While college basketball teams have been battling it out on the court, another type of tournament has been raging online. Of course, I’m referring to Mammal March Madness - a simulated combat contest created by Katie Hinde, an assistant professor of biology at Harvard.

Basically, Mammal March Madness takes the school-yard “who would win in a fight” conversation to a much nerdier level. Hinde and her colleagues assess each animal’s abilities in a given environment and use statistical modeling software to determine the outcome of each match-up.

Last year, a skunk bear actually made it to the tournament, but it was quickly eliminated by the honey badger (the fight was staged in the desert, so the honey badger had an unfair advantage). Luckily, the honey badger was eventually defeated, and an elephant went on to win the championship.

This year’s contest included extinct animals and even a few non-mammals (in bold on the bracket).  A people’s champion quickly emerged - the #2-seeded Paraceratherium:

But this long-dead, enormous, hornless rhino met a second extinction in the semi-finals.  

Yesterday was the 2014 championship, pitting Orca versus Hyena. The randomly selected battlefield was the Hoh Rainforest in Washington State — not exactly familiar turf for either challenger.  Hyenas seem to have the advantage, but remember: orcas have been known to beach themselves to attack terrestrial prey.

I’ll let you read the play-by-play of the battle here to learn the exciting outcome.


  1. whatswhatwhatever reblogged this from skunkbear
  2. onehotjanuary reblogged this from skunkbear
  3. absolutefurrytrash reblogged this from skunkbear
  4. the-sailboat-and-the-walrus reblogged this from skunkbear and added:
    This is literally the greatest thing I have ever seen.
  5. faunastudies reblogged this from anthrocentric
  6. nerdyravenclawqueen reblogged this from thejunglenook
  7. morningsaba reblogged this from thejunglenook
  8. the-sisters-holmes-sr reblogged this from skunkbear
  9. gc0913 reblogged this from skunkbear
  10. agles reblogged this from anthrocentric
  11. snowrose24 reblogged this from gilajames
  12. thisonetimeatzoocamp reblogged this from skunkbear
  13. shevathegun reblogged this from unrealityfreak
  14. unrealityfreak reblogged this from skunkbear
  15. 8luh-man-group reblogged this from catcherinthewhy
  16. catcherinthewhy reblogged this from pallas-athena
  17. penniesandthoughts reblogged this from skunkbear
  18. princessmoonmoon reblogged this from princesslenore
  19. constantlykatelyn reblogged this from pqwod
  20. kate-says-rawr reblogged this from wanderingwren
  21. brandysnaps reblogged this from teapotsahoy
  22. teapotsahoy reblogged this from skunkbear
  23. nalapuppydog reblogged this from skunkbear
  24. thedaringplatypus reblogged this from therunya