Rhino vs. Tiger: Who would win? Power Comparison 2023

Two majestic beasts on both ends! On one side, we have the Bengal Tiger, who’s going to face off with the Indian One Horned Rhino! Difficult to choose a side, right? Well, we have got your back. In today’s article, we are going to answer one of the most frequent questions, Rhino vs. Tiger: Who would win? Power Comparison 2022. In this article, we are going to compare the Bengal Tiger with the Indian One-Horned Rhino, as the two share almost the same habitat.

The answer to this question is, A Rhino will win the fight between a Tiger and a Rhinoceros. The reason being the latter’s sheer body size, strength, and other superior stats. Though the Bengal Tiger is the largest in the cat family and is immensely strong, too, it will be almost a next-to-impossible task to defeat an adult male Indian Rhinoceros in battle. At most, it can leave a few scratches, but no lethal damage than that.

Later in this post, we are going to draw out a clear comparison between the two that will further strengthen our decision. So, let’s get going with today’s article.

Comparison between Tiger and Rhino

           Bengal Tiger     One-Horned Rhinoceros
  • Their body weight lies between 167-234 kg.
  • The males weigh around 2,200 kg while females weigh slightly less, at 1600 kg.
  • Bengal Tigers have a body length of 73- 83 in (1.9-2.1 m) for males, while females are slightly less, 65-76 inches.
  • Males are generally 3.8 meters (12.4 feet) long, while females are slightly smaller, with average lengths of 3.1-3.4 meters.
  • They have an average shoulder height of nearly 90-100 centimeters.
  • These giants have average shoulder heights of 1.6-1.9 meters (5.7-6.5 feet).
  • The Bengal Tiger exhibits a bite force of 1,050 N.
  • One Horned Rhino, or the Indian Rhino, has a bite force of approx 1000 psi.
  • They have one of the strongest paw strike forces, enough to break the neck of a Wild water buffalo, the 3rd largest mammal in the Indian subcontinent.
  • Rhinos are immensely strong, and with the 3-tonne body, they can easily hit with a force of 8000 psi.
  • The Bengal Tiger is equipped with a strong muscular body, with a muscle percentage that exceeds all mammals on earth. They have the largest canines of all cats (6.5 -8 cm). Apart from this, they have retractable claws measuring up to 4 in (10 cm).
  • The Rhino can be compared to a living tank with armor-like skin, which is around 45 mm thick. The one-horned rhino, as per its name suggests, is equipped with only one horn, which can be 8-24 inches long.
  • Tigers are more agile than Rhinos and can run at speeds of 50-65 km/h. They run in short bursts and cannot maintain their speed for long.
  • The Indian Rhino is a bit on the lesser agile end but can run with a speed of 25 -40 km/h.
  •  In the wild, the Bengal Tiger has a life expectancy of nearly 8-10 years.
  • The Greater Indian Rhino lives much longer, anywhere between 35-40 years.

How Strong are Rhinos? Diet, Habitat & Power Explanation

Rhinos are one of the largest terrestrial animals on earth. Though there are many species of the Rhinoceros, like the Black Rhino, the White Rhino, and the Greater One Horned Indian Rhino, the one we are considering for this article is the One Horned Rhinoceros.

The Indian Rhino primarily inhabits the grasslands, at the foothills of the Himalayas, in the Indo-Gangetic Plain. They are majorly found in India, Nepal, and a few areas in Pakistan. A resident of the grasslands, these Rhinos mainly feed on grasses, leaves, and sometimes aquatic plants.

Rhino-vs-Tiger_Rhino-chasing-a-Tiger
Image Source: Navbharat Times

The Rhinoceros is one of the strongest animals on earth. With nearly a 2,200 kg body and running speeds of nearly 40-50 km/h, these animals are living tanks. They can come dashing into with a strike force that exceeds 8000 psi.

The 8-24 inch horn near the nose can significantly damage any incoming predator. Though they do not have canines, the Rhino has a sinister bite force of nearly 1000 psi that exceeds even those of some big cats.

Often for their sheer strength, almost no predators dare to come near this colossal beast. The thick armor-like skin works wonders. Even that lion or a tiger’s claws cannot pierce through it, rendering them inevitable.


How Strong are Tigers? Diet, Habitat & Power Explanation

Now, let’s talk about the largest of the big cats, the Bengal Tiger. Though there are many tiger species like the Siberian Tiger, Bali Tiger, etc., it is the Bengal Tiger that shares the same habitat as the Indian Rhino. Today, the Bengal Tiger is found majorly in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan. The population is scattered throughout, mainly in National Parks and Biosphere Reserves.

The Bengal Tiger mainly feeds on large animals like the Sambar, chital, Nilgai, Indian Gaur, Wild hogs, etc. Tigers in the Sundarban Swamps are also known to feed on fish and crabs. They may also hunt langurs, peacocks, and other smaller primates that may seem fit.

The Bengal Tiger is among the strongest and the largest in the cat family, possessing multiple superior stats. They can strike with their claws with the strongest force that exceeds that of all terrestrial carnivores.

Bengal Tigers’ strike is so strong it can instantly snap the neck of an adult male Asiatic Buffalo, one of the largest bovines in the world. Not only that, the bite force of the Indian Tiger is nearly 1,050 psi. Altogether, the Bengal Tiger is a powerhouse, a killing machine, capable of taking down prey even greater than them in size.


Rhino vs. Tiger: Overall Comparison

1) Based on Strength

In a Rhino vs. Tiger fight, based on strength, the Indian Horned Rhino would take the crown. Solely talking about brute force, the Rhino is much stronger than the Tiger, owing to its 3-tonne body, against the latter’s merely 200-300 kg. Rhinos can strike with an overwhelming force of 8000 psi, enough to brush away an adult tiger.


2) Based on Toughness

Concerning toughness, it’s the Indian Rhino again, who will have the upper hand, thanks to their 45 mm thick armor-like skin. Though Tigers, like other big cats, possess a very thick skin, it is no match for the Rhinos, who have one of the thickest skins in the world.


3) Based on Bite Force

The Bengal Tiger will have the upper hand in terms of bite force, which is nearly around 1,050 psi. Since the Tiger is a carnivorous beast, bite force is highly essential to break the bones of large animals or to snap their neck.

Rhinos are herbivores whose only way to eat is by simply cutting the grass blades, which can be done with the most nominal bite forces. However, the bite force of a rhino is around 100.


4) Based on Speed

In terms of speed, it’s the Bengal Tiger again, who will again steal the show. Tigers are more agile than rhinos and can also run at incredible speeds. The Rhino’s huge trunk and body mass may become a hindrance to their agility.

Tigers, like other felines, need to hunt and chase their prey, which demands excellent agility and speed, something Rhinos do not need to think about. Despite that, Rhinos can run at speeds of 30-50 km/h, a massive feat for such a giant animal.


5) Based on Offense

Since the Tiger is a carnivore, it is more of an offensive being, pouncing upon prey to kill them. They are ambush predators and need to quickly jump on their prey before the latter escapes. Rhinos do not need to hunt or chase their prey and hence do not need to be offensive in their habits.


6) Based on Defense

As Nature’s rule goes, Herbivores are more of a defensive being. They need to protect themselves from predators. Therefore, the Rhino is more on the defensive side, with horns and tough skin. Though Rhinos, due to their size, have minimum predators, they have developed certain defense mechanisms like other herbivores.


Known Incidents:

The only possible confrontation between the two majestic beings happens in India. Among the several National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries, the Kaziranga National Park stands at the peak that has witnessed fights between the two.

In 2008, Rabi Sharma from the Wildlife Institute of India recorded a case of Rhino predation by Tigers. According to his accounts, an adult female Rhino was lying with deep injuries on its hind legs caused by a tiger’s claws. Later investigation suggests that the female Rhino was hunted by a group of tigers, which consisted of 3-4 tigers.

The 2017 incident witnessed an interspecific fight between a tiger and a rhino. However, this was a natural incident, as stated by the forest officials. Both the individuals were found dead close to each other, at 38 m apart.

Rhino-vs-Tiger_Baby-rhino-rescued-after-Tiger-Attack
Image Source: Earth Touch News Network

In 2019, a Male tiger was spotted feeding on a 600 kg Rhino carcass. Experts suggest that the dead animal was merely a calf, and it was relatively easy for the adult male to go on with the kill. Otherwise, it would be the next impossible task for a tiger to kill an adult male Rhino.

A year ago, in 2021, a video was shared on the WildIndia News Youtube channel, where a Tiger was seen being chased off aggressively by a Rhino. Experts reason for this incident as a territorial act, which is pretty common in the wild. This Rhino vs. Tiger video is from the Kaziranga National Park in Assam, India.

As a final answer, in a fight between an adult male tiger and an adult male Rhino, both in their prime, it will be the Rhinoceros who will emerge victorious. Given its sheer power, it will be a next to impossible task for a Tiger to bring a Rhino down. If the Rhino is a calf, a small female, or an injured individual, or the Tigers are hunting in a group, there exists a possibility to hunt the massive animal. Otherwise, the Rhino will indeed have the upper hand.

Here, we conclude the article on, Rhino vs. Tiger: Who would win? Power Comparison 2022. I hope it has given you clarity on the topic. In case of any suggestions, do reach out to us in the comment section.

References:

CHAPTER 73 RHINOCEROS AND TIGER CONSERVATION by USC House

Rhinoceros & Tiger Conservation Act – Rhino Resource Center

Wikipedia, Rhino vs Tiger (YouTube)


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