Gorilla Vs Hyena: Who Would Win In A Fight?

A gorilla is wandering through the woods when suddenly a hyena jumps in front of it. Both animals scan one another, neither of them ready to back down, not even for an inch. Hyena is here for one reason – it is hungry and wants to feed on the huge gorilla. 

But the gorilla isn’t going to just roll over and die, it is ready to take on a bloodthirsty hyena. One is an apex predator, the other is the largest primate in the world. Both of these beasts will fight to their very last breath. In this epic gorilla vs hyena fight, which of them would win? 

To determine the outcome of this duel, let’s use the available information and analyze what would happen if a full-grown and healthy hyena was to clash with a full-grown healthy gorilla. Before we start, who do you see winning this duel? 

Comparing Gorillas And Hyenas

GorillaHyena
Size– Height: 5 ft at the shoulder
– Weight: 300-500 lb
– Length: 5.9-7.2 ft
– Height: 2.6-3 ft at the shoulder
– Weight: 20-140 lb
– Length: 3.1-5.4 ft.
Speed And Movement25 mph40 mph
Teeth And Bite Power– 1,300 PSI
– 32 teeth
– 1,100 PSI
– 32-34 teeth
Senses– Human-like sense of smell
– Human-like hearing
– Human-like eyesight (color vision)
– Strong sense of smell
– Acute hearing
– Sharp eyesight (night and day)
Defensive Powers– Dense bones
– Intelligence
– Use of weapons
– Standing upright
– Group protection
– Group protection
– Camouflage
– Excellent stamina
– Thick and loose skin
– Extreme pain tolerance
– Supernatural durability
Offensive Powers– Excellent strength
– Sharp teeth
– Strong punches
– Use of weapons
– Powerful bites
– Sharp teeth
– Group hunting
– Excellent predatory skills
Aggression LevelsLow to moderateHigh

The 8 Key Factors In A Fight Between A Gorilla And A Hyena 

Gorilla Vs Hyena: Size

huge silverback gorilla

Gorillas are the largest living primates. Usually, a gorilla weighs between 300 and 500 pounds. The biggest gorilla ever recorded was from the largest subspecies of gorillas (eastern lowland) and weighed 860 pounds. When on all 4, gorillas reach around 5 ft; when they get up on their back legs, gorillas stand 6 ft tall. 

Spotted hyenas, also known as the laughing hyenas, are the largest of three hyena species. Brown and striped hyenas are the other two. Spotted hyenas weigh between 90 and 190 pounds and have a shoulder height of around 3 ft. Admirable, but still less than gorillas. What is interesting about spotted hyenas, in particular, is that the females are bigger than the males. 

When it comes to size, gorillas have the advantage over hyenas.

Gorilla Vs Hyena: Speed, Movement, And Agility

Gorillas are not the fastest animals in the animal kingdom, but still reach a respectable top speed of 25 mph. They move around by walking on their knuckles but can also stand up on their hind legs. They are decent at climbing trees (although their weight makes it hard for them to climb smaller trees), but poor at swimming. 

Hyenas can reach a top speed of 37-40 mph, mostly the spotted hyenas. They use their speed to chase their prey and can cross 15 miles in a single chase. Spotted hyenas aren’t sprinters, but they have excellent stamina to wear down and catch their prey.

When it comes to speed and endurance, hyenas have the advantage over gorillas.

Gorilla Vs Hyena: Bite Force

hyena teeth

Gorillas have some of the most dangerous and strongest jaws in the world that can produce a bite force of 1,300 pounds per square inch (PSI). They have much larger mandibles than humans. 

They might look weaker than many other predators, but hyenas have a lot stronger jaws than many large cats. With an extremely tight and firm grip and sharp teeth to tear through meat and bones, hyenas have a bite force of around 1,100 PSI. That’s a lot stronger bite than jaguars, for example.

Although hyenas have extremely high bite force, a gorilla has a slight edge in this diel when it comes to bite force.

Gorilla Vs Hyena: Teeth

gorilla canines

A gorilla has 32 teeth. 4 of which are 2 inches long canine teeth that can pierce the skull of almost any animal. Gorillas use their teeth to tear tree bark or bite their enemies. When trying to intimidate their opponents, gorillas will show their teeth. 

Due to their carnivorous diet, hyenas have large heads and strong jaws with 32 conical teeth to rip flesh and crush bones. What makes them unique among carnivorous animals is that they are born with 0.27 inches long canines. Hyenas also have huge carnassial teeth at the back of their jaws that act like a pair of scissors to cut the meat.

When it comes to teeth, it’s tied between a gorilla and a hyena. Both have strong jaws and sharp teeth; perhaps a slight advantage might be given to hyenas because of their carnivorous diet and razor-sharp teeth.

Gorilla Vs Hyena: Senses

hyena walking

Gorillas have senses similar to ours. Their most developed sense is the one of smell. It helps gorillas detect strong odors in their environment. Gorillas have a decent sense of hearing and sight too, although they seem to be slightly nearsighted.

To hunt, hyenas use their developed senses of sight, hearing, and smell. Their sense of smell is so developed that they can smell carrion from 2.5 miles away. Hyenas are also nocturnal hunters and have excellent night vision as well.

Hyenas have more developed senses than gorillas and have the advantage in this regard.

Gorilla Vs Hyena: Defensive Powers

gorilla with a stick

Gorillas live in groups called troops that offer good protection. When alone, a silverback will use a coupe of intimidation tactics. It will stand upright and make itself bigger or show its lethal teeth to scare the enemy away. A gorilla might even pound its chest, hit the ground, make loud noises, or charge at the enemy. It has lots of muscle and very dense bones – this provides protection and can reduce the impact of the enemy.

Gorillas have one flaw in their defense and that is their skin. It is very thin and a lot of bites and scratches might result in the ape bleeding to death. 

Just like gorillas, hyenas also live in groups called clans or cackles. They are very territorial animals that mark it with a foul odor coming from their anal glands. Hyenas have very thick and loose skin that is very hard to penetrate. Despite being small, hyenas are very durable animals. They might also use their speed to dash away in case of a threat. 

Despite it being a sturdy animal, when it comes to physical defenses, a gorilla has a slight advantage over a hyena, simply because of using its size as a protective element.

Gorilla Vs Hyena: Offensive Powers

hyena scavenging

The main offensive power of a gorilla is its brute power. The average silverback gorilla is stronger than 20 adult human beings. Gorillas are known to lift and throw 1,800 pounds heavy items and deliver between 1,200-2,500 pounds of force with their punches. 

During a fight, a gorilla might also use teeth, hands, legs, and often some tools like sticks to gain an advantage. A gorilla’s main battle tactic is to simply use its brute power, charge at the enemy, grab it by the limbs, and snap them in half. It will also use its sharp canine teeth to bite and penetrate the flesh of another animal.

Hyenas hunt similarly to wolves, they chase their prey, trying to exhaust and cripple them by biting the legs. They are built to chase animals: hyenas’ front legs are longer than back legs, their heart is twice the size of a lion’s, and can stalk their prey for miles at around 6 mph. When the animal becomes exhausted from running, hyenas will move in for the kill. 

When taking down a larger animal, hyenas hunt in packs. When hunting a small animal, a single hyena will prey on it by biting and dragging it down. A hyena has extremely powerful jaws and teeth to tear down the flesh of its enemies.

Gorillas and hyenas are strong when it comes to attacking their enemies – a gorilla has a slight advantage when attacking individually. 

Gorilla Vs Hyena: Predatory Instincts And Aggression Levels

gorilla muscles

Gorillas do not have a developed predatory instinct – they do not hunt other animals. They are omnivores that feed on plants, fruits, and termites. Gorillas aren’t famous for their aggressive nature either – scientists consider them calm and gentle. The only way they become extremely aggressive is when feeling threatened or if a gorilla from another group tries to steal one of the females. In such cases, they can inflict severe wounds. 

Hyenas are most dangerous when protecting their young and territory. What is unique about hyenas is that female spotted hyenas are significantly bigger and much more aggressive than males. Spotted hyenas are some of Africa’s deadliest predators. After they kill and eat an animal, the only thing left is a patch of blood on the ground.

And contrary to what people think, hyenas only sometimes scavenge – they hunt themselves 95% of their food. As hunters, alone or in groups, they are equal to leopards, cheetahs, and lions

Hyenas are apex predators that hunt often; their predatory instincts give hyenas the advantage in a fight against a gorilla.

What Are Key Differences Between A Gorilla And A Hyena?

Gorillas are large primates living in lowland tropical rainforests of Central Africa, while hyenas live in different habitats, including savannas, grasslands, woodlands, forest edges, subdeserts, and even mountains. They can be found in the north and northeast Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, all the way to southern Siberia. 

Gorillas are herbivores that eat 40+ pounds of vegetation and fruit per day. Occasionally, they might eat some termites and ants, but gorillas do not eat meat. Hyenas are carnivores that might tear off and swallow 30 or 40 pounds of meat per feeding. 

Hyenas walk on all four, just like gorillas, but gorillas can stand up and walk on their back legs as well. 

These key differences between the two, together with previous comparisons will help us determine who wins in this fight. 

Combat FeaturesGorillaHyena
Size
Speed And Movement
Bite Power
Teeth
Senses
Defense
Offense
Predation

Who Would Win in a Fight Between a Gorilla And A Hyena?

A gorilla would win in a fight against a hyena. The reason is simple: a gorilla is too big and too strong for a hyena. Hyena is a very tough and durable animal with high pain tolerance, but the gorilla should prevail due to its size, strength, versatility, ability to grapple and crush the hyena.

A gorilla wouldn’t leave this fight intact – a hyena’s powerful jaws would penetrate easily the gorilla’s thin skin. And if a gorilla couldn’t subdue the hyena, it would deal huge damage to the ape. In any case, the fight wouldn’t be over soon.

If this fight were to actually happen in the wild, it’s most likely that a single hyena would get intimidated by a fully-grown gorilla, run away, and hope to never encounter the beast again. If it were a pack of hyenas, they would probably be able to take down a gorilla.

The bottom line is that a gorilla is 2 to 3 times bigger than a hyena and strong enough to do to it what Hulk does to Loki in the first Avengers movie.

Read More: Who wins in a duel between a gorilla and a Kodiak bear?

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