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View Full Version : Could an adult human male win in a hand to hand fight with an adult male baboon?


astro
12-25-2004, 11:03 PM
Man -
175 lbs
25 years old
in good shape

Baboon - (http://save-the-elephants.org/Photo%20Gallery/Baboon%20and%20DikDik/original/DSC00463.jpg)
95 lbs
18 years old
in good shape (http://masai-mara.com/mmvpbb.jpg)

Hand to hand - No sticks or other weapons

Arena - On the Savannah

Bryan Ekers
12-25-2004, 11:19 PM
A lot of combat between predators is about posturing and confidence, rather than strength or ferocity. If the human convinces himself not to show any signs of fear, the baboon may eventually get the impression he's facing a much more determined (and certainly physically larger) opponent and back down before he gets hurt. Similarly, humans have successfully faced down angry elephants by simply not giving into fear.

Gary T
12-26-2004, 12:28 AM
But if it gets to an actual fight, the human is toast. Them puppies is strong, smart, and got wicked teeth.

In my teens, I read a lot of books about big game hunting in Africa and India. In one of them, the author described witnessing a mother baboon fighting to keep her kid(s) safe from a leopard. He was amazed because in this case the baboon won and drove off the leopard -- apparently 99 percent of the time the leopard would win. Now, do you know how powerful a leopard is? Any critter that can just put up a decent fight against a leopard, much less possibly win (even if only 1% of the time), is one bad sumbitch.

EsotericEnigma
12-26-2004, 12:39 AM
Maybe if the human studied how baboons fight and knew what to expect it would make a difference, kind of the way that boxers will look at clips of their opponents before the match to train.

moriah
12-26-2004, 12:59 AM
My money is on the human... most of the time, if he's prepared.

Sure, most animals can sink their teeth into a person with a vise like grip that would be impossible for a human to pry open relying on physical strength.

However, a human who's trained to fight and won't try to simply flee or panic from such a bite knows how to jam their thumbs deep into the eye socket of the animal.

Peace.

Valgard
12-26-2004, 01:22 AM
Maybe if the human studied how baboons fight and knew what to expect it would make a difference, kind of the way that boxers will look at clips of their opponents before the match to train.

But this supposes that the two are otherwise fairly equal. On the other hand if I study all of Evander Holyfield's moves and then get in the ring with him, about the best I can hope for is to know which hand he's going to use to flatten me.

I couldn't find anything online about the absolute strength of baboons or even the relative strength of baboons compared to chimpanzees but let's use the chimp as a starting point. Chimps are about 50% larger than baboons (150 lbs vs. 100 lbs average male size) and chimps are extraordinarily strong (Saint Louis zoo throws out a blanket "7 times as strong as a man"). If we scale that down by body size we're still talking about a monkey that is several times as strong as a person, plus it has fangs and can use all four limbs for grasping.

That indicates a small, fast, strong opponent stabbing away at your repeatedly. My money is on the monkey.

Moriah's idea about going for the eyes is probably exactly what the baboon will be doing - slashing away at your face. IIRC from previous reading that's a common tactic amongst various monkeys.

C3
12-26-2004, 02:42 AM
Only tangentially related, but my dad once worked in Ethiopia surveying the land for the purpose of making maps for the US government. He and his workmates were out in the field one day and came up over a hill. Before them was a huge group of baboons. They needed to get through, but the baboons were in their way, so they picked up some rocks to toss into the group and scare them away. Without hesitation, the baboons picked up the rocks, plus some other they saw scattered around, and heaved them all back at the guys, doing some pretty good damage and scaring the crap out of my dad and his friends.

RandomLetters
12-26-2004, 03:12 AM
In my teens, I read a lot of books about big game hunting in Africa and India. In one of them, the author described witnessing a mother baboon fighting to keep her kid(s) safe from a leopard. He was amazed because in this case the baboon won and drove off the leopard -- apparently 99 percent of the time the leopard would win. Now, do you know how powerful a leopard is? Any critter that can just put up a decent fight against a leopard, much less possibly win (even if only 1% of the time), is one bad sumbitch.

Of course, people have killed leopards with their bare hands before - let me see if I can dig up that photo of Charles Cottar who did while his son was filming back in the day.

mmmiiikkkeee
12-26-2004, 03:43 AM
Surely after reading the hundred or so existing threads about fights between humans and various animals - ?who would win? - you know they always end up in long-winded arguments between two sides who have two different interpretations of what's being asked. So I'm assuming you mistakenly forgot to include the most important detail in your question:

Are you asking "is it in any way physically possible for at least one human at some point in history to have won such a fight even by complete freak accident?"

OR

Are you asking how likely it is that the guy you described in the OP would win right now today?

Also what do you consider "winning", and a "fight"?

Winning
- One animal running away?
- One animal starting strong but then finishing the fight weak?
- One animal bleeding from the face? (you'd be surprised how many people judge the winner of a human fight this way)
- One animal suffering permanent but non life-threatening damage (eg loose and eye/ get a huge scar)?
- One animal suffering injuries requiring human intervention to heal?
- One animal dead - immediatley/2 hours later/next week?
......................from what - blood loss/organ trauma/infection?
- Is the judging criteria fair? - would the baboon need to tear the human apart to win while the human just has to survive 3 minutes without bleeding to death to win?
- What happens if both animals are seriously hurt?
What about a combo of the above (eg baboon looses eye and eventually runs away but human started strong with the gouge but then had their jugular ripped open, collapsed helpless in the fetal position, and had to be be saved by a paramedic?

Fight
- Territorial scrap?
- Defending young?
- Rabid/drug induced rage?
- Illogical deathmatch that both animals somehow comprehend and agree to?

All these types of encounters would be fought differently and be judged differently from both animal's perspectives. I'd consider myself the winner of a territorial fight if I stepped on the monkey's toe and he ran away. I'd also say I won in an insane random attack from a marauding baboon if I happened to live through it. None of the answers you get will mean much if all this stuff isn't understood - anything from "100% guarentee yes" to "no way in hell" could be argued succesfully.

CarnalK
12-26-2004, 05:11 AM
Well the reason we won this planet was through intelligence and intelligent use of dominance displays- things that OFTEN come into play in a physical fight with an animal.

Almost always, animals submit to another animal that shows no fear- this is very useful to a human who can think properly at the proper time.

If I personally got into a fight with a monkey-which I'm sure has more strength- I would make more noise&violent motions- I'm betting it would keep me alive anyway. :)

Martin Hyde
12-26-2004, 06:11 AM
I think the biggest strength for animals is most of them are extremely agile. And they are also typically much faster than humans (although many animals that have a higher raw speed couldn't chase down a human in a lot of situations because humans typically know how to better use terrain and humans are able to outrun quite a few animals, even horses in some cases, over a long period of time/long distance.)

In this particular fight I think the baboon would win most of the time (assuming a physical confrontation actually occurs.) However a human would stand a decent chance if they got lucky with an opening kick to the throat, head area. A baboon probably is stronger than many ordinary people, and definitely has more natural weapons, but a 95 lbs. animal receiving a solid kick to the throat or head area will be in critical physical condition afterwards.

Fighting a wild animal with bare hands is pretty dumb though, we became the dominant species on this planet by using our heads, not our fists.

Also even a lot of the more ferocious predators will stay away from humans if humans make aggressive displays, even some of the big cats (jaguars, leopards, cheetahs, panthers, mountain lions) won't directly confront a human in a direct confrontation because the human towers over them. Now whenever serious hunger or fear comes into play with a wild mammal the rulebook is thrown out the window. For example several people in California have been killed by mountain lions, and this is a combination of the animals being very hungry and also being in an area where they have grown used to human presence and did not feel overly threatened by them.

Sam Stone
12-26-2004, 12:58 PM
I don't think it would be close. I think a baboon would destroy a human. Humans generally don't fight with the ferocity of animals. Baboons are very, very strong. They have big teeth. I think a 95lb Baboon would kill a human pretty easily if it really wanted to.

sjc
12-26-2004, 01:26 PM
Fighting a wild animal with bare hands is pretty dumb though, we became the dominant species on this planet by using our heads, not our fists.


So you are saying a head-butt is the way to go? :D

Eleusis
12-26-2004, 03:02 PM
I don't think it would be close. I think a baboon would destroy a human. Humans generally don't fight with the ferocity of animals. Baboons are very, very strong. They have big teeth. I think a 95lb Baboon would kill a human pretty easily if it really wanted to.
Yeah, I'm thinking your average baboon could rip Ahnold's arms out if he wanted to.,

ouryL
12-26-2004, 03:54 PM
Man -
175 lbs
25 years old
in good shape

Baboon - (http://save-the-elephants.org/Photo%20Gallery/Baboon%20and%20DikDik/original/DSC00463.jpg)
95 lbs
18 years old
in good shape (http://masai-mara.com/mmvpbb.jpg)

Hand to hand - No sticks or other weapons

Arena - On the Savannah

Were you watching "The Naked Prey (http://imdb.com/title/tt0060736/?fr=c2l0ZT1kZnxteD0yMHxzZz0xfGxtPTIwMHx0dD1vbnxwbj0wfHE9VGhlIE5ha2VkIFByZXl8aHRtbD0xfG5tPW9u;fc=1;ft =2;fm=1)" again?

Sam Stone
12-26-2004, 04:04 PM
I remember seeing a demonstration of the strength of a Chimpanzee. A zookeeper gave it a wooden dowel about 1" thick, and the Chimp twisted it apart. I'd like to see any human on the planet try that.

Zerc
12-26-2004, 04:43 PM
This may also be a bit off-topic but this is what happened to me.

About a month ago I was walking with my girlfriend to the end of Cape Point in South Africa with a bottle of cooldrink in my hand. As we were walking along the path a baboon came towards us. My GF said the baboon wanted my drink so I hid it behind my back. The baboon came up to me, showed me his teeth, went round behind me and grabbed my cooldrink. I had visions of this animal jumping on my face and ripping me apart so I certainly wasn't going to fight him or any other baboon over a cooldrink, especially after he showed me his nice canines.

Happy Lendervedder
12-26-2004, 05:28 PM
This may also be a bit off-topic but this is what happened to me.

About a month ago I was walking with my girlfriend to the end of Cape Point in South Africa with a bottle of cooldrink in my hand. As we were walking along the path a baboon came towards us. My GF said the baboon wanted my drink so I hid it behind my back. The baboon came up to me, showed me his teeth, went round behind me and grabbed my cooldrink. I had visions of this animal jumping on my face and ripping me apart so I certainly wasn't going to fight him or any other baboon over a cooldrink, especially after he showed me his nice canines.


Dude, you should've fought him. You could have given us the definitive answer.


Plus, it was a cool drink. Where are your priorities, man?

ridealong
12-26-2004, 06:36 PM
One thing to factor in is that wild animals survive to adulthood by fighting other wild animals--and winning. Most men--even the meanest bouncer in the roughest biker bar--probably haven't much experience fighting baboons.

One question, though, for anyone with wilderness experience: I have always heard that wild animals are instinctively afraid of fire. Would lighting a torch, or maybe even flashing a cigarette lighter, scare away a predatory animal?

astro
12-26-2004, 07:01 PM
One thing to factor in is that wild animals survive to adulthood by fighting other wild animals--and winning. Most men--even the meanest bouncer in the roughest biker bar--probably haven't much experience fighting baboons.

One question, though, for anyone with wilderness experience: I have always heard that wild animals are instinctively afraid of fire. Would lighting a torch, or maybe even flashing a cigarette lighter, scare away a predatory animal?

No external tools (including fire) are allowed in this fight. It's mano a monko.

mangeorge
12-26-2004, 07:24 PM
It looks to me like Zerc has anawered your question, astro.
Unless someone else can show where a human has walked up to a baboon, showed his teeth, and taken his bottle of cooldrink.

mangeorge
12-26-2004, 07:27 PM
This may also be a bit off-topic but this is what happened to me.

About a month ago I was walking with my girlfriend to the end of Cape Point in South Africa with a bottle of cooldrink in my hand. As we were walking along the path a baboon came towards us. My GF said the baboon wanted my drink so I hid it behind my back. The baboon came up to me, showed me his teeth, went round behind me and grabbed my cooldrink. I had visions of this animal jumping on my face and ripping me apart so I certainly wasn't going to fight him or any other baboon over a cooldrink, especially after he showed me his nice canines.
Be glad he didn't show any interest in the gf. You can be forgiven for giving up the drink. ;)
Or were you?

Janx
12-26-2004, 09:18 PM
No way:

Cecil answered this question (straightdope.com/classics/a1_001b.html)
Though it was about Chimpanzees. As I understand it, Baboons are bigger than Chimps.

Crandolph
12-26-2004, 09:22 PM
Maybe you could get the baboon to pig out on steak before the fight and he'd be all "No mas, no mas no more box." Just a thought.

Valgard
12-26-2004, 09:33 PM
It looks to me like Zerc has anawered your question, astro.
Unless someone else can show where a human has walked up to a baboon, showed his teeth, and taken his bottle of cooldrink.

If you google "Baboon attack" you'll get all sorts of stories. Here's one:

http://capeargus.co.za/index.php?fSectionId=49&fArticleId=2194506

Note that the humans did in fact shove the baboon away when it attacked, however this doesn't really address the OP since it appears that he was asking about an actual fight to the death, not about a baboon getting pissy when a tourist didn't have lots of food in her purse.

Valgard
12-26-2004, 09:37 PM
...but I'm still standing by my original answer which is "Baboon will win".

Enola Straight
12-26-2004, 09:47 PM
The Human...if he's prepared. ;)

Just bum rush the critter and kick 'em in the head, man!

astro
12-26-2004, 09:49 PM
No way:

Cecil answered this question (straightdope.com/classics/a1_001b.html)
Though it was about Chimpanzees. As I understand it, Baboons are bigger than Chimps.

It's the reverse. Chimps are considerably bigger than baboons on average. A male alpha chimpanzee is usually 130 - 160 lbs. Male alpha baboons usually top out at around 100 lbs. Adult chimps (which people rarely see) are a lot bigger than you think. TV chimps are usually juveniles.

mangeorge
12-26-2004, 11:27 PM
If you google "Baboon attack" you'll get all sorts of stories. Here's one:

http://capeargus.co.za/index.php?fSectionId=49&fArticleId=2194506

Note that the humans did in fact shove the baboon away when it attacked, however this doesn't really address the OP since it appears that he was asking about an actual fight to the death, not about a baboon getting pissy when a tourist didn't have lots of food in her purse.
It was a joke, Valgard, a role reversal kinda thing. Get it? I thought the mental picture was kinda funny. You know, a man baring his teeth at a baboon (and ms baboon) and then stealing his cooldrink. She probably wanted a sip. ;)

Janx
12-27-2004, 12:17 AM
It's the reverse. Chimps are considerably bigger than baboons on average. A male alpha chimpanzee is usually 130 - 160 lbs.

I stand corrected. I thought the ones we see are adults. However, when you consider the muscular structure of a baboon Vs. a human, the human would be dust.

Valgard
12-27-2004, 12:33 AM
It was a joke, Valgard, a role reversal kinda thing. Get it? I thought the mental picture was kinda funny. You know, a man baring his teeth at a baboon (and ms baboon) and then stealing his cooldrink. She probably wanted a sip. ;)

If a man bites a baboon does he wind up with a mouthful of rhesus pieces?

Martin Hyde
12-27-2004, 01:26 AM
That's an interesting answer by Cecil but it didn't say if the man also was able to use the leverage. The way it is described the chimps were using the strength of their arms + both legs and some back and ab strength while if a human was doing the exercise properly they wouldn't have had near that advantage.

As an example in early Junior high on the leg-press machine I could do something like 250-300 lbs (I can't really remember how much I could leg press as a little kid, but it was low, I know that, I wasn't in good shape til around 16+.) But anyways, if I put both of my legs on the foot rests, rose my body up to the top of the chair, reached down to the arm rests and pulled down as I forced all my weight down I could lift the entire stack (over 800 lbs) of weights on this machine. Which I couldn't get remotely close to doing with the muscles of my legs alone (which is how the machine was supposed to be used.))

Anyways I don't doubt chimps are vastly stronger than humans (in fact I know they are) but that experiment is basically useless.

astro
12-27-2004, 02:03 AM
I have to admit that I think people are giving humans short shrift here. Human's legs are far stronger than a baboons, and a roundhouse kick by a 175 man to the head or body of a baboon half the weight of the man is (IMO) quite likely to stun or injure it severely. In addition humans have far greater endurance over time than a baboon (or chimp for that matter). If a man is agile enough to keep out of reach he could easily wear down a baboon by keeping out of reach until it tires then kicking and stomping it to death.

A baboon may be capable of short bursts of speed for limited distances, but is is nowhere near as fast on the open plain as a fit human runner. If man is smart and used the main strength of his endurance, killing a baboon should be quite possible.

mmmiiikkkeee
12-27-2004, 05:47 AM
Err, I hate to join this without knowing the stuff I was asking about, but I think the human losing is pretty accurate. I'm assuming we're talking odds for the average 175lb 25 yr-old on beating his baboon equivilent unarmed, and whoever gets seriously maimed and/or dead first loses?

OK to address the deadly human kicking first... how many humans actually know what a roundhouse is and how to do it correctly? If you want to see the average human's instinctive kicking abilities watch a group of people who are on a field playing soccer for the first time - you'll laugh your ass off. Accuracy, coordination, and kicking technique (at least any that you'd be able to kill with) are pretty much non-existant until learned; and a life & death battle isn't the time to do that. If humans were really any good at kicking things to death with no practice there'd be a lot fewer dog injuries and a lot more dead or maimed snappy dogs. I've never heard of a person being able to do much more than distract a medium sized dog with kicks. I doubt they'd be able to do any worse to a 100lb monkey.

I don't think cardio combined with out-manuevering would be much of a bet either; your baboon will be at least as agile and quick as a big dog spending so much time on all fours. You won't be able to slowly jog circles around a loping monkey who'll take long slow dives at you like a showjumping horse. They'll most likely charge in real fast closing the distance, hold up just out of range and check you out for a few seconds, then leap at your face grabbing onto anything they can get their hands on. I'd say it would be a matter of under 30 seconds before you had to deal with a screaming 100-lb baboon clawing your eyes, biting your neck, and holding on with 3 other appendages. Again, think of a baboon as a german shepard with the habits and agility of a monkey. I know I'm not gonna outrun or dodge a police dog chasing me down.

Lastly any wild baboon that old will have spent the past 18 years defending it's self unarmed in real life and death struggles with very nasty cats and other baboons. It won't panic, it will know how to handle it's self. Most humans simply never get that kind of experience. And any that do will look for a weapon first so what percentage would really have a clue what to do with empty hands standing buck naked in a field when a huge set of teeth attached to an animal they've certainly never fought before are lunging for their faces?

As I asked earlier, if the question is "is it possible?", the answer is YES. Just about anything CAN happen. A 6 year-old girl could kill an adult elephant given the right circumstances and coincidental chain of events. If the question is "Is it likely?", the answer is no. Most humans would lose that fight pretty fast.

mangeorge
12-27-2004, 03:48 PM
If a man bites a baboon does he wind up with a mouthful of rhesus pieces?
Good one.
What I want to know is, is Zerc's "cooldrink" a colloquialism or a typo. I've repeated it here a couple times, but nobody's commented.
Whadduo, Zerc? ;)
I kinda remember that baboons and chimps are often buddies. Might want to consider that before you go trying to roundhouse kick one.
Really, though, part of delivering an effective roundhouse is feinting, confusing your opponent. Might not work on a baboon who doesn't know the rules. You'd be in a pretty delicate position half way through a kick with a three foot tall critter under your knee.

Ike Witt
12-27-2004, 04:04 PM
I remember seeing a demonstration of the strength of a Chimpanzee. A zookeeper gave it a wooden dowel about 1" thick, and the Chimp twisted it apart. I'd like to see any human on the planet try that.


I'll try. I'll try anything once. I'm 99.9999% certain that I won't twist it apart, but I have no problem giving it a try.

Zerc
12-27-2004, 04:10 PM
Good one.
What I want to know is, is Zerc's "cooldrink" a colloquialism or a typo. I've repeated it here a couple times, but nobody's commented.

I guess cooldrink is a colloquialism. It's what we tend to call a drink that is cool (as in cold not 'kewl') here in South Africa. It can range from carbonated drinks such as Coca-Cola, Sprite or Pepsi to fruit juices. It doesn't refer to an alchoholic drink though.

mangeorge
12-27-2004, 04:18 PM
Thanks, Zerc I really do learn something every day.
Cool story about the baboon. I'm sure it's funny to you now. Too bad you didn't get it on video.

Barbarian
12-27-2004, 04:37 PM
Anyone ever taken a baboon into a judo ring?

Left Hand of Dorkness
12-27-2004, 04:45 PM
The more interesting question, I think, is whether a world-class martial artist could win this fight. Because there's no question that a human's physique is a major disadvantage in the fight; the question is whether the human brain can overcome this disadvantage.

As a follow-up question, what's the most dangerous animal that any human has killed barehanded?

Daniel

Starving Artist
12-27-2004, 05:03 PM
If a man bites a baboon does he wind up with a mouthful of rhesus pieces?Stop! You're killin' me!

:D :D :D :D :D

pravnik
12-27-2004, 05:04 PM
As a follow-up question, what's the most dangerous animal that any human has killed barehanded?

I recall hearing a story a few years back about a man who survived being mauled by a tiger by forcing his arm down its throat until it choked to death. Can't find anything on it now, however. Pretty gutsy if true.

Valgard
12-27-2004, 09:34 PM
Stop! You're killin' me!

:D :D :D :D :D

Thank you! I'll be here all week! Showtimes every hour, on the hour.

Gary T
12-28-2004, 02:03 AM
A kick might be effective if you could actually land it. As I recall, kicking (leg) speed is about 1/3 of punching (arm) speed. I suspect a baboon's reflexes are such that a human would be lucky to get a punch in and it would be miraculous for him to get a kick in.

Baboons are made for this sort of fight, and they're fierce. Humans are not made for this sort of fight -- less strength, no teeth to speak of, no claws. Humans prevail by planning, using tools and weapons, and controlling the environment. The stated situation here precludes the human's advantages while favoring the baboon's. I still say no contest, one shredded human coming up.

mangeorge
12-28-2004, 03:21 PM
Gary T touched on one of the disadvantages for the human. In fighting we rely on planning, etc, and that our opponent will do the same, to some extent at least. that slows us. Your average baboon isn't into that at all, so he isn't going to react as we would (instinctively)expect. He'll simply see a vunerable target and attack.

Left Hand of Dorkness
12-28-2004, 04:32 PM
A kick might be effective if you could actually land it. As I recall, kicking (leg) speed is about 1/3 of punching (arm) speed. I suspect a baboon's reflexes are such that a human would be lucky to get a punch in and it would be miraculous for him to get a kick in.

Baboons are made for this sort of fight, and they're fierce. Humans are not made for this sort of fight -- less strength, no teeth to speak of, no claws. Humans prevail by planning, using tools and weapons, and controlling the environment. The stated situation here precludes the human's advantages while favoring the baboon's. I still say no contest, one shredded human coming up.

Even if the human is well-trained for this fight? I'd see the following strategies being possibilities:
-Pain holds
-Bone breaking or joint breaking (e.g., if the baboon lashes out with a claw, step to the outside of it, grab the arm, and bend backwards)
-Bluffing
-Stomping on feet
-Sacrificing (i.e., give the baboon one arm to chew on, then use the other arm to strike it in a vulnerable spot).

Obviously some schmoe like myself won't stand a chance. But it seems likely to me that someone who's well trained in unarmed combat might be able to stand a chance.

I mean, heck, if the hand-down-the-throat maneuver worked on a tiger, might it not work on a baboon?

Daniel

Sam Stone
12-28-2004, 05:56 PM
I'm well trained in unarmed combat (black belt in Karate), and I don't think any of that would work against a Baboon. Pain holds? Animals don't perceive pain the same way we do. Punch it in a vulnerable spot? There are no vulnerable spots, in the sense of their being a place you can hit that will disable the creature physically. Perhaps if you could gouge out its eyes, but that's unlikely.

Tell you what - since the Baboon has big teetch and a snout designed to get those teeth into action, let's arm the human with some similar weapons. Give the human say, two claw hammers. Now he might have a chance if he's really fast.

mangeorge
12-28-2004, 06:32 PM
Give me that S&W 50 over on that other thread. ;)
Better yet, I won't go where I'm not welcome. In the vincinity of psychotic baboons, for example.
Has there ever been a more meaningful thread, like pitting different "style" human fighters against each other?
Yeah, mangeorge. That would be really meaningful. :rolleyes:

Left Hand of Dorkness
12-29-2004, 10:04 AM
Pain holds? Animals don't perceive pain the same way we do.

Huh? In what sense is this true? They've got the same sorts of nerves we've got, the same pain receptors in the brain; animals respond to pain in fashins analogous to how humans respond.

Do you mean they don't react the way we do? That's true: an animal is less likely to tolerate pain than a human, I'd think, given that it can't rationalize the pain away. But maybe an animal fighting for its life would be better at ignoring the pain; I dunno. Why do you think this would be true?

[quotePunch it in a vulnerable spot? There are no vulnerable spots, in the sense of their being a place you can hit that will disable the creature physically.[/quote]
Sure there are: joints, clavicle, trachea. Break an arm, and it won't be using the arm. Break the clavicle, and it won't be using either arm. Break the trachea, and it can't breathe. I don't know whether a groin kick would have any effect.

Again, I'm not talking about something that your average schmoe could manage; I'm talking about folks who are at the top of the sort of unarmed combat. If someone can manage to choke a tiger to death unarmed, I'd figure someone could come out on top versus a baboon.

Daniel

Sean Factotum
12-29-2004, 11:28 AM
Well, my dad tells a story that happened in the late Fifties. He was working in West Virginia with a man who later became a fairly famous professional wrestler. And he was a pretty big guy in his youth, and still is from what I hear. Strong, like ox is strong, as they say in the old country.

This wrestler, B, got into a cage match with an orangutan. If you won, you got fifty dollars. If you lost, the owner of the ape kept your ten dollar or so entrance fee. The way the game was ran, the ape could fight however it pleased, but the human had to pick whether he was going to box or wrestle, and stick with that choice throughout the match. The guys on his crew (including my dad) ponied up the entry fee, B chose to wrestle, and entered the cage.

The orang climbed to the top of the cage, let loose a mighty monkey yell, and jumped down onto B. He grabbed the orang, broke its hold, got it in a headlock, and started to take it down to the floor for a pin. The orang's owner stuck a broom handle through the bars, and broke B's hold. B didn't like this, but what could he do? The orang had already scampered up to the top of the cage.

The orang, hanging from the ceiling of the cage, yelled, and jumped on B again. This time, B broke its hold, and put him in a full-nelson. He started taking the ape down, and again the owner broke up the clinch with the broom handle.

B was really pissed at this point. So when the orang did its jump from the top of the cage a third time (after the requisite monkey yell, of course,) B leaned back and threw the strongest punch he could at the orang. Punched him right in the jaw, and knocked out the poor primate. So we have one B, strong like ox is strong and mad as hornets get mad, scratches covering his chest and back from the nails and teeth of the orang, standing over the unconscious orang. The crowd went wild - apparently no man had ever taken down this Kong before in the long, glorious history of northeastern West Virginia roadside attractions.

But this story doesn't have a happy ending. Poor B, despite his best efforts and obvious superhuman strength, had to forfeit the match. The owner wouldn't pay up, because B switched from wrestling to boxing in the middle of the fight. Lost on a technicality, he did.

Now, like I said, this happened before my mom and dad married, some five or six years before I was born. So I don't have first hand knowledge of this, and would have thought it was just a story my dad told, except for one incident that happened when I was about six or seven.

My dad and I were in a hardware store, and we ran into B there. This was about 1970, and B was well known in my hometown (and indeed, even across the country) by then. When my dad saw him, he went up to B and said, "Hey,you look like a guy I once saw beat up an orangutan." B laughed, asked how my dad had been over the years, and gave us some tickets to an upcoming wrestling match. But he didn't deny it, and I vaguely remember B and my dad talking about it that day.

SlyFrog
12-29-2004, 11:40 AM
But this story doesn't have a happy ending. Poor B, despite his best efforts and obvious superhuman strength, had to forfeit the match. The owner wouldn't pay up, because B switched from wrestling to boxing in the middle of the fight. Lost on a technicality, he did.

Um, I'm confused. It's okay to prevent B from wrestling by interfering with the "match" and breaking all of his legitimate wrestling holds, but not okay to respond by using a legitimate boxing punch? Huh?

pravnik
12-29-2004, 11:45 AM
"Look, pally, you saw what I did to your orangutan. Now pay up or it's your turn, and we'll be usin' the 'broom handle rule' in our little skirmish as well!"

Sean Factotum
12-29-2004, 12:09 PM
Um, I'm confused. It's okay to prevent B from wrestling by interfering with the "match" and breaking all of his legitimate wrestling holds, but not okay to respond by using a legitimate boxing punch? Huh?
Yeah, that's what got B pissed off. What, you thought something like this would conform to Queensbury Rules?
As I understand it, they went back a day or two later with some troopers, but the man and primate had skipped town. Guess the orangutan decided that he'd had enough of the roadside semi-carny life.

Sam Stone
12-29-2004, 02:50 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness: Animals experience pain, but they don't react to it like humans. Pain holds in humans work because the human is capable of understanding why he's feeling the pain, and understanding what he needs to do to make it stop. Pain in an animal is just as likely to enrage it, because it won't understand what's happening. Humans also have the capacity to project into the future, to understand that the pain will continue and to empathize with how that will feel, and that's a big part of our 'experience' of pain. Animals don't have that, other than at an instinctual level.

As for breaking limbs - I don't think you have any idea how hard that is to do. For my black belt test I had to have 2 X 2 pieces of timber broken over my arms and legs. It wasn't that big a deal, but we were giving a demonstration one time and my Sensei attempted this, not knowing that the wood in question had been left outside for a year or so and was as hard as rock. We smashed his arms half a dozen times with it and it wouldn't break. Finally we took it outside, leaned it against a wall, and kicked it. It split down the middle, but didn't break. The point is, we were essentially hitting him with a bat, over and over again, and we didn't break a limb. It takes a huge amount of force to break bones in animals that are young and conditioned.

As for snapping tendons, yes, that can be done. But I recall reading that tendons in apes aren't attached the same way they are in humans - they are attached at angles that maximize strength, while ours are attached in closer to the joint to give us more speed/dexterity. That's why apes can hang from trees all day long and chin themselves up over and over again without becoming fatigued.

And a trachea on a human is pretty exposed. Is it that way in a baboon?

Left Hand of Dorkness
12-29-2004, 03:09 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness: Animals experience pain, but they don't react to it like humans. Pain holds in humans work because the human is capable of understanding why he's feeling the pain, and understanding what he needs to do to make it stop. Pain in an animal is just as likely to enrage it, because it won't understand what's happening.

I'm not at all sure this is true. Animals can be pretty savvy about basic things, and the source of pain can be one of them. If you were right, choke collars and electric fences wouldn't be very effective.

Humans also have the capacity to project into the future, to understand that the pain will continue and to empathize with how that will feel, and that's a big part of our 'experience' of pain. Animals don't have that, other than at an instinctual level.

Again, I think you're wrong. Animals are likely to generalize more, though. When we used electrical fences with the goats ona farm I worked on, the farmer would touch each goat's nose to the fence when she was still a kid, so that she'd learn to fear it. An adult goat has too much fur to get much of a shock from a fence, so their value was primarily psychological.

As for breaking limbs - I don't think you have any idea how hard that is to do. For my black belt test I had to have 2 X 2 pieces of timber broken over my arms and legs. It wasn't that big a deal, but we were giving a demonstration one time and my Sensei attempted this, not knowing that the wood in question had been left outside for a year or so and was as hard as rock. We smashed his arms half a dozen times with it and it wouldn't break. Finally we took it outside, leaned it against a wall, and kicked it. It split down the middle, but didn't break. The point is, we were essentially hitting him with a bat, over and over again, and we didn't break a limb. It takes a huge amount of force to break bones in animals that are young and conditioned.

Hmm...interesting. My understanding was that an overextended elbow was relatively easy to snap, and that clavicles are quite fragile.

As for snapping tendons, yes, that can be done. But I recall reading that tendons in apes aren't attached the same way they are in humans - they are attached at angles that maximize strength, while ours are attached in closer to the joint to give us more speed/dexterity. That's why apes can hang from trees all day long and chin themselves up over and over again without becoming fatigued.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by this; by "tendons" are you referring to joints?

And a trachea on a human is pretty exposed. Is it that way in a baboon?
I dunno--it doesn't look like it's too buried (http://letus.org/bmatters/images/baboon01.jpg), but I'm no expert.

At any rate, we now have a story of a guy with a reasonable amount of training who outfought a trained orangutan. Unless that story is false, it seems to come very close to settling the issue: orangutans are significantly larger (http://orangutan.org/facts/orangutanfacts.php#quick) than baboons.

Daniel

SlyFrog
12-29-2004, 03:13 PM
Yeah, that's what got B pissed off. What, you thought something like this would conform to Queensbury Rules?
As I understand it, they went back a day or two later with some troopers, but the man and primate had skipped town. Guess the orangutan decided that he'd had enough of the roadside semi-carny life.

No, I guess I just figured that it wasn't comforming to Queenbury Rules, and that B, being a huge hulking destructive beast, might beat the shit out of the carny and take what was rightfully owed to him. Maybe there were other circumstances preventing it though. The story just doesn't hang together completely though, large chunks of it don't make sense.

Sean Factotum
12-30-2004, 09:51 AM
No, I guess I just figured that it wasn't comforming to Queenbury Rules, and that B, being a huge hulking destructive beast, might beat the shit out of the carny and take what was rightfully owed to him. Maybe there were other circumstances preventing it though. The story just doesn't hang together completely though, large chunks of it don't make sense.
I don't disagree with your last point there. But the story hasn't changed over the years on any point that I can find, and my dad isn't known for making up stuff just to impress or amuse people, even his kids. I wouldn't have believed it myself, except for the time we ran into B. I believe the gist of the story, if not the specifics of every point.

Gary T
12-30-2004, 11:46 AM
...orangutans are significantly larger (http://orangutan.org/facts/orangutanfacts.php#quick) than baboons.
But orangutans aren't fighters. Baboons are, and they're good at it. Orangs are strong, but baboons are strong, fast, and vicious. From here[/U]here (
[URL=http://wavescape.co.za/bot_bar/surf_story/Robabel1_Rocky.htm) : ... the standard modus operandi of baboons, who rip out the victimís intestines with their teeth while exercising a fearsome grip with their "hands". From here (http://http://wildlifesafari.info/baboon_chacma.html): ...They have a very powerful build with large canines, which can be used in vicious fights, which sometimes end in death. And from here (http://nature.ca/notebooks/english/baboon.htm) : Their principal enemy is the leopard, but even leopards will avoid an encounter with the larger, adult males who are courageous and vicious adversaries.

I suspect that the expert martial artist/street fighter/killer commando is going to have a baboon ripping his face/neck/guts to shreds before he lands a blow.

Gary T
12-30-2004, 11:49 AM
Messed that up.

First link: http://wavescape.co.za/bot_bar/surf_story/Robabel1_Rocky.htm

Second link: http://wildlifesafari.info/baboon_chacma.html

Third link works OK.

Left Hand of Dorkness
12-30-2004, 12:08 PM
Possibly so, possibly so, except that we have a previous account of a person killing a tiger barehanded. I suspect that tigers are more fearsome opponents than baboons.

I also think that the importance of bluffing is being overlooked. A human may be able to control the fight by feints and lures.

This is, of course, all completely academic; I rather suspect that this fight to the death ain't happening any time soon. I'm just sayin' my money would be on the professional human fighter, not on the ape.
Daniel

SlyFrog
12-30-2004, 12:14 PM
I have nothing scientific to add to this, other than my general viewpoint (based on exacting clinical review such as watching episodes of Nature and going to the zoo) that baboons are somehow different than tiger. Tigers seem to be slightly dumber "normal" predators. They appear to attack like any other animal trying to kill prey.

Baboons, on the other hand, just seem like really cunning vicious little fuckers that will pluck out your eyes and shit in the holes. For some strange reason I can't completely elaborate on, I'd probably rather try to figure out how to get away from an angry tiger than an angry baboon.

pravnik
12-30-2004, 12:46 PM
I've been turning this one over in my mind for the last few days, curse you all...

I can't see wanting to grapple or attempt any kind of submission hold on the baboon; I kind of see this as attempting to submit a superhumanly strong, deranged midget with knives where his fingers, toes, and teeth should be. As far as striking, some of the hardest kickers in the world, like Bill "Superfoot" Wallace, have roundhouses clocked a little over 60 mph. This would be like getting hit by a foot-sized car, or being beaned hard in the head, body, or throat with a well thrown baseball. Well placed, this would stop a baboon in its tracks or kill it.

The key to this, of course, is "well placed." A human who closes the gap quickly on another human and gets inside of a roundhouse will be in range to a potentially devastating knee strike in a clinch, but a baboon who closes the gap quickly (and I bet he closes very quickly) will be on you like...well, a crazed baboon. Having seen a stuffed male baboon posed in an aggressive posture and baring its fangs...hoo boy. Maybe a very well trained martial artist could stand a chance if he was very skilled and very, very lucky, or one of us mere mortals could if we were very, very, very lucky, but I would suspect the vast majority of human-baboon cage matches would be very baboon heavy in the winner's circle.

All this is assuming, probably unrealistically, that the baboon is hell bent on nothing less than total destruction and can't be cowed, scared off, or spooked from a superficial injury or posturing. An anthopology professor once told me about a baboon staring down his own reflection in his Volkswagon hubcap. When the baboon finally bared his teeth, he saw the reflection baboon baring his and screamed and ran off.

mangeorge
12-30-2004, 04:07 PM
As I've probably alluded to before, I think your martial artist would have to be well trained at fighting baboons, not people, for it to him a whole lot of good. There's a lot more to successfully delivering that fabled roundhouse than simply kicking your opponent in the head, and this "other stuff" may not work on a baboon. The first thing the baboon's going to do when he see's that foot coming is bite it.
I've seen baboons fight on PBS, and I've seen televised fights of all kinds. No way could a man react quickly enough to protect himself. The baboons simply don't fight fair.
Sorry, Jet Lee, you're going down. ;)

The Scrivener
12-30-2004, 04:29 PM
A really basic question: would the man be clothed or naked? Could he wear shoes? If so, what kind -- sneakers? (Or steel-toed work boots? :D )

I can see pros and cons with the naked approach. Con: the man will feel really vulnerable, and will be more vulnerable than if clothed. (He may also have a weird feeling like he's having a nightmare, but that's another thing altogether.) He would be in big trouble if the baboon homed in on his groin.

OTOH, if the man was well-hung (or perhaps obviously aroused), the baboon might be intimidated or frightened off for that very reason!

Personally, I feel that the fight would only be fair if the man was clothed and shod (but ixnay on the construction boots), because that "unnatural" state has become second nature to us.

XT
12-30-2004, 04:45 PM
Didn't the OP say the fight was out in the open savanna? Well, to my mind that changes things. I'm a 180lb male, 42 and trained in martial arts...and at least when I visited Africa last time and looked out over an open savanna there were all kinds of things I could use for a weapon. I think a human male who is smart enough to reach for a large rock and a sturdy stick would have at least an even chance against a baboon. Unless the baboon is totally out of control with rage (i.e. you put it on something or its defending its young or something similar) I seriously doubt even a male would stand up to a well thrown rock to the head and a few love taps with a sturdy stick.

Now, if you are insisting that the human male is not allowed to use his brain, not allowed to pick up weapons of oppertunity, or that you've prepared your deathmatch ground so that its only dirt....thats another (and uninterestingly unrealistic) matter. Why not put then in a cage together in that case? If so, then I still think the human would have a fighting chance if he was well trained and in top shape...and very lucky.

Still, in the cage match my money would probably be on the baboon. :)

-XT

Sam Stone
12-30-2004, 05:21 PM
As far as striking, some of the hardest kickers in the world, like Bill "Superfoot" Wallace, have roundhouses clocked a little over 60 mph. This would be like getting hit by a foot-sized car, or being beaned hard in the head, body, or throat with a well thrown baseball. Well placed, this would stop a baboon in its tracks or kill it.


You greatly overestimate the power of a roundhouse kick. Have you ever seen Wallace kill someone with a kick? I haven't.

60 mph isn't that fast, and the foot flexes when it hits you. I've fought in full-contact karate matches, and I've been kicked pretty hard. I've also landed some pretty powerful roundhouse kicks. At one time, I was known for them. I know what they can do, and what they can't do is stop a charging baboon in its tracks.

A fastball could kill you if it hit you in the right spot, and that's very rare, but a fastball is going close to 100 mph, and there's a huge difference between 60 and 90. Good softball pitchers can throw a softball 75 mph, and it's a lot bigger than a baseball.

Oh, and let's see you land a roundhouse to the head of a maniacal charging beast coming at you at 20 mph.

Martial Arts in general are overrated. I've seen plenty of black belts get their butts kicked by streetfighters. In a street fight, who wins is the guy who's the meanest, typically. It's one thing to spar in a ring, even full contact, where everything is controlled and everyone is rational. It's quite another to try to fight someone who is charging at you with a bottle, screaming at the top of his lungs, and who will simply get madder if you hit him. And try using your fancy moves when some maniac is biting your nose and scratching your eyes while screaming in your face.

And a crazed human has NOTHING on a rampaging baboon for sheer wet-your-pants terror.

I think this whole question of who would win is simply obvious. A 90 lb baboon is a killing machine. Humans are not - even trained ones. We can't deal with the absolute level of ferociousness and the big teeth and claws and the snarling and the glavin. That's why a 70 lb German Shepherd can bring down a 200 lb criminal, and a large baboon would eat a German Shepherd for lunch and ask for seconds.

There is one way you could 'win', I suppose, and that would be to hit the baboon hard enough to make it decide that there was easier pickin's in the jungle. But the question here involves a fight to the death, and the human's gonna die.

vetbridge
12-30-2004, 05:29 PM
As a follow-up question, what's the most dangerous animal that any human has killed barehanded?

Daniel

That's an easy one to answer. Another human, of course. ;)

Bryan Ekers
12-30-2004, 05:42 PM
And a crazed human has NOTHING on a rampaging baboon for sheer wet-your-pants terror.

If you have nothing on, how do you wet your pants?

Gary T
12-30-2004, 05:49 PM
OTOH, if the man was well-hung (or perhaps obviously aroused), the baboon might be intimidated or frightened off for that very reason!

If I ran into someone who got aroused by a snarling babbon, I'd be intimidated too!

pravnik
12-30-2004, 06:15 PM
You greatly overestimate the power of a roundhouse kick. Have you ever seen Wallace kill someone with a kick? I haven't.

60 mph isn't that fast, and the foot flexes when it hits you. I've fought in full-contact karate matches, and I've been kicked pretty hard. I've also landed some pretty powerful roundhouse kicks. At one time, I was known for them. I know what they can do, and what they can't do is stop a charging baboon in its tracks.

A fastball could kill you if it hit you in the right spot, and that's very rare, but a fastball is going close to 100 mph, and there's a huge difference between 60 and 90. Good softball pitchers can throw a softball 75 mph, and it's a lot bigger than a baseball.

Oh, and let's see you land a roundhouse to the head of a maniacal charging beast coming at you at 20 mph.

I hate to seem like I'm disagreeing with you; if you read the rest of my post we're basically saying the same thing except on that one point. Respectfully, though, I think you're underestimating what the human body can do with a well placed and lucky kick or sucker punch. Remember "the Punch" that Kermit Washington threw at Rudy Tomjanovich in the 1977 NBA season? Tomjanovich was running full bore down court and caught a full punch directly in the face from Washington so hard that an attending surgeon said his injuries were consistent with someone thrown face first through a car windshield at 50 miles per hour. Most of the bones in his face were destroyed, his cranial fractures were so severe that the upper and lower portions of his skull were disjoined from one another, spinal fluid was leaking into his mouth and nose, and on and on quite literally ad nauseum. His injuries from that single punch were massive, disfiguring, and very nearly killed him. So yes, although it's supremely unlikely, if that longshot lucky punch or roundhouse connects, it could kill a baboon, or me or you.

CalMeacham
12-30-2004, 06:58 PM
In one of his many books, animal catcher Frank Buck (On Jungle Trails, Fang and Claw, Bring 'em Back Alive -- I think it was in the last of these) claimed that he was trying to put a collar over the head of an orangutan on board ship. One of his helpers had one rm and a boastful sailor had the other. As Buck got closer, the sailor lost his grip and the orang charged him. Buck says that he waded in close and gave th orangutan a sharp uppercut "with all of his beef behind it." The orang went down, unconscious.

Assuming that Buck was accurate and on the level, this eems to show that a swift punch (or kick) from a human could bring down a large ape. But you don't get much of a chance. As Buck noted, the ape would've hugged him and bit him over and over if he got the chance.

Autolycus
04-15-2012, 11:07 PM
So, it has taken us 12 years to answer that an adult male could probably take on a smaller species of babboon, say at about 45 pounds. Now, 8 years later, are we still set on the consensus that an adult male babboon, say about 90 pounds, could reliably take on an average human?

XT
04-15-2012, 11:14 PM
Does the average human get a spear, mace, club or, say, a gun? :p If not (i.e. if no weapons are allowed to the human) then it's pretty much a no brainer...the average human is going to get their ass kicked, assuming the baboon if feeling froggy. Give that average human a weapon, or time to craft one, though, and it would be a different story.

To paraphrase from Dirty Harry....did I fire only 5 shots or 6, Mr Baboon? What you have to ask yourself my hirsute friend is...are you feeling lucky (well, that and what does '5 shots or 6' even mean plus...what are these 'shot' thingies you are talking about)? Well punk...ARE YOU?? :p

-XT

mangeorge
04-15-2012, 11:44 PM
I think it's time to say "RIP, silly thread." And believe me, I'm supremely qualified to spot a silly thread. ;)
Peace,
mangeorge

Leo Bloom
04-15-2012, 11:59 PM
Google Travis the chimp, Charla Nash, and Sandra Herold. Multimedia Nash's face and Herold's 911 call for help, perhaps the most disturbing one you've ever heard.

Then you'll know who would win.

Colibri
04-16-2012, 01:42 AM
Given that another old thread on the subject has also been reactivated, I'm closing this one.

http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/showthread.php?t=79386

Colibri
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