If animals were scaled up to be about the same size in anthro form (human-size) regardless of species (i.e. wolf-people and hare-people both become man-sized as well as man-shaped), would the ones that are more deadly in our world still be more deadly?

In most fiction with anthropomorphized animals, the general food-chain hierarchy of which animals are more deadly than others seem to still apply. Predator animals are still dangerous with their claws and teeth that are designed for hunting and killing, while former prey species are still generally not-so-deadly unless they resort to manufactured weapons.

However, I would imagine that a great many creatures that are stereotyped as harmless in our world would become much more dangerous when scaled to match their peers. Even non-hunting creatures have powerful teeth and claws, and they would be even more so if greatly enlarged. Burrowing creatures like rabbits and moles, with their digging foreclaws, would probably be able to do some serious damage. Even flat-tooth herbivores, if as large as their enemies, would be able to do some serious biting damage. Small, fuzzy creatures in general may be weak when small, but a human-sized equivalent might have a good amount of muscle indeed.

How would the natural weapons of a timber wolf and a hare compare if they were about equally sized? How equalized would their teeth and claws become? How would their muscle-sizes and to-scale strength measure up?

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    $\begingroup$ Rodents of Unusual Size. Night of the Lepus. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Jan 18, 2017 at 3:42
  • $\begingroup$ A human sized ant? Spider? This would be awesome. Deadly, but awesome. $\endgroup$ Jan 18, 2017 at 7:18
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    $\begingroup$ You mention anthropomorphic animals, but your question is only about equally sized animals as big as humans. The title is a bit misleading, because antropomorphic would be an animal with traits similar to a human, not only regarding their size. It sound like this could help you a bit. $\endgroup$
    – Secespitus
    Jan 18, 2017 at 12:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Secespitus I'm not just concerned about the biological consequences of animals being scaled, or whether its possible. I specifically want to know about their fighting capabilities. Anthro animals are important so we can talk about actual martial arts of some skill and finesse. $\endgroup$ Jan 18, 2017 at 12:40
  • $\begingroup$ @SouthpawHare A hare is prey, it doesn't fight when facing a timber wolf normally. Does the adaption of size also influence the mentality of the animal, so it doesn't run away but pick up its paws and fight? $\endgroup$ Jan 18, 2017 at 12:48

3 Answers 3


Let's start by clarifying: Herbivores are not weak by virtue of being herbivores. In fact, a healthy prey animal will almost always be able to either outrun or outfight the predator species that typically preys on it. Predators survive because they target the vulnerable members of a herd: the weak, sick, injured, or children. In other words, predators regularly kill prey not because of some inherent combat superiority of predators in general, but because they choose which prey animal they will try to fight. Some predators and prey are built for speed, others for fighting. If we remove size from the equation and throw a random anthro-predator and anthro-prey into a fight, the factors that decide which will come out on top will depend on how that species hunts or avoids being hunted. Which one is a predator species and which one is a prey species is more or less irrelevant.

This question is somewhat unique, in that we are not simply scaling animals up or down, but altering their shape as well. The human body is good at doing human things, so anthro creatures will likely have some of their natural abilities reduced, and others increased simply by virtue of having a human body shape. In order to answer this properly, we have to establish exactly how anthropomorphized they will be. Will a mouse still have short stubby legs and a round body, even though this will make it hard to walk scaled up? Will a human-sized elephant man have the stiff, pillar-like legs that are so completely dedicated to supporting a full-sized elephant's weight that they are incapable of jumping?

Let us assume that they have whatever shapes are needed to carry over their naturally outstanding physical capabilities. An anthro animal that would be strong for its size in its natural state will still be strong for its size. An anthro animal that would be fast for its size will still be fast; probably not as fast because the human shape isn't really optimized for speed, but still quick-footed.

Popular lists of "world's strongest animals" are often inappropriately dominated by both very large and very small animals; big animals are often only strong by virtue of being big and small ones are typically only strong "for their size" due to the square-cube law. To establish which animals will retain their strength when anthropomorphized, you have to compare them to similarly-sized animals.

Small animals like rabbits and hares are built for speed rather than combat, and anthropomorphized, that will still likely be the case. However, a wolf may not be the best choice of example for comparison when it comes to quick-action physical capabilities. This is because, for their size, wolves are not especially remarkable in either strength or speed. What they specialize in is, like humans, cooperation and endurance. So I would expect a human-sized anthro hare - a fast animal that also packs a literal kick - to win out over an anthro wolf in a one-on-one competition, whether it was a race or a fight. On the other hand, a wolf person will probably not try to tackle a hare person alone - they'll get their pack to back them up. And they will be able to hound the hare until it's out of breath.

If you want an example of a creature built for fighting, the traditional King of Beasts is actually not a bad place to start. Lions, as well as jaguars, are extremely strong animals, even factoring in their size. There are some herbivores that might be able to tangle with the big cats, though, like zebras, which often opt to fight similarly-sized predators instead of fleeing. And of course, nobody messes with the badger man.

Teeth, claws, hooves and horns can be good weapons for an animal, although they're pretty much irrelevant for a humanoid that can use hand-held weapons.


@Alexander von Wernherr comment to the original question is apt. Not only are prey animals adapted to avoiding a fight instinctually (generally speaking), but physically as well.

A hare that was about 5' 10" and 185 lbs would have two big front teeth, and some claws, but most of that 185 lbs would be in its massive hind legs. A rabbit does not kick as part of its fighting. And here's one reason why:

A rabbit's skeletal structure is overall much lighter compared to predators (because it is built for speed), and shatter relatively easily. Femurs sometimes break just from jumping. Fighting is not winning for a rabbit.

Its eyes are set more to the side of its head with almost 360 degrees of view, but no binocular vision -- which is real handy when you are trying to bite (or punch) something, especially a moving thing.

You can't just scale up things and get equal return for size. If you take the long, light and thin leg bones of a rabbit, and you make them even longer, and attach about 100 lbs more muscle weight to it, those bones may no longer be able to take the stress. The bending stresses may be tolerable when the bone is only two inches long, but if they are going to be two feet long, then the proportions and the density have to be beefed up.

A good example is engines used before the Wright Brothers; they were simply not able to output enough power to carry their own weight. Bigger engines put out more power but they weighed more too. It also ate a lot more fuel and generated a lot more heat. A tiny engine is less likely to melt itself. That same engine fifty times bigger actually might. Making things bigger increases the advantages but also increases the disadvantages.

A timber wolf, on the other hand, has every advantage. It is a sleek killing machine, not a fast grazing machine.

However, even a 5' 10" rabbit could still kill you or a wolf if it got a lucky bite in. So size alone would make it more dangerous for the wolf, but all in all the wolf is built to kill, and a rabbit is built to run.

  • $\begingroup$ six-foot, three-and-a-half-inch rabbits are quite friendly $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    May 9, 2017 at 8:56
  • $\begingroup$ @JDługosz ha! but i would not want to get on his bad side. $\endgroup$
    – Xplodotron
    Jun 14, 2017 at 17:39

I cannot find anything usable for a good comparison of a wolf and a hare the size of a human. The closest thing regarding the bite is this article about the bite force quotient, which might help you get an idea of how strong your wolf might be if he was human sized.

Regarding fighting: hares can be seen having "boxing-fights" with each other. So I suppose in your case you could adapt some human martial arts to your hare. Because hares have very strong hind-legs something like kick-boxing sounds like an interesting idea for your hare. This source says that the North American Jackrabbit is faster than a grey wolf (40 mp/h). If you make your hare bigger he will be even faster. So you have a very fast fighter focusing on his hind-legs as a "weapon", but able to use his fists, too.

Wolfs would normally hunt in a pack. Therefore your wolf might prefer an unequal fight in a gang against isolated targets. This article says, that the bite of a wolf can be up to 400 pounds per square inch. This could also be used as a reference for your bigger wolf, although I am not sure how big this wolf should be. According to wikipedia a grey wolf can be up to 1,6 metres "long" and weighs up to 80 kg. Sounds like a human, if you can make him stand up straight.

So, basically you have a very fast kick-boxer that would normally try to run away as fast as possible and a thug with an extreme bite preferring to fight in a pack. I don't think these two would fight, but if they had to the hare would have the advantage, as long as he is not bitten. Once the wolf lands a hit the hare is a goner. The claws of the wolf could be problematic too, but again, the hare might be faster.

I hope this helps you with your idea.

  • $\begingroup$ what makes wolf superior is their pack strategy, yhea the size will not help the hare. lions, hyenas, wolfs, humans and some others - can take a bigger pray and they are deadliest because of that. $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    May 7, 2017 at 22:57

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