Interspecies Conflict/Matchups

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Question
Hi BK, here are more animal fights I've come up with.

1. Giant Forest Hog vs Jaguar

2. Zebra vs Wildebeest

3. Gorilla vs Orangutan

4. Nile Crocodile vs Jaguar

5. Leopard vs American Alligator

6. Horse Fly vs Dragon Fly

7. Wild boar vs Black bear

8. Bacterian Camel vs American Alligator

9. Gaur vs Kodiak bear

Thanks

Answer
Hello Gian.  Good to hear from you.


1. Giant Forest Hog vs Jaguar: The giant forest hog will weigh about double the jaguar's weight. Giant forest hogs can be very dangerous (sharp tusks, good lateral quickness), and have tough hides that afford them protection from many attacks.  Jaguars are among the strongest cats pound-for-pound, and have vice-like jaws capable of crushing turtle shells (and puncturing skulls).  This adaptation gives the jaguar a unique weapon in its arsenal.  The big cat's short, stocky build is perfect for engaging and controlling low-to-the-ground adversaries, and it will need to use its paws to grip onto the forest hog's front half to neutralize the slashing tusks of the suid.  As the smaller peccary (a wild boar-like animal) can give a jaguar fits, the felid will need to be extremely careful with a suid larger than itself.  A jaguar would probably avoid a giant forest hog in a normal encounter (and seek easier prey), and would have trouble gaining control of one due to the weight difference.  Like other big cats, the jaguar's stamina is limited when it engages in a tough struggle, so it will have a small amount of time in which to acquire a favorable "killing bite" position.  Jaguars prey on tapirs (which can exceed the weight of a giant forest hog), but these animals aren't as formidable as a forest hog would be.  The jaguar is capable of winning here (and would probably be favored at parity), but it's giving up too much size to do so consistently.  A giant forest hog would be a dangerous adversary for an African lion (which is much larger than the jaguar).  Giant forest hog wins.   

2. Zebra vs Wildebeest: A large zebra can weigh 50% more than a wildebeest.  A zebra is a very strong animal that primarily defends itself with mighty kicks with its rear hooves.  It will not hesitate to bite, and males occasionally battle one another.  Wildebeests are sturdy antelopes with ox-like horns approaching 2 1/2ft in length.  Like the zebra, they commonly deal with predators like lions, leopards, hyenas, African hunting dogs, and Nile crocodiles.  Wildebeests primarily use their horns to defend themselves, but their hooves can be potentially dangerous as well.  A zebra doesn't have an easy way to deflect the horns of a charging wildebeest, but its ability to turn rapidly can help it to avoid this attack.  Zebra are probably more aggressive than wildebeest, and most of them have a large weight advantage.  A couple of solid kicks by the zebra will likely be enough to end any hypothetical dispute between the 2 herbivores (they will actually get along).  The larger zebra wins.  

3. Gorilla vs Orangutan: A gorilla can weigh over twice as much as an orangutan.  A large silverback gorilla can reach 460lb in weight in the wild and boast an arm span of 8.5ft (one foot longer than the orangutan's arm span).  A gorilla's bite force is quite high, and its sharp 2" canines can cause serious wounds to an adversary.  The primarily arboreal orangutan has every bit of the gorilla's strength on a pound-for-pound basis, and it is the 2nd largest ape in the world, but it is a lot smaller than the gorilla.  Neither of these apes is experienced at combat with another type of animal, but their relatively similar anatomies will give each one a certain degree of familiarity with one another.  The orangutan's mobility on the ground is poor (its arms are twice as long as its legs), and it won't be able to withstand the "grab & bite" attack from an angry gorilla.  The orangutan will likely flee into the trees upon spotting the gorilla if it perceives the other animal as a threat.  Gorilla wins.

4. Nile Crocodile vs Jaguar: A large Nile crocodile can weigh about 6 times as much as a jaguar.  Nile crocodiles commonly grab large animals from the water's edge and drag them underwater to drown.  Their jaws are tremendously strong, and very few animals can escape once seized by them.  The crocodile is protected by an armor-like hide, and although it is more comfortable in the water than on land, it is a tough opponent for most animals on land until it tires out.  The jaguar is a powerful predator that commonly preys upon caiman, and it usually kills them with a crushing bite to the skull.  This spotted cat is quick and agile, and its claws can help it to grip and slash effectively.  Even though a jaguar is the expert among big cats in killing crocodilians, the Nile crocodile is larger than any reptile this felid encounters in its natural habitat.  A jaguar will have a small chance to make a kill on land if it can deftly avoid the crocodile's jaws and fatigue it enough to leap upon it and land a precise killing bite, but in most cases the larger animal will be to formidable to overpower.  Even though a jaguar is fairly comfortable in the water and occasionally attacks prey there, the level of the Nile crocodile's fighting prowess will improve dramatically in shallow or deep water.  Nile crocodile wins.  

5. Leopard vs American Alligator: An American alligator can weigh 4-5 times as much as a leopard.  A leopard is a strong animal (most believe it to be the 2nd strongest big cat pound-for-pound), and it demonstrates this strength by hauling large prey items (impala, warthog, etc.) into trees for safe consumption.  The leopard's head, neck, and forequarters are very muscular, and it is agile and athletic.  The American alligator is well-armored and has steel-trap jaws, but it is limited in mobility and stamina when on dry land.  A leopard isn't as experienced in dealing with crocodilians as the jaguar or Bengal tiger, and it's giving up a lot of size and strength here.  Although this spotted cat will have an outside chance to prevail on land with the right strategy, it won't be favored.  If the leopard is seized by the alligator's jaws at any time in the battle, it will be in big trouble.  The alligator has the edge on land, and will probably dominate in the water.  American alligator wins.

6. Horse-fly vs Dragonfly: A dragonfly has a longer, more slender body than a horse-fly, and its wingspan is greater (up to 3 times) as well.  A horse-fly is not as maneuverable in the air as the swift dragonfly (which can easily dart in all directions, including backwards).  Dragonflies are active predators of other insects, but a horse-fly usually feeds on the blood of large mammals.  If the best representation of each insect is used (and considering that mobility is important in air battles), I'd favor the dragonfly.  Edge to dragonfly.

7. Wild Boar vs Black Bear: An American black bear can weigh 1/3 more than a wild boar, and an Asiatic black bear will weigh about the same as a wild boar.  A wild boar has one major offensive weapon (sharp tusks), but its tough hide and good lateral quickness make it a worthy opponent for anything that chooses to rumble with it.  Black bears have typical ursid attributes (strength, endurance, durability, jaws & claws), but aren't as formidable as brown bears are.  American black bears primary eat vegetation, fish, insects, and fruit, but will occasionally predate upon small-to-medium sized animals.  They aren't practiced at dealing with animals in their size range, but will have the ability put up a fierce fight in a confrontation with one.  Asiatic black bears sometimes encounter tigers and leopards, so they have a decent degree of combat experience.  They also eat a lot of fruit and insects, but will also predate upon large animals (including wild boar).  The bear's forelimbs (and body weight) will need to be used to control the anterior portion of the wild boar's body to keep the tusks at bay, and it will need to bite and claw effectively to overcome the suid.  In a realistic encounter the wild boar will probably drive either black bear away, but in a serious battle the ursid will have its chances.  An American black bear will have enough of a weight advantage to be favored against the boar, and the Asiatic black bear will probably be an even fight for it.  Overall edge to black bear.

8. Bactrian Camel vs American Alligator: A Bactrian camel can weigh twice as much as an American alligator.  Bactrian camels are massive, 2-humped animals with shaggy coats.  They are strong and durable.  Camels can kick and bite, and battles between males sometimes occur.  An American alligator has powerful jaws and armor-like hide, but it isn't as effective as a combatant on land as it is in the water.  A well-placed kick from a Bactrian camel can injure an alligator, but an alligator seizing a 1-ton animal in its jaws without the benefit of water won't be able to advance its attack beyond that.  The camel will be too heavy, and a stalemate will likely ensue.  Even in shallow water the smaller alligator won't have the power to easily manipulate the huge body of the camel, and the mammal will probably prevail in the power struggle.  I would favor the alligator in deep water, but not in shallow water and definitely not on land.  Bactrian camel wins.

9. Gaur vs Kodiak bear: A gaur can weigh anywhere from 50% more to double a Kodiak bear's weight, and measure close to 40% taller at the shoulder.  The gaur is the world's largest bovid, and it is armed with thick, curved horns and dangerous hooves.  It is powerful and muscular, and is one of the most formidable prey items for the Bengal tiger.  The Kodiak bear has great strength and endurance, and is armed with mighty jaws and huge paws (with 4" claws).  Kodiak bears aren't practiced at taking on large animals that aren't other Kodiak bears, and one won't have the lateral quickness to get out of the way of a charging gaur.  A parity fight would be interesting, but a Kodiak bear's grabbing, biting, and swiping won't have much effect on an attacking bovid weighing well over a ton.  Gaur wins.


Best regards.

Interspecies Conflict

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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.

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