Chimpanzee vs Lion: Who Would Win in a Fight?

In the jungle, each animal is an expert in its own way. Lion is known to be the greatest and fastest fighter, while chimpanzees can become a real beast when nervous. And each animal has its power and level of intelligence.

So here in this article is an analysis of what we think would happen when a chimpanzee and a lion come across, along with amazing facts you may have been dreaming to know. 

Read: Cheetah vs Wolf: Who Would Win in a Fight?


What is Chimpanzee?


The chimpanzee is a highly intelligent primate that is native to the forests of Central and West Africa. They are one of the closest living relatives of humans, sharing around 99% of their DNA with us. Chimpanzees are social animals and live in large groups, which a dominant male leads.

They are known for their complex social behavior, including using tools, communication through vocalizations and body language, and the ability to solve problems and learn from experience. Chimpanzees are omnivores, eating a diet that includes fruits, leaves, insects, and occasionally small mammals.

They are also known for their physical strength, with males being significantly larger and stronger than females. Despite their close genetic relationship with humans, chimpanzees are endangered due to habitat loss, hunting, and disease.

What is Lion?


A lion is a large carnivorous mammal that belongs to the Felidae family. They are found primarily in Africa but also in some parts of Asia. Lions are known for their distinctive appearance, with males having a large mane of hair around their necks. They are also known for their impressive strength and hunting skills.

Lions are social animals and live in groups called prides, led by a dominant male. They primarily hunt large herbivores such as antelopes, zebras, and wildebeest, but they can also eat smaller prey like rodents and birds.

Lions are apex predators and are important to their ecosystems as they help control their prey species populations. Despite being feared and admired by humans, lions are considered vulnerable to extinction due to habitat loss, poaching, and other threats.

Chimpanzee vs Lion Fact Sheet

Length4 – 11 inches63 – 82 inches
Height150 – 168 cm3.5 – 4 feet
WeightMale: 35 and 70 kg (86 and 153 lb) Female: 25 and 50 kg (60 and 115 lb)Male: 160 to 225 kg. Female: 116 and 150 kg. 
Speed25 mph50 mph
Strength250 pounds1,300 ponds
HabitatLowland and mountain forests of Central and West AfricaDry thorn forests, thick bushes, and open plains
FoodLeaves, fruits, honey, seeds, some tree barks, gazelle and hareGazelles, zebras, antelopes, buffalos, giraffes, chimpanzees and wildebeests
Lifespan20 – 60 years7 – 17 years
Bite power1,300 PSI650 PSI
PredatorsEagles, lions, leopards and jaguarsLeopards, Hyenas, Crocodiles and African wild dogs
SoundLaughter, copulation screams, Waa-barks, screams, alarm barks, rough-grunts, nest-grunts, pant-barks, pant-grunts, hoots, and pant-hootsHums, meows, growls, roars, moans, purrs and grants


The chimpanzee belongs to the family Hominidae. Humans, monkeys, and gorillas also belong to the same family. Some believe we branched from the Hominidae family four to six million years ago. Members of this family have an improved level of intelligence. 

Lions come from the Felidae family. Members of this family have rounded heads, flat faces, facial whiskers, large ears, and eyes. If you’ve ever seen a cat, then you are good to tell the physical characteristics of this family. 


Adult chimpanzees can have an average length of between 4 to 11 inches. They grow shorter than gorillas, with arms longer than their legs. Although they resemble humans, their body structure enables them to walk on four limbs and climb trees.

Lions are the longest cats in Africa; male lions grow longer than females. The average adult male can measure 72 – 82 inches in head-and-body length, while females can have an average length of 63 – 72 inches. The tail can grow to approximately 37 inches long. 


Adult chimpanzees can have an average height of 150 cm, but some can stand over 168 cm on two legs. Their ability to walk on two legs enables them to forage the bush paths easily and pick fruits from lower tree branches.

Lions have a standing height of 3.5 to 4 feet. Males grow larger than the females. Male lions are not as fast runners and great hunters as females, although they grow higher. Generally, lions walk on four limbs and never try walking on two limbs. 


Adult male chimpanzees weigh more than the females. Males can have an average weight of between 35 and 70 kg (86 and 153 lb), while females weigh between 25 and 50 kg (60 and 115 lb). Meaning chimpanzees are smaller than some people we know. 

Lions vary in weight depending on the species. In all the species, male lions weigh more than the females. But the average known weight for male lions is between 160 and 225 kg, while female lion is between 116 and 150 kg. 


Chimpanzee’s body is not for running, but they can run at an average speed of 25 mph. They run faster than men but not faster than lions. Their limb muscles have fast-twitch fibers, which enable them to run faster than men. 

On the other hand, the lion’s body is meant for running. Lions can run at a speed of 50 mph and can leap 36 feet. Their running speed is good enough to catch prey like buffalos and wild beasts. Running is an adaptation for most of the predators.


Chimpanzees are twice as strong as humans. It can be difficult to explain how strong these animals are, but they can bench press 250 pounds. Their jaws are strong and can deliver a biting force of 1,300 PSI. 

Honestly speaking, lions are among the strongest animals. They have quick sprints, aggressive hunting movements, and incredible jumps. Lions can generate paw force of up to 1,350 pounds. And can generate hauling loads of up to 2,000 pounds.  

Hunting Techniques 

Chimpanzees work together when attacking prey for their flesh. The chimpanzee will tear apart the prey once it catches it. However, they are not great hunters because their diet is not more of flesh

Besides, chimpanzees cannot offer powerful punches. Unlike lions that can kill prey with a single punch, the gorilla will need to catch the prey and use its powerful bites to kill it.

Lions are great hunters with exceptional hunting techniques. Their skin color makes them camouflage with the environment and move unnoticed. Lions carry out ambush attacking techniques on animals in a herd. They sometimes carry out coordinated attacks whenever the prey is fierce. 


Chimpanzees inhabit lowland and mountain forests of Central and West Africa, especially in the tropical rainforests and savannah woodlands. They inhabit these areas because of the high food availability. They are Omnivores, but most of their diets consist of fruits, seeds, and leaves from these trees.

Lions have a wide range of habitats. The habit ranges from dry thorn forests to thick bushes and open plains. But the prime places for most of the lions are open woodlands, brush habitats, and thick grasslands.


Chimpanzees are omnivores and have a variety of food to feed on. Chimpanzee feeds on leaves, fruits, honey, seeds, and some tree bark and can sometimes eat flesh from small animals like gazelle and hare; this could be why you’ll only find chimpanzee in thick forests. 

On the other hand, lions are carnivorous animals, and their meal entirely consists of flesh from animals like gazelles, zebras, antelopes, buffalos, giraffes, chimpanzees, and wildebeests. They sometimes prey on small animals like hares and other rodents.


Chimpanzees can live between 30 and 40 years in the wild. However, the average lifespan of a chimpanzee is short, usually below 20 years.  However, the chimpanzee in captivity can reach 60 years of age. Surviving in the wild can be quite challenging due to predators and diseases.

Lions have a relatively short lifespan, with females between 15 and 17 years and males between 7 and 10 years. Their survival depends on the habitat and nutrition they get. 

Generally, in their early years, they are strong but become weak when they reach ten years. During this age, the lion can no longer find food for itself and eventually die of hunger.

Biting Power

Chimpanzees have a biting power of 1,300 PSI. The biting force is enough to tear small animals like hares into two parts in a single bite. Its jaws have strong muscles that help offer the greatest biting power. 

On the other hand, Lions have a biting force of 650 PSI. Although the lion is the African jungle king, its bite power is not great when compared to other big cats. However, this biting power is enough to crush buffalo or wildebeest trachea.


The chimpanzee is an omnivorous animal and does not occupy the apex position in the food chain. And for this reason, several animals kill the chimps for their flesh. They include large cats like lions, leopards, and jaguars. Some big eagles also feast on baby chimps.

Lions are the kings when still healthy, but whenever they become weak, they may fall victim to several animals like Leopards, Hyenas, Crocodiles, and African wild dogs. Buffalos also kills a lion whenever it gets to do so, but not for its meat. 


Chimpanzees produce a range of voices depending on the circumstance. They produce sounds like laughter, copulation screams, Waa-barks, screams, alarm barks, rough-grunts, nest grunts, pant-barks, pant-grunts, hoots, and pant-hoots. Chimpanzees have approximately 390 unique vocal sequences. 

Lions also have a variation of sounds. Lion sounds include hums, meows, growls, roars, moans, purrs, and grants. The lion roar can travel approximately 8 kilometers across the savannah. The lion’s roar is a show of power and shows it rules the territory. 

The other sound is grunt. Some people can even imitate the grunting sound. However, grunting is a normal low-pitch sound used by lions to communicate.  When happy, the lion produces gentle moans, soft, subtle purring, huffing, and puffing. 


Chimpanzees have a much darker sclera, which is not as white as humans. The dark sclera makes it difficult to tell where the chimp is looking. However, chimpanzee’s eyes are trichromatic, meaning their eyes pick up the same color spectrum as those of human beings. 

Lions have exceptional eyesight, which makes them hunt in the dark. Lions have beautiful brown amber eyes and can sometimes be blue. 

On the back of the lion’s eyes is a reflective coating that helps reflect the moonlight. Inside their eyes is a white patch furbelow that enables them to reflect more light in the back of the eye. 

Read: Lynx vs Wolf: Who Would Win in a Fight?

Who Would Win in a Fight? Chimpanzee or Lion

Simply, a lion will fight with a chimpanzee. But the lion will need extra effort when killing a chimpanzee. A chimpanzee’s 1,300 PSI biting power surpasses the 650 PSI of a lion. Although lions have sharp canines, the chimpanzee has well-developed sharp premolars, canines, and molars.

Lions’ powerful punches are also enough to take down a chimpanzee. And if it is to use the same technique of suffocating animals to death, the chimp will stand no chance of surviving. 

Besides, lions grow larger than chimpanzees, with an average weight of approximately 150 kg, while chimpanzees can only reach 70 kg. The larger the body size, the stronger the animals can be. 

Naturally, lions are meant for hunting and killing prey to survive. The lion’s body is well adapted to carry on fights, but the chimps are not. Besides, chimps cannot outrun a lion, meaning it may be too difficult to escape the fight.

Disclaimer: This blog should not be considered as being professional pet medical advice. The content published on this blog is for informational purposes only. Please always consult with a licensed and local veterinarian for medical advice.

About Shaun Clarke

Shaun is passionate about pets and animals, especially dogs, cats, and rabbits. He owns a dog and a couple of cats too. He loves visiting wildlife sanctuaries and shares a strong bond with animals. When he is not writing, he loves to do a barbecue in the backyard with his family and friends.