Interspecies Conflict/2 part faceoffs

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Question
Hello BK! Here are some faceoffs in my mind. I hope you like them.

1.   Snow Leopard vs Spotted Hyena
2.   Ratel vs Eurasian Lynx
3.   Wolverine vs Eurasian lynx
4.   Siberian Tiger vs Asiatic Black bear
5.   Warthog vs Jaguar
6.   Sun bear vs Gorilla
7.   Chacma baboon vs Gray Wolf
8.   Sun bear vs Leopard
9.   Puma vs Silverback Gorilla
10.   Chimpanzee vs Spotted Hyena
11.   Main event: Chacma Baboon vs Snow Leopard
Aquatic face-offs:
1.   Shortfin Mako vs Bottlenose Dolphin
2.   Pacific Giant Octopus vs Giant otter
3.   Goonch Catfish vs Pacific Giant Octopus
4.   Giant otter vs Goonch catfish
5.   Tiger shark vs American Alligator
6.   American Alligator vs Leopard Seal
7.   Great White shark vs Pilot Whale
8.   Southern Elephant Seal vs Great White Shark
9.   Saltwater croc vs Leopard Seal
10.   Mososaur vs Dunkleostus
11.   Deinosuchus vs Dunkelostes
12.   Main event: Giant Squid vs Leopard Seal

Thanks

Answer
Hello Jem.


1. Snow Leopard vs Spotted Hyena: This is a close fight.  It's basically durability, endurance, and a bone-crushing bite (hyena) vs quickness, agility, and sharp teeth and claws (snow leopard).  The snow leopard will use his superior mobility and speed to gain favorable positioning on the clumsier hyena, but the cat's jaws and claws may take time to make a serious dent.  The snow leopard's best chance is to quickly secure a throat bite and hang on tight, but the threat of the hyena's jaws will make it difficult for the feline.  If the battle lasts more than a few minutes, the hyena will gain the advantage (the cat will tire).  However, snow leopards are superb hunters and know how to quickly dispatch animals much heavier than themselves.  The snow leopard's speed, agility, and athleticism will be superior to the spotted hyena's, and the cat's presence of claws will be a big advantage as well.  Hyenas are more comfortable hunting and fighting with help from other members of the clan.  It depends on how you judge a fight; in a realistic encounter the spotted hyena will dominate, but in an encounter where the snow leopard must fight to survive, it will have the edge.  Close battle; depends on how you look at it.

2. Ratel vs Eurasian Lynx: 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.        

3. Wolverine vs Eurasian lynx: The Eurasian lynx will weigh close to twice as much as the wolverine.  Wolverines are among the strongest mammals pound-for-pound, and have jaws capable of crunching through frozen meat & bone.  Wolverines also have stocky limbs with sharp claws & thick fur that can help buffer against a lynx's attack.  Lynxes are quick & agile, but will have a hard time clawing & biting effectively against the robust wolverine while dealing with the mustelid's attack.  The size advantage of the Eurasian lynx will enable it to control positioning well enough to land a few good bites, but it will likely tire before it can finish the mustelid off.  The larger lynx will get the better of the encounter in the early going, but the wolverine will fight strongly enough to eventually drive the lynx away.  Probably 50/50; depends on how you look at it.

4. Siberian Tiger vs Asiatic Black bear: The Siberian tiger will weigh about 50% more than the Asiatic black bear.  The Siberian tiger will be faster and have greater agility, but the Asiatic black bear will have greater endurance.  Siberian tigers occasionally rumble with brown bears, but Asiatic black bears sometimes defend themselves from Bengal tigers.  The tiger is a practiced predator that is accustomed to bringing down large animals (mainly deer and wild boar), but the black bear primary eats fruit, nuts, vegetation, and insects.  An Asiatic black bear would probably be able to repel a Sumatran tiger, but not a Siberian tiger.  The tiger will seize the bear, control positioning, and apply a neck bite.  It's not out of the question that the bear will succeed in driving away a large tiger on occasion, but a Siberian tiger determined to finish this fight will likely succeed.  Siberian tiger wins.  

5. 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.

6. Sun bear vs Gorilla: The gorilla will weigh at least 3 times as much as the sun bear.  The sun bear is the smallest bear, but its claws can exceed 3" in length.  It has loose skin with short, dense hair.  The sun bear rarely attacks anything without being threatened, but can be a ferocious fighter (strong jaws and sharp claws) when defending itself.  Its loose skin enables it to turn around and attack anything that grabs onto it.  A gorilla is brutally strong, and has grabbing hands and long, powerful arms that can span 2.5m.  The gorilla's bite force is high, and its 5cm canines can cause serious injuries to an adversary.  A gorilla doesn't have experience battling other animals outside its own species, and it usually tries to intimidate rivals into retreating before anything gets physical.  A gorilla will fight by pulling and biting, and the movement of its arms can apply force as well.  A sun bear is a tough fighter, but the gorilla is too big here for the ursid to overcome.  Bears trump apes at close weights, but no bear can deal with an ape 3 times its own weight.  Gorilla wins.

7. Chacma baboon vs Gray Wolf: A large gray wolf can weigh close to 45% more than a big chacma baboon (and almost twice as heavy as a typical one).  The gray wolf has endurance, a big bite, and predatory know-how on its side.  The chacma baboon has mobility, arms to grab with, and a dangerous bite with long upper canines (almost 2" long).  The wolf (if it attacks) will try to grab the neck of the baboon and subdue it, and the baboon will try to dodge the wolf's attack (using its good mobility and grabbing hands) and land some bites of its own.  Even leopards avoid large baboons, and for good reason.  Good fight, but the wolf has a good size advantage, and the baboon will have trouble dealing with the jaws of a determined wolf.  This is a dangerous fight for the wolf (and if gray wolves lived in the same habitat as chacma baboons the wolf would learn to avoid the baboon without help from its pack), and it will have injuries even if it prevails.  Close battle overall, but in a fight to the end, the edge goes to the gray wolf.  

8. Sun bear vs Leopard: The leopard will weigh almost 40% more than the sun bear.  The sun bear is the smallest bear, but its claws can exceed 3" in length.  It has loose skin with short, dense hair.  The sun bear rarely attacks anything without being threatened, but can be a ferocious fighter (strong jaws and sharp claws) when defending itself.  Its loose skin enables it to turn around and attack anything that grabs onto it.  The leopard is considered by many to be the 2nd strongest of the big cats (after the jaguar) pound-for-pound.  It has a very muscular neck and shoulder area, and can haul heavy prey items up into trees.  Being a solitary hunter, the leopard must be careful when engaging other dangerous animals because an injury might impede its ability to hunt effectively.  The leopard occasionally has hostile interactions with hyenas and baboons, and often tackles dangerous prey items (wildebeest, warthog) that exceed its own weight.  Its strong jaws, sharp teeth, and sharp claws make good hunting tools and formidable weapons, and its agility, quickness, and athleticism serve it well in any encounter.  A sun bear putting up staunch resistance will likely cause the leopard to flee, but a serious battle will slightly favor the larger cat.  Edge to leopard.   

9. Puma vs Silverback Gorilla: The gorilla will be about twice the puma's weight.  The puma will have some advantages in this fight, including agility, athleticism, quickness, use of paws & claws, and killing experience.  A puma can kill prey items much larger than itself by ambushing and dispatching them with a bite to the neck or snout (to induce suffocation).  However, this is face-to-face, and a gorilla will offer a different type of defense than a typical prey item a puma may target.  A silverback gorilla is a large male (usually about 12 years of age) that is charged with the protection of the troop.  A gorilla is brutally strong, and has grabbing hands and long, powerful arms than can help dictate the positioning of the battle or deliver blows to the felid's body.  The bite of the gorilla is dangerous as well (long canines, strong bite force).  The claws of the puma can certainly cause significant damage to the gorilla's hide, but the overall offense of the much larger ape will usually be enough to deter the cat more times than not.  Edge to silverback gorilla.

10. Chimpanzee vs Spotted Hyena: These animals will be close in weight, but a female spotted hyena will typically have a 20% weight advantage.  Chimpanzees usually don't engage other animals without help from their troop, and don't have experience "finishing" another animal solo.  A chimpanzee will probably have the strength and assets (grabbing hands & bite) to compete, but a spotted hyena will be too formidable.  The spotted hyena is rugged and battle-tested (engages in conflicts with lions, leopards, African wild dogs, etc.), and its crushing bite will be perilous for the ape.  The chimpanzee might succeed in repelling a spotted hyena (with an aggressive display) in a realistic encounter, but in an actual serious battle the hyena will be too durable and dangerous for the chimp to deal with.  The spotted hyena is capable of bringing down prey items larger than a chimpanzee solo, and it's offense and defense will be more effective than the ape's.  Edge spotted hyena.

11. Main event: Chacma Baboon vs Snow Leopard: A snow leopard can weigh about 75-80% more than a chacma baboon.  Snow leopards usually reach 55kg, but can max out at 75kg on rare occasions.  Chacma baboons usually reach 31kg, but can max out at 41kg.  Snow leopards have the attributes shared by other big cats (agility, quickness, killing know-how), and have strong jaws and sharp claws (to hold/swipe with).  They can overcome prey items 3 times their own weight.  Chacma baboons have good mobility, grabbing hands, and sharp upper canines that can cause serious injuries to an adversary in a short amount of time.  Baboons often deal with African leopards (and have injured them), but sometimes fall victim to predation by these cats.  This is a dangerous fight for the snow leopard (and it will avoid the baboon in a realistic situation like African leopards often do), and it will likely get driven away, but in a serious battle it should be able to use it forelimbs quickly enough to control the baboon's movements and finish with a throat bite.  Edge to snow leopard.


Aquatic face-offs:

1. Shortfin Mako vs Bottlenose Dolphin: On average, a common bottlenose dolphin is heavier than a shortfin mako shark, but their maximum sizes can be close to the same.  A shortfin mako is a very fast fish that can leap high out of the water and fight strongly when caught by a fisherman.  It sometimes preys upon dolphins, and does this by ambushing them and attacking the fins.  A bottlenose dolphin is very maneuverable in the water, and it fights by biting, striking with its tail, and ramming with its nose.  A bottlenose dolphin should be able to prevail in a face-to-face confrontation with a shortfin mako shark based on its greater size and better mobility, but the shark will have the upper hand if it uses ambush to get the first strike in.  Shortfin makos sometimes predate upon swordfish (a very dangerous prey item), and a dolphin probably won't offer a greater challenge than that.  Close to 50/50; depends on the weights.

2. Pacific Giant Octopus vs Giant otter: The giant Pacific octopus can weigh almost twice as much as a giant otter in extreme cases, but most of the time their weights will be closer.  The giant Pacific octopus has 8 tentacles to grab with and a hard beak to bite with.  They usually feed upon crustaceans and fish, and are strong and intelligent.  The giant otter has a great deal of maneuverability in the water, and its powerful bite can be damaging (very sharp teeth).  The giant octopus has the strength to hold and drown a giant otter if it can seize it securely, but the agility and quickness of the mammal in the water will make this a difficult task.  The giant otter should be elusive enough in its movements to land effective bites over time without becoming trapped, and probably has a better chance to prevail than the other way around.  Edge to giant otter.

3. Goonch Catfish vs Pacific Giant Octopus: The goonch catfish (Bagarius yarrelli) weighs about 1/3 more than a very large giant Pacific octopus.  The goonch catfish (also called the giant devil catfish) is a predator with a wide mouth and sharp teeth.  Its bite can certainly kill the octopus, but the tentacles of the octopus can wrap around the fish with greater ease than with the otter in the previous matchup.  Although a stalemate might occur, the octopus should be able to hold the catfish in place where it can't counter-attack.  A kill probably won't occur, but slight edge to the giant Pacific octopus.

4. Giant otter vs Goonch catfish: The goonch catfish weighs about 2-3 times as much as the giant otter.  The giant otter has a great deal of maneuverability in the water, and its powerful bite can be damaging (very sharp teeth).  The goonch catfish is a predator with a wide mouth and sharp teeth.  It can probably kill the otter with a solid bite, but probably won't be able to catch the mammal without an ambush (and catfish have poor vision).  The giant otter can possibly win with a very determined and prolonged attack of multiple bites, but staying close to the catfish while attempting this can be perilous if the fish manages to get a quick bite in.  It's a close battle depending on how it plays out, but I can see the giant otter annoying the catfish enough to send it away more so than the catfish fatally wounding the otter.  The catfish probably has a better chance of prevailing in a fight to the death, but I don't see it going that far.  Stalemate likely, but overall edge to giant otter (and its ability to play "keep away") if a winner must be assigned.

5. Tiger shark vs American Alligator: The tiger shark can weigh around 40% more than an American alligator.  The tiger shark will have better mobility in open water, and its bite (jaws filled with sharp slicing teeth) will be more damaging than the alligator's bite (which is made to grip, not tear).  The alligator's hide is tougher than the shark's, but there are some areas on the reptile's body that will be vulnerable to the fish's bite.  An alligator's attack is effective against a terrestrial animal that is pulled into the water, but the tiger shark will be at home in the water and won't be easy to drown.  Only in shallow water where the shark's mobility will be limited will the alligator have much of a chance.  Even if the alligator secures a decent bite on the body of the shark, it won't be able to advance its attack with much effect.  Tiger shark wins.  

6. American Alligator vs Leopard Seal: These animals will be close in weight.  The American alligator will have a couple of advantages over the leopard seal (bigger bite & armored hide), but will be a lot less maneuverable than the agile pinniped (mobility is a huge factor in most aquatic battles).  Leopard seals have decent bites and large teeth (up to 2.5cm), but many bites will be needed to wear the alligator down.  The alligator's bite won't necessarily dispatch the leopard seal with one chomp (because of its robust build), but the bigger issue will be the difficulty the reptile will face trying to catch the quicker mammal.  The alligator can make quick lunges (propelled by its powerful tail), but its jaws will need to latch onto the skull or a flipper to have great effect.  An alligator's attack is effective against a terrestrial animal that is pulled into the water, but a leopard seal is at home in the water.  The seal will be too agile on most occasions to be caught, and even though it will take an accumulation of bites, the leopard seal should eventually get the upper hand.  There may not be a kill, but the alligator may tire and move on.  Edge to leopard seal.

7. Great White shark vs Pilot Whale: These 2 will be reasonably close in weight.  The short-finned pilot whale weighs a little bit less than the great white shark; the long-finned pilot whale weighs a little more.  Great white sharks are ambush predators that avoid face-to-face skirmishes with dangerous animals, but their bite (huge jaws with many rows of very sharp teeth) is one of the most potent weapons in the entire animal kingdom.  Pilot whales usually feed on cephalopods, and males will battle one another during mating season.  They fight by ramming and biting, and many have scars from these battles.  The maneuverability of the pilot whale is likely a notch above the shark's, and the mammal can probably drive the fish away in a face-to-face battle.  The great white shark will likely need an ambush to get the upper hand with a pilot whale.  Edge to pilot whale.

8. Southern Elephant Seal vs Great White Shark: The Southern 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.

9. Saltwater croc vs Leopard Seal: A saltwater crocodile can weigh 2 to almost 3 times as much as a leopard seal.  A saltwater crocodile is a huge reptile with armor-like hide and tremendously strong jaws.  It will attack animals at the water's edge, but will also attack aquatic animals.  A leopard seal is a feared predator for many creatures (chiefly penguins) off the coast of Antarctica, and its teeth can measure 2.5cm long.  It has great mobility in the water.  A leopard seal can potentially injure a crocodile twice its own weight with an accumulation of bites, but keeping up such an attack can put it in danger of the crocodile's jaws (although its mobility won't be nearly as good as the seal's, it can make quick turns with its head).  Many areas of the crocodile's hide will be too tough for the leopard seal to breach, but some areas may be vulnerable.  The leopard seal's maneuverability will be its best asset, and the crocodile's jaws and armor will be its best assets.  Although a stalemate may occur (neither animal being able to complete a kill), the leopard seal should have the edge in deep water, and the crocodile will probably gain the advantage in shallow water.  A maximum-sized saltwater crocodile (close to 3 times the seal's weight) will probably be favored in any location due to its ability to end the fight quickly if it can clamp its jaws onto the seal at some point.  Close battle; depends on the size of the competitors.   

10. Mosasaur vs Dunkleosteus: The largest mosasaur (Mosasaurus) weighed over 3 times as much as Dunkleosteus and may have measured 60% longer from nose-to-tail.  Mosasaurus had 4 flippers and a rudder-like tail that enabled it to move through the water with great agility, and had strong jaws armed with sharp teeth.  The Dunkleosteus (giant armored fish) was armored on the front half of its body, and had extremely strong jaws that could crush anything that got between them.  Even though Dunkleosteus' mighty jaws were more powerful than the Mosasaurus' (mosasaurs usually didn't target large prey, but could crush the shells of large sea turtles), its mobility was somewhat inferior (which is key in many sea battles).  Greater size and mobility will be the best assets for the Mosasaurus, and it should be quick enough to avoid the steel-trap jaws of the Dunkleosteus while attacking the fish's posterior end.  Mosasaur wins.

11. Deinosuchus vs Dunkelosteus: Deinosuchus weighed over twice as much as Dunkleosteus (giant armored fish).  Deinosuchus was an alligator-like creature that was twice as long as a saltwater crocodile and over 8 times as heavy.  It had powerful jaws for gripping prey (to drown), and was covered in osteoderms (bony growths).  The Dunkleosteus (giant armored fish) was armored on the front half of its body, and had extremely strong jaws that could crush anything that got between them.  The bite of a crocodilian doesn't have as profound an effect against a large aquatic animal as it does a large land animal being pulled into a river, but the reptile grabbing the posterior end of Dunkleosteus would likely turn the tide in this battle.  Although the armored hide of Deinosuchus won't be tough enough to keep Dunkleosteus's jaws from eventually slicing through, the mobility of these combatants will be close enough to make it difficult for the fish to dispatch the reptile in this manner.  Edge to Deinosuchus.  

12. Main event: Giant Squid vs Leopard Seal: These animals can be close in weight, but on some occasions the seal will have a bit of a weight advantage.  The giant squid has eight arms like an octopus and 2 longer tentacles that make up about 1/2 of its body length.  These appendages are covered in suckers, and circular scars on the hides of sperm whales indicate that battles occur between the cephalopod and the whale on occasion (although this is considered to be a predator/prey relationship).  A leopard seal is a feared predator for many creatures (chiefly penguins) off the coast of Antarctica, and its teeth can measure 2.5cm long.  It has great mobility in the water.  The leopard seal's mobility will give it the means to avoid being grabbed by the giant squid while inflicting bites on the cephalopod's body, but if the squid can move quickly enough in a short burst to seize the seal, the mammal will be in trouble.  The leopard seal should be strong enough to prevail if it has a weight advantage, but at close weights the outcome won't be so cut-and dry.  No one has really seen a giant squid in action against another large animal like the leopard seal, so there's a lot of unknown here.  It depends on the weights, and it's probably close to 50/50.  If I had to choose one side based on what is known, I'd give the slight edge to the heavier leopard seal.


Some excellent, challenging matchups in this group!


Best regards.

Interspecies Conflict

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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.

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