Six per cent of Americans believe they could beat up a grizzly bear in unarmed combat but almost a third think they would lose in a fight against a rat or house cat, a new survey has found.
YouGov research found just 72 per cent of US men and women thought they would triumph in a clash with the rodent, while 69 per cent thought they would get the better of a domesticated feline. 61 per cent of Americans claimed they would best a goose.
In findings that make a mockery of the pioneering spirit of the old West, less than half of those surveyed (49 per cent) thought they could beat a medium sized dog. That drops to just 23 per cent if the animal opponent was a large dog.
Americans are least likely to think they could win against a grizzly bear, with just 6 per cent claiming they would emerge victorious. Only 8 per cent of those surveyed said they could beat a lion, gorilla or elephant in a fight.
The poll of 1,224 adults found that one in five US men thought they could knock out a chimpanzee or king cobra.
There was no gender difference between men and women when it came to rating their personal chances in mano to animal combat. Both are equally unlikely to think they could win in a fight with lions, gorillas or bears.
Differences do start to emerge between the sexes when it comes to battling wolves and kangaroos. About 17 per cent of American men fancy their chances against the boxing marsupials and wolves but only 11 per cent of women.
The gender gap is biggest when it comes to fighting with medium-sized dogs and geese. 60 per cent of men said they would beat the dog, compared to just 39 per cent of women. 71 per cent of men asked were convinced they could trounce a goose compared to just 51 per cent of women.
YouGov also asked people which animal would win in a series of random head-to-head fights.
Elephants had a win rate of 74 per cent, just beating the rhinoceros into second place by a fraction of a percentage. An unarmed human had a ratio of just 17 per cent, only three per cent above the goose, which came last in battle of the 34 beasts.
The grizzly bear was third with 73 per cent while tigers (70), hippos (69), lions (68) and crocodiles (67) also scored well against their rivals.