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Mammoth vs Elephant Who Would Win In A Fight?

mammoth vs elephant who would win in a fight

They may have lived millions of years apart, but the extinct woolly mammoth and today’s present elephants are very similar animals. Both have a trunk that acts like a hand to pick up food and have two huge tusks. The mammoth lived in a frozen landscape, while the elephant prefers a warmer climate.

Could they coexist today, or would there be a conflict between them? Mammoth vs elephant, who would win in a fight? For this battle, we will compare an adult male mammoth with an African male bull elephant.

Mammoth vs Elephant: Animal Fact Sheet

mammoth vs elephant who would win in a fight
Sizeweight 5500 – 7300 kg
length similar to elephant
height 2.7 – 3.4 m
at the shoulder
weight 4700 – 6000 kg
length 5.5 – 6.4 m
height 3.2 – 4 m
at the shoulder
Speed15 – 20 mph25 mph
Attackcharge with tuskscharge with tusks
Defencelives in a herd
thick skin
large size
lives in a herd
thick skin
large size
senses could have been
as good as an elephants
great hearing
strong sense of smell
high intelligence
Habitatlast ice ageSub-Saharan Africa
Lifespan50 – 60 years60 – 70 years
big cats

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Mammoth vs Elephant: Size

mammoth vs elephant who would win in a fight
Geoff Peters from Vancouver, BC, Canada, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The size of an animal can help one animal dominate another in a fight. Elephants weigh 4700 – 6000 kg (10,300 – 13,227 lb), their body is 5.5 – 6.4 m (18 – 21 ft) long and stand 3.2 – 4 m (10.5 – 13 ft) tall at the shoulder.

Fossilised remains of mammoths showed they weighed between 5500 – 7300 kg (12,125 – 16,000 lb). A shoulder height of 2.7 – 3.4 m (8.8 – 11 ft) and had a similar length to an elephant. The mammoth and elephant are very similar in weight, height and length.

For the size comparison, it’s a draw.

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Mammoth vs Elephant: Speed and Agility

mammoth vs elephant who would win in a fight

The speed and agility of an animal can determine which animal lands the first blow in battle. Elephants can run at 25 mph (40 kph). There are no estimates on how fast a mammoth could run.

The mammoth may not have been as fast as an elephant and may have reached speeds of 15 – 20 mph (24 – 32 kph). Elephants are not the most agile creatures. They stroll along and take a while to build up speed. The woolly mammoth was probably the same.

The elephant wins on speed.

Mammoth vs Elephant: Attack Power

mammoth vs elephant who would win in a fight

Elephants have a bite force of 2175 psi, which is 13 times stronger than humans. Considering how similar the elephant and woolly mammoth are, the mammoth could probably match the elephant on bite force. But as they both have the teeth of a herbivore, this is not their prefered method of attack.

Both the mammoth and elephant’s way of dealing with attackers would be to charge head-on into their opponents with their tusks. Their tusks can cause massive damage by goring or ramming their aggressor. And with one thrust from a tusk, they can easily lift or flip a predator like a lion or sabre-tooth tiger.

The biggest male mammoth tusk discovered was 4.2 m (14 ft) long and weighed 91 kg (201 lb). The average size was smaller at 2.4 – 2.7 m (7.9 – 8.9 ft) and weighed 45 kg (99 lb). The tusks grew in opposite directions and curved until the ends faced each other, sometimes crossing each other. A mammoth’s tusks were built more for ramming attacks as it would be hard for them to gore an opponent with the tips pointing in.

The longest elephant tusk recorded was 3.4 m (11 ft), and the heaviest weighed 120 kg (265 lb). The average tusk length is 2 m (6 ft) and weighs 55 kg (110 lb). Elephant tusks grow directly out and slightly downwards. When males fight, they often come away with deep cuts where they have gored each other.

Both animals can use their long trunks to hit or keep opponents at bay. Predators like lions or sabre-tooth cats can be sent flying with just one swipe from their trunk.

It’s a draw on attacking power.

Mammoth vs Elephant: Defence

mammoth vs elephant who would win in a fight
Mauricio Antón, CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Elephants live in family herds led by a female elder called a matriarch. Depending on the family size, a herd can consist of 8 – 100 elephant members of daughters and calves.

Male elephants leave the herd at around 15 years old and join a bachelor group of males of all ages. These groups have their own hierarchy but are very unstable. The older the males get, the more solitary they become.

Elephants have thick skin of 2.5 cm (1 in). Mammoths have a similar skin thickness of 1.25 – 2.5 cm (0.5 – 1 in) which helps protect them when fighting. When these animals are fully grown, they would be too big for almost any predator to prey on them.

They both draw on defence.

Mammoth vs Elephant: Animal Senses

mammoth vs elephant who would win in a fight

Elephants have the strongest sense of smell of any mammal, including dogs. Able to sniff out food more than 10 miles (16 km) away. They have excellent hearing, able to hear long-distance sounds from 6 miles (10 km) away. These advanced senses make up for their poor vision as they can only see up to 20 m (66 ft) in front of them.

Elephants are highly intelligent animals capable of displaying different emotions, feelings and self-awareness. They have brilliant memory able to locate food and water sources during droughts. It is not known how well developed a mammoth’s senses were, but as they are the ancestors of the elephants, they may have had similar senses and intelligence.

The elephant wins the animal senses.

Mammoth vs Elephant What Are The Differences?

mammoth vs elephant who would win in a fight

The most significant difference between the mammoth and elephant is how they have adapted to live in their environments. The mammoth is covered in long hair ranging from 8 – 90 cm (3 – 35 in) on different body parts. The long hair acted as insulation to keep them warm in freezing temperatures. The mammoth also had a layer of fat 10 cm (4 in) thick under their skin to stay warm.

Today’s elephants live in hot environments where they are practically hairless. This helps them stay cool. Elephants have large ears to regulate their body temperature, while the mammoth has small ears to reduce heat loss. Their tusks grew also differed, with the mammoths being curved and elephants straight.

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Mammoth vs Elephant Who Would Win In A Fight?

mammoth vs elephant who would win in a fight

In a mammoth vs elephant fight, a mammoth would win. The advantages the mammoth has over the elephant are having more prominent tusks and being heavier. The mammoth having the bigger tusks and more weight behind it, should be able to overpower the elephant and force it to submit.

But as elephants are intelligent, and possibly so was the mammoth, they may choose not to fight each other. They would size each other up first and maybe realise there would be no point in fighting. Unless both bulls were in musth, then it would be a dangerous battle, possibly a fight to the death.

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