I heard that a harpy eagle can rip the head off of a gorilla and will sometimes do so... is this true? And what would win a harpy eagle or a grizzly bear seeing as i now know that a lion would loose to a grizzly bear...

Cheers, Laurie

No, it is not true that a harpy eagle can and does rip the head off a gorilla -- where on earth did you hear such a thing?

As for a fight between the eagle and a bear ...  It's basically impossible to imagine how such a thing could happen.  We know that there have been staged lion-bear and lion-tiger fights in the past, but how could you stage an eagle-bear fight?  The eagle would simply not get involved, but fly away.

But if you could somehow find a way to make them fight, I think it would come down to a single factor: surprise.  It's known that golden eagles can and do kill young cattle, by striking once, very hard, without warning, at the base of the skull, which their claws can penetrate.  If an harpy eagle could do that to a bear (which I think is doubtful because of the bear's hair protecting its neck), then that would be the only way it could win.  If they got into close-quarter combat, the 550 kg bear would rip the 9 kg bird to shreds.

Harpy eagles live in South America and gorillas in Africa so you have a big problem there. However, harpy eagles do indeed catch and eat monkeys and they are very big and powerful birds. I think it reasonable that they could rip the head off a small monkey, but not a gorilla.