle-tested with a greater variety of enemies than muskoxen (which can be domesticated).  Even if the lighter muskox has a small speed advantage, the Cape buffalo will have the advantages in the areas (size, power, experience) that mean the most to the battle's outcome.  The muskox will be driven away in a realistic confrontation.  Cape buffalo wins.

Best regards.  

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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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