Top 10 SAVAGE Animal Rivalries
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Michael Wynands.
In the animal world, there are animal enemy pairs – predator and prey. Between the Polar Bear versus the Walrus, the Crocodile versus the Anaconda and the Elephant versus the Rhinoceros, we'd like to steer clear of these animals and their enemies. WatchMojo counts down ten natural enemies in the animal kingdom that will rip each other apart if given the chance.
Special thanks to our user Director22 for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at http://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%2010%20SAVAGE%20Animal%20Rivalries
Script written by Michael Wynands.
Top 10 Most SAVAGE Animal Rivalries
Forget about fighting like “cats and dogs”... in the wild world of the animal kingdom, beefs between different species get WAY more vicious. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down the Top 10 Savage Animal Rivalries.
For this list, we’re looking at animal species that, from a human perspective at least, appear to have a seriously dysfunctional relationship with one another. We’re taking into account the degree to which these animal pairings share environments, compete over food resources and, of course, the severity of their physical altercations. The competition is fierce and the stakes are high. All’s fair in love, war… and the animal kingdom.
#10: Crocodile vs. Anaconda
What happens when you take two of the largest reptiles in the world and place them in the same habitat to compete for prey? You get one vicious, cold-blooded feud. This particular bout exemplifies the relative advantages and weaknesses of each creature. The crocodile has one of the strongest bite forces in the world. One well-placed chomp and even the largest snake is in trouble. But the anaconda, with its bone-crushing ability to constrict, can literally squeeze the life out of the competition. YouTube has made this rivalry extremely popular, but the creatures featured in many videos are in fact alligators and other types of snakes, like pythons. So let’s drop the semantics… when serpents and “crocodilia” tango… things get messy.
#9: Honey Bee vs. Asian Giant Hornet
Sure, a battle between giant reptiles sounds like a big-ticket event... but the rivalry between Asian Honey bees and Asian Giant Hornets is some real nuanced “Art Of War”-level stuff. These giant hornets are nearly two inches in length and boast a quarter inch stinger. They steal the young larvae of honeybees to feed to their own offspring. Dark, right? An invading hornet’s hard outer shell is impenetrable to bee-stings, making it a juggernaut of carnage - beheading honey bees as it tears through the hive. It’s a real David and Goliath dynamic. But when you can’t stab ‘em… cook ‘em. In a fascinating move, Japanese honeybees have learned to band together to engulf the hornet and vibrate so furiously that they literally cook it alive.
#8: Elephant vs. Rhinoceros
They’re big, they’re grey, and they know how to throw their weight around. We’re talking about elephants AND rhinos. These two creatures share an environment, and for the most part, it’s a peaceful co-existence. But if either feels threatened, they can react defensively, with extreme aggression - especially when young ones are around. But the biggest factor? Hormones. When male elephants enter their “musth period”, their testosterone can reach up to 60 times the normal level. They go into hormonal berserker rage. Male elephants are likely to attack anything during this time… but rhinos are just about the only species that’ll fight back. In 2000, a wayward pack of adolescent male elephants killed an estimated 36 rhinos.
#7: Killer Whale vs. Great White Shark
The next stop on our savage animal rivalry world tour? The deep blue sea. The great white shark is considered an apex predator, the top of its food chain. They’ve been known to attack not only humans, but boats too! By contrast, we generally think of whales as peaceful giants, and for the most part, they are. But the killer whale, made famous by SeaWorld and the “Free Willy” film franchise, has more than earned its lethal name. Killer Whales are ruthlessly efficient when hunting seals and penguins, and they aren’t afraid to challenge the king of the ocean either. In fact, orcas are the only natural predators of great white sharks. Competition over prey (or a chance encounter) can be enough to trigger a deadly contest for oceanic supremacy.
#6: Polar Bear vs. Walrus
Speaking of apex predators… the polar bear is a pretty serious hunter. The most carnivorous of all bear species, its prey primarily consists of seals. But like any great hunter, the polar bear sometimes finds itself tempted by big game… and in the arctic, there’s no prey more massive than the walrus. Only the largest polar bears will target walruses, and such attacks are on the young or injured. But an attack on calves often attracts the attention of a bull, resulting in an epic clash of claws and tusks. Adult male walruses weigh up to 4,400 lbs, more than double the average polar bear. Either the bear kills the walrus or it backs down, often having suffered life-threatening stab wounds.
#5: Mongoose vs. Cobra
Alright, anaconda vs. crocodile is anyone’s fight. But surely when put up against a fuzzy, warm-blooded mammal, a cobra will win every time? Apparently not. The mongoose may only be one to two feet in length, but it is fierce, agile, smart and unlikely to back down. According to one Greek historian, they were even known to steal crocodile eggs. Cobras, on the other hand, are extremely venomous snakes, which, up against any other mammal that size, would consider their opponent an easy meal. But the mongoose has an ace up its furry sleeve - a resistance to snake venom. It’s prey vs. predator, and while it can go either way, the odds generally favor the mongoose.
#4: Hippopotamus vs. Crocodile
Crocodiles… do they get along with anyone? When not fighting anacondas, crocodiles are known to trade blows with their fellow river-dweller, the hippopotamus. And while these large herbivores may look exceedingly lazy, content to spend their days bathing, they can be downright vicious when need be. They might give off a goofy, approachable vibe, but attempting to hug a hippo is extremely ill-advised. Hippo calves are a tempting snack to large predators, which include lions, hyenas, and of course crocodiles… but the ferocity and aggression of hippo bulls make them a risky target. In fact, crocodiles are often viciously “relocated” or even killed by these giant vegetarians, simply for getting too close. That classic hippo yawn? A sign of aggression.
#3: Lion vs. Hyena
So how do the other African predators keep busy while the hippos and crocs are duking it out? Working out a rivalry of their very own, of course. As “The Lion King” taught us, unless the lion in question is a power-hungry conniving outcast, with a penchant for fratricide, lions and hyenas DON’T get along. Since the dawn of time, hyenas have been competing with the king of the jungle for prey. Both are known to steal from one another, going so far as to target each other’s young. While lions are bigger and stronger, hyena packs bring strength in numbers, with overwhelming results. Competition over food can lead to full blown royal rumbles between hyenas and a lion pride.
#2: Dolphin vs. Shark
Few animals inspire fear like sharks. Sure, their aggression has been exaggerated in popular media, but they really do attack. By contrast, dolphins are treated like the jesters of the sea – harmless, friendly frolicking clowns. Well, it turns out that they aren’t so innocent either. Dolphins have historically saved humans from sharks, but they’ve also recently been observed attacking humans and bludgeoning baby porpoises to death for fun. So… maybe don’t underestimate them? Dolphins work as a pack, attacking the shark from all sides. They use their rounded noses to ram the shark, striking the shark’s soft underbelly. One serious shark bite can end a dolphin – though that’s not usually the case- while pods of dolphins have killed a large shark on more than one occasion.
Before we unveil our top pick, here’re a couple of honorable mentions.
Sperm Whale vs. Giant Squid
Ants vs. Termites
#1: Grizzly Bear vs. Wolf
Admittedly, bears and wolves have little reason to fight. The woods are big enough for the both of ‘em, and they don’t really compete over prey. But both are willing to scavenge, and aren’t above getting scrappy over a carcass. On rarer occasions, wolves have been seen attempting to catch a bear cub. One on one, a wolf doesn’t stand a chance against a grizzly bear. A grizzly typically weighs in four times heavier than any wolf, and a single well-placed swipe of its paw can cause massive internal damage. But wolves usually travel in packs, and using their speed and agility, they can coordinate their strikes to send a grizzly packing. It’s strength vs numbers.