There are a lot of animals out there with some really strong bites, but which ones would make it to the ‘strongest bite’ list?
According to studies, an animal’s bite force varies depending on its bite size since muscular strength is proportional to the degree to which a muscle is stretched. The top list of animals with great biting force is:
- Bengal tiger
- and more!
Read on for a full list of the animals that have the strongest bite, along with lots of information how we measure the force and strength of a bite in the first place…
How Is Animal Bite Force Measured?
Wild animals’ ability to bite down hard is one of the most impressive physical skills they use to stay alive. Predators found at the top of the food chain often have the strongest jaws in nature. It can be very dangerous to try to measure how hard they bite, though.
However, bite power is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI), and scientists have gotten a reasonably decent estimate from monitoring animals in the field and doing computer models.
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According to research out of Brown University, an animal’s bite force varies depending on its bite size since muscular force is proportional to the degree to which a muscle is stretched.
What is The Bite Force of A Human Compared To Animals?
The typical human biting force is 162 PSI, which is more than some of the other primates.
According to research conducted in Australia, the jaws of these primates are less effective than those of humans:
Dr. Stephen Wroe and his colleagues at the Universities of New South Wales and Newcastle used cutting-edge 3D computer modeling to determine that human jaws are highly efficient and can generate reasonably forceful bites.
FUN FACT: Richard Hoffman has the record for the strongest human bite, with force more than six times stronger than the typical person’s. Researchers at the University of Florida’s College of Dentistry used a gnathodynamometer to determine this in 1986.
What Are The Top 10 Animals With The Strongest Bite?
Here is how some of the strongest animal bites compare when measured in pound-force per square inch (PSI), which is the force of one pound of force applied to an area of one square inch.
#1: The English Mastiff (552 PSI)
Being the largest dog breed, mastiffs are very impressive creatures and also are the animal that has the strongest bite.
They have a biting force of up to 552 PSI and may weigh up to 200 lbs. It has made them the most self-assured canines on the planet. A bite from an English Mastiff is strong enough to crack bones and chip teeth.
The English Mastiff has the most powerful bite of dog breeds. The mastiff is a large working dog breed with a 2,000-year history in England as a guard and combat dog. Records of these dogs date back to 3000 BC in Europe and Asia.
Bred for combat, they are now more often kept as pets or working dogs. They are often used as security dogs and in military roles. Similarly, the breed was used in the later English bullbaiting and bearbaiting rings.
#2: The Saltwater Crocodile (3,700 PSI)
Dr. Gregory Erickson, who teaches anatomy and paleobiology and oversees the Biological Science Museum at Florida State University, spent ten years analyzing the jaw strength of all 23 species of crocodiles.
A bite-force transducer, which Erickson likens to “an expensive bathroom scale,” was placed between the crocodiles’ jaws by Erickson and his crew and then covered with protective layers of bull hide. The maximum pressure measurement was 3,700 PSI, obtained from a 17-foot-long saltwater crocodile.
A 13-foot wild American alligator has a biting force of 2,980 PSI. Therefore this is the greatest bite force ever recorded, according to Erickson. Meanwhile, crocodiles that reached lengths of 40 feet were said to have a biting power of 23,000 pounds.
#3: The Great White Shark (4,000 PSI)
The question of which animal has the strongest bite is answered here. Researchers from Australia used 3D computer modeling to figure out that the pressure of a great white shark bite was 4,000 PSI.
They were able to accurately measure this trait by taking X-ray pictures of the head and muscles of a great white shark. The researchers got their 4,000 PSI number from a 21-foot great white shark model.
The study is a good representation of the largest great whites in the water. Even though its bite is one of the strongest of any living thing on Earth, prehistoric sharks like the megalodon might have been ten times stronger.
The power of a shark’s bite is proportional to how big it is since bigger sharks swim faster. The biggest great white sharks can get up to 20 feet long, but their sizes vary greatly.
On average, female great white sharks can grow 15 to 16 feet long, while males can only grow 11 to 13 feet long. Most great white sharks weigh between 1,200 and 2,400 pounds.
#4: Polar Bear (1,200 PSI)
The biting force of all large bears, including grizzlies and brown bears, is about equivalent. They have a biting force of almost 1,200 PSI or more than four times that of a typical Inuit.
The largest polar bear ever recorded is over 2,000 pounds and stands at roughly 11 feet tall. Their size makes them well-suited to the Arctic, where they can subsist by hunting a wide variety of wildlife. Thus, being the largest bears in the world gives them the ability to deliver a powerful bite force.
#5: Grizzly Bear (975 PSI)
Another animal with the strongest bite, a grizzly bear’s bite is one of the strongest in the world, with a force of 975 PSI. Grizzly bears can be big, but each bear will be a different size.
Males can weigh up to 700 pounds and females can weigh between 300 and 400 pounds, these bears can get quite big.
Most of the time, grizzly bears on the coast are bigger than those on the mainland. People say the tallest ones can reach 11 feet, but the average height is around 6.5 feet.
The grizzly bear’s big paws make it possible to kill a moose with just one swipe. Grizzlies have some of the scariest teeth, and they also have a lot of energy. The jaws of grizzly bears are so strong that they can break a bowling ball.
In places where grizzly bears live, doctors have found ways to treat deep-tissue bacterial infections common in people whom bears have attacked. People are coming into more frequent contact with bears, which has led to more bear maulings and bite injuries.
#6: Spotted Hyena (1,100 PSI)
Here’s another interesting fact on the question of which animal has the strongest bite. The spotted hyena’s biting power of 1,100 PSI is superior to other animals and other hyena species. Because of its massive size, the hyena’s biting force is terrifying.
Spotted hyenas aren’t too far from the mastiffs we covered above, and they share a common ancestor with the “bone-crushing dogs” of the late Cenozoic, such as Borophagus. These were ruthless predators capable of shattering the skull of an Indricotherium.
Spotted hyenas, known for breaking bones and eating them, were used to study how tooth and jaw growth affects biting strength and eating habits.
The spotted hyena is the largest type of hyena, is only around 3 to 4 feet in length, and weighs 89 to 140 pounds. Spotted hyenas have huge skulls, disproportionately big trunks and forelimbs, and strong bites that can tear through corpses with up to 1,100 pounds of force per square inch, as befitting beasts that can consume, chew, and digest solid bone.
#7: Gorilla (1,200 PSI)
Veganism is common in gorillas. None of the other animals on this list abstain from meat consumption. Are they below which animal has the strongest bite?
Their biting force is 1,300 PSI, making them formidable. The powerful jaws allow them to easily chew and rip through tough materials like bark and roots. They can express dominance and violence by baring their large teeth.
A gorilla’s bite is among the strongest of any mammal. These gentle giants are normally peaceful and will only strike if they feel threatened. Each subspecies is about as powerful as the other, although the western lowland gorilla is the strongest. The eastern lowland gorilla is the biggest subspecies.
The canine teeth of male gorillas are employed in a dominance show. When threatened, gorillas often charge rather than bite. A gorilla’s bite has the potential to be lethal, yet it is one of their final lines of defense.
#8: Hippopotamus (2,125 PSI)
The hippopotamus is by far and away the strongest land animal in terms of its bite. It is thought that a hippopotamus can bite with up to 2,125 PSI of force.
The hippo is a strong animal, even though it can’t bite as hard as other mammals because it is bigger and has a bigger mouth. The whole body of a crocodile can fit in a hippo’s mouth, and they are very protective of their territory.
FUN FACT: The Nile crocodile and the saltwater crocodile can bite with more force than a hippopotamus, about 3,700 PSI. The biggest reptiles can bite with up to 5,000 PSI!
#9: Jaguar (1,500 PSI)
Jaguars, among the great cats, have the most powerful jaw muscles. Their biting strength is 1,500 PSI, almost double that of a tiger. For instance, Bella, the jaguar in Reid Park Zoo, could put her power to work by pulling down a beef bone that her zookeepers had hung from a log in her enclosure.
The jaguar possesses the largest and hardest bite compared to other large cats. The University of South Carolina researcher, Adam Hartstone-Rose, measured the biting power of nine distinct cat species. They discovered that a jaguar’s biting power is just 75% of that of a tiger’s, but based on body size a jaguar’s bite is stronger.
#10: Bengal Tiger (1,050 PSI)
Last but not least, a Bengal tiger’s canine teeth are the longest of any cat at 2.5 to 3 inches, and they have a biting power of more than 1,000 PSI.
Deer and other ruminants are typically stunned by a swift bite to the neck from a Bengal tiger. These animals have razor-sharp teeth. Once a tiger’s muscular jaws close on a small animal, the victim certainly won’t be able to escape.
What Dog Breeds Have The Strongest Bite?
Wondering which dog breeds did best in most bite-force tests? Here’s a list:
- Belgian Malinois (195 PSI)
- English Bulldog (210 PSI)
- Chowchow (220 PSI)
- Dutch Speherd (224 PSI)
- Alano Espanol (227 PSI)
- Doberman Pinsher (228 PSI)
- Boxer (230 PSI)
- Pit Bull (235 PSI)
- German Shepherd (238 PSI)
- American Bulldog (305 PSI)
- Rottweiler (328 PSI)
- Leonberger (399 PSI)
- Dogo Argentino (500 PSI)
- Presa Canario (540 PSI)
- English Mastiff (522 PSI)
- Tosa Inu (556 PSI)
- Dogue de Boraux (556 PSI)
- Cane Corso (700 PSI)
- Bandog (730 PSI)
- Kangal (743 PSI)
Besides the size of their meal, an animal’s biting force is determined by its:
- jaw muscles
- tooth surface area
Although not all bites are the same, even when they come from the same animal, by monitoring animals in the field and using computer models, it’s feasible to estimate a species’ biting power in pounds per square inch (PSI). This article listed which animals have the strongest bites.
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