What Animal has the Strongest Teeth: Crocodiles Have the Most Powerful Teeth on Earth:

What Animal has the Strongest Teeth

Of all the creatures on Earth, which one has the most powerful bite force and strongest teeth? Many might guess lions, tigers, or sharks. However, the animal with the strongest bite and teeth is actually the crocodile.

Specifically, saltwater crocodiles have the strongest bite ever measured, able to clamp down with 3,700 pounds per square inch (psi) of pressure. That’s over 10 times higher than lions and great white sharks!

In this article, we’ll explore why crocodilian teeth are so strong and their incredible bite-force capabilities. We’ll also compare them to other animals and learn how researchers test these deadly chomps. Finally, we’ll highlight where crocodiles get their incredible strength from and why their bite evolved to become the most powerful on the planet.

The Raw Power of a Crocodile’s Jaws

Crocodiles are the largest reptiles alive today, growing over 20 feet long in some species. When these massive crocs snap their jaws shut, the conical teeth can exert incredibly high psi – the pressure resulting from their bite force divided over the small contact area of their teeth tips.

Pound for pound, crocodiles have the strongest bite ever recorded in the animal kingdom. A huge 5,000-pound saltwater crocodile was found to have the ability to bite down with 16,460 newtons (N) of force. That translates to almost 4,000 psi, notably higher than any other species including predatory big cats, sharks, hyenas, alligators and bone-crushing mammals like hippos.

See also  Top 15 Smartest Sea Creatures: The Most Intelligent Sea Animals

To put things in perspective, tigers and lions can bite down with around 1,000 psi, great whites around 600 psi and humans just 170 psi!

So crocodiles can bite down with many times more pressure per square inch than even the most dangerous predators on land. Their teeth and jaws are extraordinarily adept at capturing prey and tearing off bite-sized chunks once secured in their grasp.

Crocodiles teeth

Testing the Megafauna Chompers

The reason researchers know the bite force statistics for various creatures is from advancements in biomechanics and testing methods. Specialized devices have been created to measure the force and pressure animals can chew and clamp down with. For example, metal plates equipped with sensors are used to register crocodilian clamping power across their tooth row.

Different techniques can determine a single tooth’s pressure potential too. A metal-tipped probe connected to a high accuracy pressure recorder is inserted between a captive crocodile’s jaws. When clamped on the device, the sensors can relay the utter intensity delivered. These measurements help explain how crocodiles can completely crush bones and hooves of large mammals like wildebeest!

Harder Than Kevlar Design

So how did crocodiles evolve to have such performance-crushing teeth and bite force compared to other predators? Partly from their tooth structure containing minerals like hydroxyapatite crystals. Along with collagen layers, this gives them a similar composition to our own dental materials.

But crocodile teeth hardness and durability exceeds our own in some ways. Their teeth are stiffer, more crack-resistant and tightly held together better than human teeth and even the tough material Kevlar! This allows their chompers and jaws to function with extreme pressure day in and day out without much wear or issues from all that bone-crushing.

See also  Top Fastest Marine Mammals in Oceans Revealed

Serrated Choppers Anchor Slippery Prey

In addition to being ultra durable, crocodile teeth are well-designed for gripping and anchoring struggling prey before the devastating death roll [9]. Their conical shape and serrated, jagged edges enable them to easily seize and entrap fleeing animals with efficient puncturing and reduced slippage. The teeth interlock well too once clenched on flesh and bone to allow those skull-crushing forces to take effect.

Generating Megapredator Biting Power

Such extreme forces generated by crocodile bites wouldn’t be possible without incredible jaw-closing muscles enveloping their skull and lower jawbones. Powerful muscles like the adductor mandibulae which closes the jaws works together with secondary external and internal pterygoids [10]. These and other head and neck muscles can generate massive contractile forces.

Crocodiles also have specialized musculature allowing them to clamp their jaws shut and bite rather effortlessly even when semi-submerged. These advantages enable holding struggling prey underwater until drowned or adjusting their jaw pressure finely depending on if the intent is simply to hold or crush.

In a Life and Death Snap

There are still occasional reports of crocs and alligators biting down completely through heavy turtle shells or mammal bone in the wild demonstrating their incredible tooth pressure and crushing capacities. This shows why prehistoric crocodilians contended so fiercely with mega dinosaurs that also evolved bone-crushing bites during the Mesozoic Era.

With abilities to slam their jaws shut at high speeds too, today’s crocodilians are certainly not to be underestimated around fresh or salt waters where they dwell!

See also  The Top 10 Fastest Land Animals in the World

Their biting and clamping forces exceed any extant terrestrial or marine predators alive in the world currently. Whether hunting fish, birds or Wildebeest along waterways and shores, crocodilians possess dynamic chomping capacities finely honed by evolution and the survival needs of these largest modern reptiles on Earth.