Top 10 Strongest Animal Bites

Top 10 Strongest Animal Bites

Animal bites are impressive displays of the power and adaptability of various species. Assessing the “strength” of an animal bite is complex, relying on measuring bite force and also understanding the broader context of how each animal uses its bite.

In this blog article, we will provide an overview of bite strength measurement, then counts down 10 animals with the strongest bites, exploring their lifestyles and how they utilize their biting force.

Measuring Biting Force

Researchers measure animal bites using devices that assess the amount of force applied and techniques that estimate bite strength based on muscle size and bone structure.

Challenges arise due to variation among members of the same species, measurement context, and knowing exact bite locations. Still, these techniques provide insight into relative bite strengths.

Top 10 Strongest Animal Bites

The animals on this top 10 list were selected based on the highest measured bite forces and reputations for having incredibly powerful bites relative to their size and environment. Each overview provides more context on why these animals need such strong bites in the wild.

See also  Top 10 Largest Whale Species: The Ocean's Giants

Number 10: The Grizzly Bear

Weighing up to 1,700 pounds, grizzly bears have an estimated bite force of over 1,200 PSI. They utilize their biting power to tear open logs, crush bones, and defend themselves.

Their diet is 90% plants, but grizzlies still rely on their bite when hunting elk, moose, and other large mammals.

Number 9: The Hippopotamus

Hippos have jar-shaped mouths housing large teeth and enormous bite force potential. Weighing over 3,000 pounds, they eat 35-90 pounds daily, consuming grass, aquatic plants, and the occasional fish or terrestrial animal when threatened. Their 1,800 PSI bites reflect the strength needed to forage on land and defend themselves.

Number 8: The Jaguar

The jaguar has the most powerful bite force relative to its size of any big cat. Weighing up to 300 pounds, their bite delivers around 1,500 PSI.

This aids their hunting of larger prey like cattle, deer, capybaras, and caimans. Jaguars bite directly through the skulls of prey to instantly puncture the brain.

Number 7: The Gorilla

When upright, an adult male gorilla can be over 6 feet tall and 500 pounds. With anchorage from strong neck muscles and jaws, gorillas have an estimated bite force of about 1,300 PSI. This allows them to chew tough bamboo shoots and marks territory by ripping apart small trees.

Number 6: The Polar Bear

Polar bears mainly eat blubber and flesh from seals, walruses, whales, and other marine mammals. Weighing over 1,500 pounds, their bite generates around 1,200 PSI to help crack thick layers of blubber and fur in frigid climates. Their bite also aids in killing prey and territorial defense.

See also  Top 10 Most Poisonous Snakes in the World: The World's Deadliest Snakes

Number 5: The Hyena

Most hyenas are accomplished hunters, not just scavengers as popularly mischaracterized. Spotted hyenas have immensely strong jaws with an estimated bite force over 1,100 PSI – useful for splintering bones to access nutritious marrow.

Their powerful bites help them take down prey as large as wildebeest or Cape buffalo.

Number 4: The American Alligator

Alligators use their bite force, estimated at over 2,900 PSI for hunting, self-defense, and asserting dominance. Living in freshwater wetlands, their powerful jaws allow them to crack turtle shells, subdue large mammals, and prevail in fights with other alligators over territory.

Number 3: The Saltwater Crocodile

Saltwater crocodiles have the most powerful bite ever measured, estimated at over 5,000 PSI. These enormous reptiles inhabiting oceans, rivers, and swamps use their bite to kill everything from water buffalo to sharks. Their biting ability aids their position as apex predators across regions of Africa, Australia, and Southeast Asia.

Number 2: The Great White Shark

The fearsome great white shark has legendary status for its bite, delivering almost 4,000 PSI. Its teeth anisotropically function differently based on angle and direction to efficiently puncture, slice, and dice prey including fish, seals, dolphins, and sometimes humans.

Great whites mainly hunt by ambush, relying on a single surprise bite to inflict devastating damage.

Number 1: The Nile Crocodile

Considered the king of the crocodilians, the Nile crocodile has a measured bite force exceeding 5,000 PSI. These massive armored reptiles, reaching over 16 feet long and over 1,650 pounds, dominate aquatic ecosystems throughout Africa.

See also  Top 10 Smartest Animals on the Planet

The Nile crocodile applies its extreme bite strength when hunting everything from fish to zebras and hippos, posing a danger even to humans.

Comparison to Human Bite Force

To provide perspective on the formidable bite forces outlined here, the average bite strength for an adult human male is about 162 PSI. This pales in comparison to the bites on this top 10 list, though human jaw muscles and teeth work remarkably well for our omnivorous purposes.

Still, if we had to bite through tough fur, thick hides, turtle shells, bones, and other solid materials we would struggle mightily compared to these animals that have evolved for such tasks.

Our biting ability likely peaked with our ancient human relatives like Australopithecus boisei that may have generated over 500 PSI using their huge teeth and robust jaws. Yet even they could hardly crack into a hippo carcass or puncture a crocodile’s tough armor.

Conclusion

This lineup of animals showcases nature’s engineering of mouths, jaws, and teeth tailored to the unique survival strategies and challenges of diverse species.

From hunting tactics to self-defense to simply accessing nourishment, the incredible bite forces quantified here illustrate the remarkable results of evolution across these predators and scavengers. Remembering the whole context of each animal provides deeper respect for what at surface seems just a “strong bite.”