My friend and I were having an incredibkly inane argument over a bear vs. an african lion. In your expert opinion, which animal would come out on top in a battle royale?

Thanks in advance!!

Well unlike many predators both use their claws and their teeth when fighting so that is kind of even. Lions do have a mane to help protect their heqad and neck when fighting other lions, but bears typically have thick fur and quite a bit of fat on the body which would provide the same protection.

Best guess would be the bear simply becuase it is 2 or 3 times heavier than a typical lion, although the latter would be faster I doubt it would be much of an advantage.

Interestingly this kind of thing was popular both with the Romans and later European courts, rather than gladiators various animals would be pitted to fight each other (e.g. bulls and bears, lions and elephant etc.). There are records of bears being made to fight lions, but it doesn't say who won.....

May I just say that although question is indeed dumb, it is also awesome?  :-)

By the way, lions may be faster than bears, but bears are no slowcoaches.  I've seen video of a bear chasing down and catching a deer, the process taking a minute or so with the bear keeping pace and following all the twists and turns that the prey animal could manage.  Bears don't fit our image of what a cursorial animal should look like, but they can shift!

Bear wins!

I'm sorry to say that bears and lions have been pitted against one another on many, many occasions, always for human 'sport'. When brown/grizzly bears are involved, they always win hands-down: in fact, in historical pitted fights fought in Canada, lions were reputed to last less than 5 mins against adult bears. Even small bears like sloth bears can hold their own against adult lions, with the lion coming off much worse.

Bear wins again!