You are here:

Interspecies Conflict/Interspecies conflict


Hello again BK, let's go!

1. Silverback Gorilla vs Male Leopard

2. Puma vs Wild boar

3. Olive Baboon vs Bully Kutta

4. Ratel vs Komodo Dragon

5. Dunkeostus vs Killer whale

6. Eurasian Lynx vs Ratel

7. Warthog vs Jaguar

8. Gull Terr vs Central Asian Ovtcharka

9. Main event: Marsupial Lion vs Hyenodon

Hello Jem.

1. Silverback Gorilla vs Male Leopard: A large tom leopard (maximum 90kg) will weigh less than half the weight of a silverback gorilla (maximum 208kg if overweight zoo-fed specimens aren't considered).  Leopards have successfully ambushed sleeping gorillas by quickly getting into a good position to land a killing bite, but a face-to-face encounter would be a different scenario.  Leopards have many advantages over a gorilla in terms of combat (agility, quickness, sharp claws, killing experience), and are strong felines pound-for-pound, but one will not have as much absolute strength as a silverback gorilla over twice its size.  Leopards occasionally battle hyenas and baboons (and must be careful with these foes), and hunt dangerous animals like warthogs and wildebeest.  Silverback gorillas are male gorillas (usually about 12 years old) that are charged with the protection of the troop.  They will chase intruding gorillas away, and will fight to the death if necessary.  Gorillas have long, powerful arms that can be used to grab, pull, or apply blunt force.  They also have a dangerous bite (2" canines; high bite force).  The gorilla will have enough mobility to continue turning toward the leopard to face it on most occasions, and the leopard won't have the desire to tackle the ape head-on when giving up this much size.  A gorilla isn't used to taking on other large animals of another species in combat, but the size & strength advantage it has over the leopard here will give it the edge in this contest (and the ape will chase the cat away in a realistic encounter).  The leopard will need to get into that "killing bite" position to finish this fight, and that will be difficult to do with a large gorilla that's aware of its presence.  Edge to the silverback gorilla.

2. Puma vs Wild boar: A wild boar can weigh twice as much as a puma, and some may weigh even more.  A puma is a very athletic cat that is skilled at stealth and ambush.  Its speed, agility, weaponry (jaws and claws), and killing experience will help it in any conflict.  A puma can bring down animals much larger than itself (like elk) by using ambush, but a face-to-face battle can be a challenge if the opponent is larger and well-armed.  A wild boar has very tough hide that gives it protection against predators (and rival boars) and sharp tusks to slash with, so it's no pushover for anything coming against it.  The puma will need to avoid the offense of the reasonably nimble suid and attempt to latch onto it in such a way to impede its movements.  The wild boar will be heavier and somewhat stronger than the puma, and the cat will have difficulty holding it in place in a struggle (and this will make applying a throat bite very problematic).  A puma can succeed in an ambush, but its chances won't be good.  The puma might be favored at close weights, but not against a wild boar double its weight.  Wild boar wins.  

3. Olive Baboon vs Bully Kutta: A Bully Kutta can weigh well over twice as much as an olive baboon.  The olive baboon is a robust monkey that can weigh over 37kg.  It is a solid leaper, has good mobility, and the use of grabbing hands.  An olive baboon has sharp upper canines (up to 5cm in length) that can cause deep wounds to an adversary.  Most animals that regularly interact with baboons (chimpanzees, leopards, hyenas, cheetahs, etc.) give them plenty of respect because they know what their bites can do.  Bully Kuttas are powerful and intelligent, have thick bones and wide jaws, and have loose, tough skin.  They are very agile for their size (and their movements have been compared to a tiger or a lion), and are naturally dog-aggressive.  Bully Kuttas have been used in the past (and in the present) for hunting, guarding, and fighting.  The Bully Kutta, if trained, will attack quite readily whether it's aware of the potential danger or not.  Although it will be almost impossible for the dog to avoid getting bit (perhaps several times), its large powerful jaws will be able to do a great deal of damage to the smaller baboon's body once they firmly latch on.  Even though the Bully Kutta can potentially be mortally wounded by the olive baboon (even leopards can be killed by injuries inflicted by a large baboon), its size and strength advantage will be enough to favor it here.  A large Bully Kutta can weigh 77kg (and on occasion much more), and the baboon's weaponry won't make up for the difference in weight.  Edge to Bully Kutta.

4. Ratel vs Komodo Dragon: A Komodo dragon can weigh over 70kg; sometimes up to 90kg or more, which is several times heavier than a ratel (usually peaks at around 16kg).  Ratels (honey badgers) are usually bold and aggressive even if faced with a larger opponent.  They have strong jaws and sharp claws (perfect for digging), and their thick skin is extremely hard to penetrate.  Ratels often invade beehives for honey, and their hide largely protects them from the stings.  Their ferocity, durability, and stamina make them tough adversaries for anything in their weight range and often much higher.  The Komodo dragon is the world's largest lizard, some measuring over 10ft in length.  They have armor-like hides due to the presence of many small osteoderms (not as tough as a crocodile's hide, but still tough), huge claws, a whip-like tail, and a set of very sharp teeth (some measuring 2.5cm in length).  It was once believed that the Komodo dragon's bite was effective in killing its prey based on the presence of deadly bacteria, but it is now known that this bite can produce a toxin that can induce shock.  The ratel is quite practiced at taking out large reptiles (including pythons and venomous snakes), but the Komodo dragon will offer some challenges for it.  While the ratel will have the edge in mobility, its reaction time will not be as quick as, let's say, a big cat's, and avoiding the reptile's bite while trying to mount its own offense will be difficult.  While both animals have tough hides, the Komodo dragon's teeth will probably be able to penetrate the ratel's hide (in the face or limb area) more readily than the other way around.  Komodo dragons aren't particularly great fighters, but they can defend themselves adequately, and the weight and strength difference in this battle is far too great to favor the ratel.  I won't completely count the ratel out, but more times than not it won't get the better of this situation.  Edge to Komodo dragon.  

5. Dunkleosteus vs Killer whale: The killer whale (orca) will weigh anywhere from 50% to twice as much as Dunkleosteus (but they are about the same length).  Dunkleosteus (giant armored fish) was covered in armored plating on the anterior portion of its body, and had incredibly strong jaws that could crush anything that got between them.  Killer whales are intelligent mammals with pointed teeth (up to 10cm in length) in their top and bottom jaws, and these teeth are designed to grip and tear.  They usually hunt (and strategize) in a pack.  A bite from Dunkleosteus would be devastating to a killer whale, but the orca is a faster, more maneuverable animal.  Dunkleosteus would not be fast enough (on every occasion) to land a good bite on the killer whale or prevent it from attacking the unprotected posterior portion of its body.  It's doubtful, however, that a killer whale would attempt to attack an animal as formidable as Dunkleosteus with help from other members of its pack.  Edge to killer whale.

6. Eurasian Lynx vs Ratel: A large Eurasian lynx (40kg) can weigh over twice as much as a ratel (honey badger), but most Eurasian lynxes don't exceed 30kg.  The Eurasian lynx looks like a large bobcat with longer limbs and bigger paws.  It is an excellent tree climber, and will swim if it has to.  The Eurasian lynx hunts hares, rodents, deer, foxes, birds, and even wild pigs (among other things).  It occasionally crosses paths with wolverines and wolves, and escape into a tree is sometimes the best option.  Ratels are often referred to as "the world's most fearless creature", and their tendency to stand and fight with larger animals helps to solidify this reputation.  A ratel's very tough hide, strong bite, sharp claws, and aggression make it a formidable opponent.  The lynx will have a decent size, agility, and speed advantage over the ratel, but its durability and stamina won't match up.  The lynx will probably be driven away unless a solid ambush is implemented, and even then the lynx's method of killing (grip with claws; bite at neck and throat) won't always be successful considering the thickness of the ratel's skin around its neck.  The lynx will control most of the positioning and is certainly capable of killing the ratel if it is determined to do so, but realistically the cat won't make the effort once it begins dealing with the fierce resistance of the mustelid.  A stalemate will likely occur, but the lynx will have the upper hand in most phases of the fight before it breaks away and moves on.  Edge to Eurasian lynx.        

7. Warthog vs Jaguar: These 2 animals will be close in weight.  Jaguars have the assets most big cats share (quickness, agility, jaws & claws, finishing know-how), and are widely considered to be the strongest felid pound-for-pound.  Jaguars also have a unique killing method (crushing the skull or spine with their vice-like jaws) that serves them well, and their stocky, muscular builds enable them to excel against most low-to-the-ground adversaries.  Warthogs are nimble animals with long, curved tusks used to defend themselves.  They can seriously injure an attacker (even a lioness) with a slash of these tusks, and it will be important for the jaguar to gain control of the warthog's front end with its front paws to avoid this.  The jaguar will need to be cautious, but it has the weaponry and know-how to succeed here on most occasions.  A jaguar will likely be driven away in a realistic encounter (which, depending on how you look at it, would technically grant the warthog the victory), but the big cat should prevail if determined to battle to the end.  While there are times a jaguar can subdue prey larger than itself (like a tapir, for example), there are times when a smaller prey target (like a peccary) can drive the predator away.  Edge to jaguar.

8. Gull Terr vs Central Asian Ovtcharka: According to "Dog Bible: The Definitive Source for All Things Dog" by Kim Campbell Thornton, Audrey Pavia, Kathy Salzberg and others (edited by Kristin Mehus-Poe), the Central Asian Shepherd Dog (or Central Asian Ovtcharka/Ovcharka) can weigh up to 150lb (68kg).  This is about 50% more than the weight of a large Gull Terr (45kg is a typical max).  As you shared with me in the past, there are a few types of Gull Terrs (differences in weight; ear shape), and they share the same attributes (agility, quickness, intensity) that help make them very skillful combatants.  Central Asian Ovcharkas are furry dogs with great physical strength, and they have been used as livestock guardians (defending against wolves and bears).  They can be dog aggressive.  A battle between these dogs will be competitive.  The Gull Terr will be quicker and more agile, but the Central Asian Ovtcharka will be stronger and have a bigger bite.  Endurance will likely be close, as both dogs excel in that category.  At parity the Gull Terr will have the edge, but a close-quarters "battle of the bites" between opponents of reasonably close skill will favor the larger, stronger animal more times than not.  Slight edge to the Central Asian Ovtcharka.

9. Main event: Marsupial Lion vs Hyaenodon: Hyaenodon gigas weighed about 3 times as much as the marsupial lion.  The marsupial lion was a very stocky animal with strong limbs, muscular neck area, and a very formidable bite.  Its bite force was very impressive, and its teeth were designed to remove large chunks of flesh.  The marsupial lion was adept at killing prey items much larger than itself.  Hyaenodon gigas was the largest of the Hyaenodons, weighing as much as 500kg.  It had a very long skull with large jaws.  Hyaenodon's teeth were designed to crush and shear.  Although its carnassial teeth were far back in its mouth, its jaw length and gape made it possible to use these teeth effectively.  It's believed that while the smaller types of Hyaenodons hunted in packs, the larger ones probably hunted alone.  Although the marsupial lion would be favored at parity, it's giving up a lot of weight here.  The marsupial lion does have claws and the ability to grapple with an opponent, but the Hyaenodon's only offensive weapon (jaws) is a big one.  The marsupial lion will have a hard time neutralizing these jaws throughout the duration of this fight, and a single bite from the jaws of a Hyaenodon weighing 3 times as much will be potentially devastating.  This battle will be somewhat similar to a clouded leopard taking on a spotted hyena (considering size comparison and approximate fighting ability).  Edge to Hyaenodon.    

Best regards.

Interspecies Conflict

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




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.

©2016 All rights reserved.