Gorillas and wolves are some of the most spirited animals that exist today. Both are easy to recognize and both very dangerous, especially if you get on their bad side.
And looking at the two, it’s not hard to wonder who would win if a gorilla and a wolf got into a fight. Whether it was an Eastern or Western gorilla against a Gray or an Eastern Wolf, the clash would be spectacular.
Wolves are apex predators sitting at the top of the food chain, chasing and hunting their prey for centuries. But would that be enough to take down a gorilla?
To determine the outcome of this duel, let’s use the available information and analyze what would happen if a full-grown and healthy wolf was to clash with a full-grown healthy gorilla. Before we start, who do you see winning this duel?
Table of Contents
Gorilla Vs Wolf– A Quick Overview
|– Height: 5 ft at the shoulder
– Weight: 300-500 lb
– Length: 5.9-7.2 ft
|– Height: 2.2-2.8 ft at the shoulder
– Weight: 60-180 lb
– Length: 3.4-5.2 ft.
|Speed And Movement
|Teeth And Biting Strength
|– 1,300 PSI
– 32 teeth
|– 400-600 PSI
– 42 teeth
|– Human-like sense of smell
– Human-like hearing
– Human-like eyesight (color vision)
|– Strong sense of smell (100x better than humans)
– Acute hearing
– Excellent vision (night and day)
|– Dense bones
– Use of weapons
– Standing upright
– Group protection
|– Agility and speed
– Group protection
|– Excellent strength
– Sharp teeth
– Strong punches
– Use of weapons
|– Excellent strength
– Sharp teeth
– Group hunting and coordination
– Excellent predatory skills
|Low to moderate
Physical Comparison Of A Gorilla And A Wolf
To better compare these two animals, we will take into consideration several physical factors. We will compare the size of a large gorilla and a wolf, their agility and movement capabilities, their bite power, jaw strength, and defensive attributes.
Gorilla Vs Wolf: Size
Gorillas, the largest living primates, can weigh 300-500 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.
Wolves are the largest canines in the world. They weigh from 60 to 180 pounds. The largest wolf ever documented was a Northwestern or (Mackenzie Valley) wolf that weighed 175 pounds.
Wolves are between 2.2 and 2.8 ft tall at the shoulder and up to 5.4 ft long.
When comparing sizes, gorillas have a huge advantage over wolves, as they are bigger and heavier animals.
Gorilla Vs Wolf: Speed and Movement
Gorillas move by running on their knuckles and reach a top speed of 25 mph. They are not the fastest in the animal kingdom, but still decent. Gorillas are decent at climbing but very poor at jumping and swimming.
Wolves are built primarily for long-distance hunting but still reach a top speed between 30 and 40 mph. The Arctic wolf is believed to be the fastest wolf in the world and has been recorded running at 46 mph. They can also run about 25 miles per hour for up to 2 miles. Wolves can’t climb trees but are excellent swimmers that can swim 8 miles per day.
When it comes to top speed, running, and stamina, a wolf has the advantage over a gorilla.
Gorilla Vs Wolf: Bite Power
A gorilla has one of the most powerful jaws in the world and can produce a biting force of 1,300 pounds per square inch (PSI).
A wolf has a stronger bite than most canids and can produce a bite force between 400 and 600 PSI. As a comparison, the average strength of a human bite is 162 PSI, while the average bite force of a Kodiak bear and a lion are 930 and 1,000 PSI respectively.
A gorilla can produce a higher bite power than a wolf and has the advantage in this regard.
Gorilla Vs Wolf: Teeth
A gorilla has 32 teeth. 4 of which are long and razor-sharp canines that can grow up to 2 inches long. The fang-like teeth help gorillas defend themselves against external threats and other male gorillas in a fight for dominance. Strong canines and incisors allow a gorilla to cut, rip, tear tree bark, and penetrate the skin of its enemies.
An adult wolf has 42 teeth. 4 of which are 2.5 inches long canines that help grab onto prey when hunting. Wolves use their incisor teeth to groom themselves and feed on the meals they catch; they use their molars and premolars to grind and slice through food.
Despite having a lower bite power, a wolf has more devastating teeth and has a slight advantage over a gorilla in this regard.
Gorilla Vs Wolf: Claws
Gorillas do not have claws but fingernails and toenails they use for opening, scraping, cleaning, and scratching. As their grasping hands evolved, claws disappeared.
Wolves, on the other hand, do have claws, but they do not use them for hunting but for digging and running. Wolves do not attack any bigger prey using claws, just with their teeth and mouth.
When it comes to claw power, it is tied between these two animals.
Gorilla Vs Wolf: Senses
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.
Wolves rely the most on their sense of smell which is 100 times better than that of humans. It is said that a wolf has such a developed sense of smell that it can detect another wolf’s age, gender, stress level, dominance, and reproductive status. They also have a good sense of hearing and can hear as far as six miles away in the forest and ten miles in the open.
A wolf has more developed senses than a gorilla and has an upper hand in this regard.
Gorilla Vs Wolf: Defensive Attributes
To protect themselves from enemies, gorillas will use different intimidation tactics. They will stand upright to make themselves look bigger and taller and show their large canine teeth to scare the enemy away.
Gorillas will charge at the enemy making loud groaning, tightening teeth, and pounding the ground and their chests. They have lots of muscle and denser bones than humans – this might come in handy when reducing the impact of a wolf.
The main defensive tactic of a wolf is to form a pack; gorillas do the same. When alone, the wolf will show his sharp teeth, growl, and make itself bigger by fluffing its fur.
When it comes to physical defenses, a gorilla has a slight advantage in intimidating a wolf because of its sheer size.
Combat Skills Of A Gorilla And A Wolf
Being great at defending might help you get a draw in a match, but it’s the offense that wins you the duel. To determine the winner of this duel, we will look at the offensive attributes, levels of aggression, and predatory instincts of gorillas and wolves.
Gorilla Vs Wolf: Offensive Powers
The main offensive power of a gorilla is its brute power. The average silverback gorilla has the strength of 20 adult human beings. It can lift and throw 1,800 pounds of weight and its punch delivers between 1,200 and 2,500 pounds of force.
During a fight, a gorilla might also use teeth, hands, legs, and often some tools like sticks to get an advantage. A gorilla’s main battle tactic is to use its brute power, charge at the enemy, grab their limbs, and snap them in half. It will also use its sharp canine teeth to bite and penetrate the flesh of another animal.
Wolves take their time in killing their prey. Their most important tactic is excellent coordination when hunting as a group.
And contrary to ambush predators like tigers that rely on the element of surprise to kill their prey, wolves are endurance or coursing predators. Wolves will pursue their prey over long distances, exhaust it, and when get the opportunity, will bite the shoulders and flanks.
With medium-sized prey, wolves kill by biting the throat, severing nerve tracks, and the carotid artery. For small prey, they use their front paws to kill. Occasionally, when hunting alone, a wolf might ambush another animal.
Both a gorilla and a wolf are strong when it comes to attacking their enemies – a gorilla has a bigger advantage when attacking individually.
Gorilla Vs Wolf: Predatory Instinct And Aggression Levels
Gorillas are not predatory animals. They do not hunt other animals and seriously lack the predatory instinct. Gorillas aren’t known 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.
Wolves are apex predators. They hunt often and require at least 3.7 pounds of meat per day. Wolves will hunt deer, moose, elk, rabbits, foxes, and any other available prey. However, they are not the most successful predators, as the success rate of wolf chases is only 3 to 14 percent. They are cautious animals and not the most aggressive towards humans.
When it comes to predatory instincts, wolves have a slight advantage over gorillas, just because they hunt other animals.
What Are Key Differences Between A Gorilla And A Wolf?
Gorillas are large primates living in lowland tropical rainforests of Central Africa, while wolves are the largest canids that can be found in North America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa.
Gorillas are herbivores that eat 40+ pounds of vegetation and fruit per day. Occasionally, they might eat some termites, ants, and termite larvae but gorillas do not eat meat. Wolves are carnivores that feed on the flesh of other animals.
Wolves 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.
|Speed And Movement
Read More: Gorilla and Kodiak bear – who is stronger?
Who Would Win in a Fight Between a Gorilla And A Wolf?
In a face-to-face fight, a gorilla always wins against a wolf. Although both are dangerous animals capable of inflicting serious damage, a gorilla is overwhelmingly bigger and stronger than a wolf.
A wolf would be the first to smell or see an approaching gorilla, and the fight would begin the moment a gorilla picks up the scent of a nearby wolf.
If it had nowhere to back away, a wolf would try its standard fighting tactic – to tire out and wound the 3-5 times bigger gorilla. The moment a wolf comes close and allows a gorilla to get a grip of it, the fight is over. A gorilla lands a stunning blow, uses its supernatural strength, and just crushes the smaller canid. It would eventually rip the wolf’s limb from his body just for the sake of it.
If the fight were to happen in the open wild, a gorilla would just stand up on its back legs, charge at the wolf and scare it off with its aggressive display. The wolf would back down and run away, and rather look for easier prey.
The only chance against a gorilla would be for a pack of 3-4 large wolves to harass and wear down a lone primate. Wolves would attack from all directions, eventually weakening the ape with limb bites, and finally taking it down. After all, experienced wolf packs regularly hunt and kill larger and more dangerous animals than gorillas.
There’s a reason wolves hunt in packs. A lone wolf is a formidable opponent, but not enough to take down a fully grown gorilla.