I’m bigger than you! – if you were taking a stroll along the riverbank, you certainly wouldn’t want to come face to face with either of these two – there’s no denying that both the crocodile and the anaconda are top of the terrifying titans. Either one on their own is scary enough, so imagine what it’s like when the two of them come face to face! The crocodile should come out tops as it’s faster, heavier and has a stronger bite. It will grab the giant snake in its most tender spot and not let go – but it’s not all one sided, because if the anaconda spots the crocodile first, it will ambush it – curling itself around and around until it squeezes it into submission …
Get off my prey! – lions and hyenas are two of Africa’s fearsome top predators. They’ll keep a close eye on each other from a distance – so far, so good; but the problem comes when hunger strikes, because they both like to dine on the same fare. When it comes down to it, the lion is faster, stronger and bigger than the hyena, it would likely come out on top in a one-to-one tussle; but hyenas don’t typically travel solo, they stick together in their clans, so if a lonesome lion happens to stray too close to the hyena gang, then its curtains for leo ….
You wouldn’t dare – surely the cobra’s grumpy temper and venomous bite are enough to make any sensible creature give it a wide berth; but the plucky little mongoose isn’t easily intimidated. Surely one strike from the cobra will be the end of this crazy critter? But the mongoose has a trick up its paw – it has immunity to the great snake’s venom, which comes in handy, as it dodges the cobra’s strikes. Look out – it’s behind you! The mongoose leaps to the back of the snake and delivers a swift bite to the head! Its jaws are so powerful that often one bite is all it takes to sit down to a snake supper.
Dive for cover – you’d think that the top artic predator, the polar bear is so sure of itself it will take on anything – even a big, heavy walrus. After all, the bear is leaner and definitely meaner, so the walrus could well end up as casserole for the bear’s dinner. But if the bear comes a-calling, then the walrus has a plan – it dives into the water, where the contest is turned on its head – the walrus is amazingly agile in the ocean and can out-manoeuvre anything, so it can show the bear the wrong end of its tusk – looks like a seal supper instead then!
If you can’t stand the heat – bees happily buzz about feeding on nectar, gathering pollen, making honey and generally minding their own bee business. Unfortunately, hornets don’t care to expend their energies on flower foraging; they prefer to go bee hunting instead! Surely the poor bees don’t stand a chance against the tougher, stronger, hungry hornets? But, don’t give up on the bees just yet. Firstly, they will collect smelly animal poop, depositing it right outside their door – enough to keep most pests at bay. If that doesn’t deter the hornets, then the bees’ second line of defence (quite literally) is to gather together to form a row of defence to protect the colony. If a hornet advances on the bees, the bees will bravely gather around it, forming a bee ball – with a hornet hard centre! The body warmth of all the bees gathered together rapidly causes the hornet to overheat, and the hot and bothered intruder will be forced to back off or become toast!
Sometimes things don’t go quite as you’d expect.