Humans are Not the Fastest, Strongest. So Why don’t Animals Kill Us More?

Humans are Not the Fastest, Strongest. So Why don’t Animals Kill Us More?

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Humans vs Fellow Primates

Consider this scenario: the strongest man on the planet, pitted against the mightiest chimpanzee, each using only their natural advantages. The man, devoid of any weapons or tools, would find himself in a perilous situation, with the odds heavily against him.

Your typical chimpanzee is at least twice as strong as the average human. Chimps have muscle insertion points and skeletal structures that make them exceptionally agile compared to a humans. Additionally, chimps have powerful jaws, sharp teeth, and nails that you cannot even begin to compare to those of a human.

Note that a chimpanzee is not even the strongest animal within the primate family. You can never pit even the strongest man on the planet against an average gorilla (gorillas are the strongest primates on Earth); it will be a certain death for the man.

Even then, other primates like orangutans, bonobos, gibbons, baboons, monkeys, macaques, and capuchins could inflict fatal injuries to the strongest man in a cage fight. 

Humans vs Cats (Felidae)

Now, forget about chimpanzees. Let’s pit the strongest man against an average member of the cat family. Prominent cat family members include tiger, lion, jaguar, leopard, cheetah, snow leopard, or cougar. So let us take the average cat, cheetah, and pit it against the strongest man in a cage fight. Who will win?

A strong man will definitely greater advantage in terms of sheer physical power and endurance compared to a cheater. However, the cheater’s overall agility and speed could give it an edge in maneuverability and evading attacks.

Additionally, the cheetah will have a huge advantage over the man thanks to its sharp claws and teeth, which could inflict fatal damage. Although a very strong man stands a good chance of subduing the cheetah, the cheetah’s exceptional reaction time, sharp claws, and sharp teeth could mean each successful attack on the man could be devastating compared to each man’s attack on the cheetah. Overall, the man could easily succumb to his injuries than a cheetah would.

Humans vs Dogs (Canidae)

The dog family includes the gray wolf, the African wild dogs, hyenas, coyotes, jackals, and domestic dogs. Let us pit the strongest man in a cage fight versus, let us say, the jackals. This fight could go either way, since the jackal is quite a small and weak dog. Therefore, it is a strong possibility that a strong man could fatally kick or punch it to death.

However, considering both the man and jackal will not be using any tool or weapon other than their naturally endowed teeth, claws, and muscles. The jackal, with its sharp teeth and claws, could fatally injure the man. It is not impossible that the jackal could not kill the man, though the odds will be in favor of the man.

Were you to pit the man against other bigger and stronger members of the dog family, such as the gray wolf, the African dog, or the hyena, the odds of the man walking out of that ring alive are quite low.

So why don’t these Animals attack Humans that Often?

When it comes to physical attributes, it would seem so many animals could overpower and kill the average human being. However, there are more recorded incidences of humans killing animals than the reverse, and here’s why.

The Edge of Human’s Cognitive Ability

What humans have luck in terms of muscle, speed, sharp teeth, and sharp claws, we overcompensate with our cognitive abilities. Humans can utilize their environment to their advantage by either creating barrier protection against other animals or tools and weapons that greately improve our odds.

Humans can create weapons that no other animal can protect itself from. From rudimentary weapons like sharp-edged stone knives, spears, and arrows, to more sophisticated weapons like guns and chemical warfare.

The Edge of Human Social Behavior

Humans have achieved a dominant position in the natural world not solely due to physical attributes like strength or speed, but primarily due to our cognitive abilities and social behaviors. Here are some key reasons why humans are at the top of the food chain:

    1. Tool Use and Technology:

Humans have developed tools and technology that augment our physical abilities. From simple tools like sticks and stones to complex machinery and weaponry, humans have used technology to overcome physical limitations and adapt to various environments.

    1. Intelligence and Problem-Solving Skills:

Human intelligence allows us to understand and manipulate our environment in ways that other animals cannot. We can plan, strategize, and solve problems, enabling us to outsmart and outmaneuver other creatures.

    1. Communication and Collaboration:

Humans are highly social beings capable of complex communication and collaboration. Our ability to work together in groups allows us to coordinate activities such as hunting, gathering, and defense, giving us an advantage over solitary or less cooperative species.

    1. Adaptability:

Humans are incredibly adaptable and can thrive in diverse environments ranging from the freezing Arctic to the scorching desert. Our ability to innovate and adapt to changing conditions has allowed us to spread across the globe and exploit a wide range of resources.

    1. Cultural Transmission:

Unlike most animals, humans have the ability to transmit knowledge and skills across generations through language, writing, and other forms of cultural transmission. This cumulative cultural knowledge allows us to build upon the achievements of our ancestors and continually improve our technology and strategies.

    1. Dominance Over Resources:

Through agriculture, animal domestication, and other means, humans have exerted control over food sources and other resources essential for survival. This control has allowed us to sustain larger populations and influence ecosystems.

While individual humans may not possess the raw physical strength or speed of certain animals, our combination of intelligence, social organization, and technological prowess has enabled us to become the dominant species on Earth.

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