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Silverback Gorilla Vs Jaguar – Who Would Win In A Fight To Death?

Gorillas and jaguars are some of the feistiest animals that exist today. Gorillas are huge and muscular; jaguars are sleek and bloodthirsty. 

And looking at these two beasts, it’s not hard to wonder who would win in a fight if a gorilla and a jaguar assaulted one another. 

Sadly, these two animals can’t meet in the wild, as gorillas live in Africa, while jaguars live in Central and South America. Unless captive animals are placed together, these two can’t stumble upon one another.

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

gorilla vs jaguar

Gorilla Vs Jaguar – A Quick Overview

Size– Height: 5 ft at the shoulder
– Weight: 300-500 lb
– Length: 5.9-7.2 ft
– Height: 1.8-2.5 ft at the shoulder
– Weight: 120-210 lb
– Length: 3.7-6.1 ft
Speed And Movement25 mph50 mph
Teeth And Biting Strength– 1,300 PSI
– 32 teeth
– 730 PSI
– 30 teeth
Senses– Human-like sense of smell
– Human-like hearing
– Human-like eyesight (color vision)
– Strong sense of smell
– Acute hearing (main hunting sense)
– Excellent vision (6 x better night vision than humans)
Defensive Powers– Dense bones
– Intelligence
– Use of weapons
– Standing upright
– Group protection
– Agility and speed
– Camouflage
– Hissing 
Offensive Powers– Excellent Strength
– Sharp teeth
– Strong punches
– Use of weapons
– Excellent strength
– Sharp teeth
– Strong paws
– Excellent predatory skills
Aggression LevelsModerateModerate

Physical Comparison Of A Gorilla And A Jaguar

To determine the winner of this duel, we will take into consideration several physical factors. We will compare the sizes between a gorilla and a jaguar, their agility and movement capabilities, their bite power, jaw strength, and defensive attributes.

Gorilla Vs Jaguar: Size

huge silverback gorilla

Gorillas are the largest living primates. They reach 5 ft when on all 4, 6 ft when they get up on their hind legs, and weigh between 300 and 500 lbs. The largest gorilla species is the eastern lowland gorilla. The biggest gorilla ever was an eastern lowland one that weighed massive 860 pounds. 

Jaguars are the largest cat species after tigers and lions, and the largest cats in the Americas. Adult males can reach an overall length of more than 7 feet and can weigh anywhere from 150 to 200 pounds. The largest jaguar ever recorded was a male that weighed 328 lbs.

When it comes to sheer size, gorillas have an advantage over jaguars as they are 2 times bigger.

Gorilla Vs Jaguar: Speed and Movement

Gorillas run on all fours and can reach speeds of up to 25 mph. Not the fastest in the animal world, but still decent. They move around by knuckle-walking – they put their weight on the knuckles, rather than on palms. Gorillas are excellent at climbing but very poor at jumping and swimming. 

Jaguars are renowned for their speed that can reach 50 mph in short bursts. The word ‘jaguar’ comes from the indigenous word ‘yaguar’, which means ‘he who kills with one leap’. Jaguars can dash forward between 10 and 20 feet, are confident swimmers, and are pretty capable of climbing trees to hunt or to rest.

Gorillas and jaguars are both fast animals and good climbers, but jaguars have the advantage as they have faster movements, excellent agility, and better swimming skills than gorillas.

Gorilla Vs Jaguar: Bite Power

gorilla canines

Surprisingly enough, a gorilla has one of the strongest bites in the world. Its strong jaw muscles can produce a biting force of 1,300 pounds per square inch (PSI).

Jaguars are smaller animals than gorillas and have a bite power of around 730 PSI. However, the jaguar has the strongest bite of any big cat relative to its size. Jaguars have slightly stronger jaw muscles than other cats and slightly shorter jaws – this increases the leverage for biting. If they were to have the same weight as tigers or lions, jaguars would have a significantly higher bite force than those two. 

As a comparison, the average strength of a human bite is 162 PSI. 

Gorillas have the advantage over jaguars when it comes to jaw strength and bite power.

Gorilla Vs Jaguar: Teeth

jaguar fangs

Gorillas have 32 teeth, just like us. 4 of those are long and razor-sharp canines that can grow up to 2 inches. Those fang-like teeth help defend themselves against external threats, as well as fend off other male gorillas competing for dominance. Strong canines and incisors help cut, rip, and tear tree bark. Or penetrate the skin of their enemies. 

Jaguars have 32 teeth, 4 of which are long, pointed canine teeth they use to kill their prey. Their canines are rounded at the front, sharp at the back, and can grow around 1.6 inches. Jaguar teeth are so powerful that they can bite through the thick scales of crocodilians and the hard shells of turtles. Jaguars love to kill their prey by sinking their canine teeth into the skull.

Despite having a lower bite power, jaguar teeth are more devastating and give them an advantage over gorillas in this regard. 

Gorilla Vs Jaguar: Claws

gorilla fingers

Gorillas do not have claws but fingernails and toenails they use for opening, scraping, cleaning, and scratching. As their grasping hands evolved, claws disappeared. They developed fingers they use for object manipulation.

Jaguars have sharp and retractable that can grow up to 2 inches long. They use them for traction, gripping prey, climbing, and scent marking. When they are approaching their target, jaguars retract their claws to make themselves silent.

When it comes to claws, jaguars have a clear advantage.

Gorilla Vs Jaguar: Senses

Gorillas have similar senses to humans, including hearing, sight (they seem to be slightly nearsighted and to have color vision), and smell. Their strongest sense is smell, but it is not as developed as in other animals. By the time they smell a stealthy jaguar, it would probably be too late.

Jaguars have extremely developed eyesight, especially at night. A mirror-like membrane at the back of the retina reflects light and allows them to see in total darkness. Jaguars can hear really well too, and their sense of smell is strong. They also have incredibly long whiskers to help them feel the things around them.

When it comes to senses, jaguars have a huge advantage over gorillas. 

Gorilla Vs Jaguar: Defensive Attributes

Gorillas have lots of muscle (around 40% of their body weight is muscles). Gorillas have thicker and more dense bones than humans – this might come in handy when reducing the impact of a jaguar. To scare away predators, the gorilla will charge at them making loud groaning, tightening teeth, and pounding its chest. Mountain gorillas might stand upright to make themselves look huge and taller or show their strong canine teeth and scare away the enemy.

Jaguars have dark yellow fur dotted with darker rosette patterns. The pattern is unique for every animal (just like a fingerprint in humans) and helps the jaguar blend in perfectly with its surroundings and avoid being seen by its enemies. If the fight is imminent, they will hiss, go low, and show their teeth. Their agility and quick reflexes come in handy with avoiding hits.

When it comes to physical defenses, it is tied between gorillas and jaguars. Each of these two has a different mechanism that helps them survive; maybe a gorilla has a slight advantage in intimidating a jaguar because of its sheer size.

Read more: Wolf Vs Gorilla – Who Wins?

Combat Skills Of A Gorilla And A Jaguar

Being great at defending might help you draw, but it’s the offense that wins you the duel. To better compare these two animals, we will look at their offensive attributes, levels of aggression, and predatory instincts.

Gorilla Vs Jaguar: Offensive Powers

gorilla with a stick

The main offensive weapon of a gorilla is its brute power.  The average silverback gorilla’s strength is similar to that of 20 adult humans. In fact, according to the Guinness Book of Records, one silverback gorilla managed to lift 1,800 lbs of weight. A gorilla punch can deliver between 1,200 and 2,500 pounds of force. 

When fighting, a gorilla will use teeth, hands, and legs. It will often use some tools like sticks to give it an advantage. A gorilla will charge at its enemy, grab its limbs, and crush them. It will also use its sharp canine teeth to bite and penetrate the flesh of another animal. 

Jaguars, like other big cats, prefer to stalk and ambush, rather than chase their prey. They will attack from nearby cover, quickly pouncing from a target’s blind spot, dispatch it with a bite to the neck. Their large jaw muscles allow them to kill their prey by piercing the skull with their sharp teeth.

Both a gorilla and a jaguar are strong when it comes to attacking their enemies – it’s a tie between the two in this regard. 

Gorilla Vs Jaguar: Predatory Instinct And Aggression Levels


Gorillas are not predatory animals. They do not go and hunt other animals – they seriously lack the predatory instinct. Gorillas aren’t known for their aggression either – they are considered calm and gentle. The only way they become extremely aggressive is when feeling threatened or a gorilla from another group tries to steal one of the females. 

Jaguars are swift and agile predators, known for their ferocious hunting and attacking skills. They are not the most aggressive animals either, and just like the gorillas, they will attack only when provoked. When you get on their bad side, jaguars become ferocious. 

Gorillas and jaguars are not the most aggressive animals, but jaguars have the advantage when it comes to predatory instinct since they often hunt and prey on other animals.

Read More: Gorilla Vs Hyena

What Are Key Differences Between A Gorilla And A Jaguar?

Gorillas are large primates living in lowland tropical rainforests of Central Africa, while jaguars live in rainforests of the Amazon basin, and the nearby Pantanal wetlands of South America.

Gorillas have twice the weight of jaguars and their diet consists of eating 40+ pounds of vegetation and fruit per day. They might munch on some termites, ants, and termite larvae but gorillas do not eat meat.

Jaguars, on the other hand, are carnivorous and feed on the flesh of other animals, including deer, tortoises, iguanas, armadillos, fish, birds, monkeys, and huge predators like the caiman.

Jaguars walk on all four, just like gorillas, but gorillas can stand up and walk on their back legs as well. These are some of the main differences between these creatures.

Battle FeaturesGorillaJaguar
Speed And Movement
Bite Power

Read More: Gorilla And Kodiak Bear – Who Wins A Fight?

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

In a face-to-face fight, a gorilla should be able to take down a jaguar. Jaguars are fast and have sharp claws, but a gorilla has supernatural strength and would snap the jaguar in half. The only chance a jaguar has is if it ambushed a gorilla from behind and landed a lucky bite to the skull or neck. 

Jaguars prefer to stalk their prey and ambush them when they least suspect it. They are also nocturnal hunters – gorillas sleep at night. They would have no problem jumping at the primates and winning under those terms. 

However, a large and healthy eastern lowland gorilla would use its superior strength, reach, grappling ability, and size and defeat a healthy male Pantanal jaguar (the largest subspecies of jaguar) in a straight-up fight. 

This does not mean that the jaguar would have no chance in this match-up. The jaguar would put up a fight and leave a mark on the gorilla. Their fighting style would be very effective at damaging the gorilla, because jaguars have sharp claws that can wound the gorilla a lot, due to their thin skin.

Jaguars are predators that hunt other animals, but they do not have the experience of fighting a large primate like a gorilla. Gorillas, on the other hand, occasionally get into skirmishes with leopards, slightly smaller cats than jaguars. This gives gorillas some hands-on experience with a lethal jaguar-like predator. 

If a gorilla wins in 8 out of 10 face-to-face fights against a leopard, then 6 out of 10 times it will win against a jaguar.

We wrote in detail about a fight between a leopard and a gorilla, read about it here.

Read More: Animals that have a huge forehead, just like the gorilla

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