Can You Identify These Aggressive, Territorial Animals?

Jonnathan Chadwick

Image: Captured by Ben Cartland / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

No animal on Earth is as aggressive, territorial and deadly as humans, but there are some pretty aggressive animals out there. They don't create country names or officially wage war, but that makes them much more dangerous. Stumbling through the wrong animal's territory at the wrong time is one of the worst things that can happen to any adventurer. Nothing will make your hike more grueling than accidentally stepping on a wasp's nest. You don't realize how fast 10 mph is until you're running away from a snake on sand. 

For the most part, every living thing in the animal kingdom, us included, knows to respect each other's space. Animals don't attack just to attack, and as long as you respect their boundaries, you should be fine. The problem is, unless you're a zoologist or scientifically trained in recognizing animal behavior, you likely don't have a clue what an animal's boundary looks like. You probably violate boundaries every day. All those alley cats, birds, chipmunks, squirrels, ants, flies, raccoons, skunks, deer, rodents and whatever else you see on a daily basis have marked territories that you don't know are there, let alone care to respect. The good news is, those animals aren't going to do anything to you. You can encroach on their territory all you like. Rodents will be rodents and mosquitoes will be mosquitoes, but other than that, you're fine. These animals, however, are animals you don't want to get close to. Whether you know it or not, they're some of the most aggressive animals on Earth. Do you know which animals to stay away from in the wild?

Few animals on Earth would dare hunt this apex predator known as the "King of the Jungle." What is it?

The only time you want to see a lion is on safari or at the zoo. Walking into a lion's territory isn't a good idea. They're known as the king of the jungle (although they don't really live there) for a reason, and no animal on Earth would enter its territory and hunt it.

Do you know this white bear that actually has black skin?

Polar bears live in the Arctic so you will never stumble upon one by accident, but since hunting in the Arctic is a grueling lottery, these bears will eat whatever they can once given the chance. Getting caught in their territory is extremely dangerous.

Even elephants move out of the way when they see a colony of these insects on the attack. What are they?

Driver ants roll about 20 million deep and destroy any animal in their path. Not even an elephant wants to deal with 20 million ants and will avoid the swarm when it's on the attack. The ants don't hunt elephants, however. They hunt other insects like grasshoppers and wasps, and they can attack half a million animals a day.

What deadly bee is a hybrid between European and African honey bees?

Africanized honeybees are known to attack under threat and when they attack, they attack repeatedly in huge numbers, sometimes proving fatal. "Killer" bees are on Earth because somebody crossbred two aggressive species and then accidentally let the swarm escape. They kill about two people per year.

Can you name this African bovine known for its distinct horns?

The Cape buffalo or African buffalo is one of the "Big Five" game animals and is threatened by trophy hunters. It is known as the "black death" and is said to have killed more hunters than any other animal. It will circle and tire out its prey before going in for a kill, and it becomes more aggressive once wounded.

Do you know this four-ton beast that can run 30 mph?

The rhino is another prized trophy for hunters and is under threat of extinction because of poachers and hunters. If you get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, you could find yourself trying to outrun this beast that can run 30 mph and is insanely agile. You can't dodge it like a matador dodges a bull.

Can you name Africa's deadliest animal?

A hippo is an 8,000-pound animal that can charge at 30 mph and has two long, razor-sharp teeth that can chomp down with 2,000 pounds of force. Anyone who has learned anything about animals knows to stay away from this one.

Do you know this animal that is often considered the most dangerous bird in the world?

These birds won't attack humans for no reason, but if you cross their path it could be fatal. It would take a lot of strong blows for it to kill a human, and it would only do so in self-defense. They have killed humans before and they are mostly found in Australia.

What's the name of this furry carnivore that looks like a small bear?

You may know about the Marvel hero named Wolverine who is named after this animal with sharp claws and teeth. Wolverines are from the weasel family but look like they belong in the bear family. They're strong and powerful hunters that prey on everything from mice to caribou.

Do you know this carnivorous rascal native to Oceania?

The only place you can find a Tasmanian devil in the wild is on the Australian island state of Tasmania. It's a marsupial that can grow as large as a small dog and can hunt prey as large as a small kangaroo.

This 14-foot snake can slither up to 12.5 mph. Do you know it?

The black mamba is the longest venomous snake in Africa, and just two drops of the snake's venom can kill a human. Its venom will shut down the nervous system and paralyze a human in less than 30 minutes.

Can you name this untamed animal?

The scariest wild animals are the intelligent ones, and boars are some of the smartest animals on the planet. They display unpredictably erratic behavior when threatened, and you don't want to be circled by one of these 600-pound beasts equipped with razor-sharp tusks.

Do you know this animal known for its powerful bite and death roll?

A saltwater crocodile can reach 17 feet long and 2,200 pounds. If that's not scary, it can charge at close to 20 mph in water. The saltwater crocodile readily attacks humans and is one of two crocs known for attacking humans. More than 1,000 people are killed each year because of crocodile attacks.

A pack of these birds can ruin your park picnic in a hurry. Do you know them?

If you've ever walked past a group of geese at your local park, you know these animals are territorial and are not frightened of humans. If you walk toward a group of geese, they will likely stand ground or even attack.

Great white sharks flee the area when these hunters arrive. What are they called

Many people think great white sharks are the deadliest hunters in the ocean, but they have nothing on killer whales. Studies have shown great white sharks actually flee when they see killer whales encroaching the area. Like saltwater crocodiles and lions, no animal is silly enough to hunt a killer whale.

Do you know this mammal with a sweet name and a vicious bite?

Honey badgers are only aggressive when they get surprised, but their eyesight is so bad that they get surprised all the time. They are immune to most venom and have tough skin that gives them the courage to take on almost any animal.

Can you name this vegetarian?

Gorillas protect their young like their lives depend on it, and accidentally walking into their territory is a death sentence. They are one of the strongest animals on the planet but mostly eat bamboo, berries and stems.

Can you name this canine known for hunting in packs?

If you come across a wolf in the wild, it means you're likely surrounded by 15 other wolves you don't see. They rarely hunt alone, if ever, and they're one of the only animals crazy enough to hunt lions when in dire need.

Can you name this laughing mammal that is its own family of animal?

Hyenas are not related to dogs or cats or wolves. They are hyenas and they are one of the most unique animals in the world. There are four species of hyena, and the laughing variety is probably the most famous. Along with wolves, this is the only other animal silly enough to hunt a lion.

What's the name of this primate known for its colorful behind?

Baboons, like most wild animals, can be extremely dangerous, but these guys are really dangerous when threatened. A baboon's fangs can be larger than a lion or tiger's, and they will readily attack under perceived threat.

Can you name this 13,000-pound animal?

The African elephant is under constant threat from poachers and hunters looking for a trophy. It is one of the "Big Five" game animals. They are peaceful animals, but when irritated or provoked, they can be one of the most dangerous in the world.

What's the name of this striped feline?

Tiger attacks have been well documented through history, and although there are more tigers in captivity than in the wild, they are capable of being just as aggressive in captivity. They are wild animals that can snap at any second are can never truly be tamed.

Do you know this bear that is the smallest of the bear species?

The sun bear is found in Southeast Asia and is considered by many to be the most dangerous bear to encounter in the wild. That's because, like all bears, it will attack when threatened, but unlike other bears, it will also attack for no reason at all. You don't want to get caught in its territory.

Can you name this rascal that is the smallest carnivore in the world?

Mustelids are the smallest carnivores on the planet, and the least weasel is the smallest of the group, making it the smallest carnivore in the world. They create and defend large territories that consist of female areas and other animal's burrows.

Shakespeare wrote a comedy about taming this animal. What is it?

A shrew is an insanely hyper rodent that spends the entire day hunting and eating. Its hunger is never satisfied, and because it has horrible eyesight, it literally runs around bouncing off the walls all day. It will eat almost anything it comes across.

Can you name this shark?

The bull shark is known for living in shallow waters and is one of the most dangerous sharks to humans. It doesn't tolerate accidental encroachment in its territory, and it can be found in both saltwater and freshwater.

Do you know this bird that smaller birds are terrified of?

These aren't the largest raptors in the sky, but they are known to prey on smaller hawks and are considered one of the most dangerous birds for other birds. They are also extremely territorial. They defend up to 10,000 acres from high above and attack any bird encroaching the area.

What insect is this?

As far as humans are concerned, there's no insect as deadly as the mosquito, and the praying mantis poses no threat. As far as other insects are concerned, the praying mantis is the Boogey Man. These insects are expert hunters and can even take down animals as large as frogs and lizards.

Can you name these spotted sea creatures that have been known to play with their food?

Sea leopards are also known as leopard seals and they have been known to play games of cat and mouse with penguins in the Arctic. Scientists don't even know why they do this, and they don't always eat the penguins they kill.

Do you know this animal that has no fear of attacking venomous snakes?

Mongooses aren't aggressive toward humans and can even be kept as pets. Like a house cat, they will be extremely territorial and hunt and kill any rodent that encroaches on their territory. They are commonly used as rodent control pets. They're commonly believed to be immune to snake venom, but that's untrue.

What's the name of this multi-colored snake?

The coral snake is one of the most venomous in the world, but since it lives most of its life burrowed underground, it isn't terribly aggressive. It is territorial if you happen to disturb its resting area.

Do you know these fish that have razor-sharp teeth?

Piranhas love the smell of blood in water and are attracted to it like a magnet. They will also bite anything at least once when looking for food, making them some of the most aggressive aquatic animals.

Do you know this cute animal that is known for viciously playing with its prey?

If you've ever seen a mouse get caught in a cat's territory, you know what comes next might possibly be the worst form of torture on Earth. There is strong evidence that domestic cats are responsible for a decline in songbird populations.

What's the name of this freshwater fish that will eat anything it can?

The giant snakehead or giant mudfish is known to be aggressive to humans who get too close to their nests. As far as other fish are concerned, the giant snakehead will attack and attempt to eat anything that can fit in its mouth.

Can you name the largest hornet in the world?

If you don't like bees, you're not going to like this gigantic insect that has a three-inch wingspan and quarter-inch-long stinger. These bees can grow more than two inches long, and what makes them so aggressive is that they don't die or lose their stinger after they sting, they just keep stinging.

Can you name this snake that is one of the most venomous in the world?

There are three species of taipan. The coastal taipan is the most aggressive one and extremely venomous, but the inland taipan is the most venomous in the world. A single bite contains enough venom to kill 100 people or a quarter of a million mice. If you see any taipan, you should stay away.

Do you know what type of snail this is?

A snail's territory is its shell, and if you play with this snail's shell, it will get aggressive and sting you. These snails are venomous and their stings might not feel much more painful than a bee sting, but they do have enough venom to be fatal to humans.

This is the most aggressive and dangerous ant in the world. What is it?

If you don't like ants, you definitely won't like these ants that aggressively bite and sting. They got their name from their aggressiveness and have no fear of humans. They latch onto victims and sting in rapid succession as many times as possible.

Do you know this eight-foot, 200-pound lizard?

If you come face to face with one of these things in the wild, you really have to ask yourself how you got in that position. There's only 6,000 left on Earth and they're all located in the same area. Their venom is slow-acting, leaving them often trailing their bitten prey and waiting for it to die.

Can you name this bird that reaches more than 45 mph in full sprint?

If an ostrich feels threatened, it will likely run away, but if it feels cornered, it is one of the most dangerous birds in the world. At seven to nine feet tall and weighing in at 250 pounds, one kick from these birds can kill a lion, let alone a human.

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