Bite Strength Animal Kingdom

Humans aren’t exactly known for our incredible bite force, but it turns out that we do have a relatively strong bite, especially when compared to our fellow primates.

Studying Skulls

According to work published in National Geographic magazine, a human bite is among the strongest & most efficient of the primates. We out-bite orangutans & gibbons & come close to the massive gorilla. When the larger gorilla skull is scaled to match ours, however, humans actually beat our big primate cousins by a wide margin.

Our relatively weak cranium withstands these strong forces since our bite doesn’t lose much force from poor alignment or other factors that decrease efficiency & require more force up front to produce the same chomp.

The misconception of humans having a weak bite, according to the National Geographic article, was due to two-dimensional thinking. Bite forces in humans were measured at the second molars, where the most pressure can be exerted, then compared to other primates. When tests were performed in three dimensions, the impressive bite of homo sapiens shows through.

Kingdom Comparison

Even across the breadth of the animal kingdom, we don’t bite as weakly as many think, especially when our size is taken into account. Many top predators known for their massive bites are much larger than we are, & through sheer size alone are capable of inflicting serious damage. Though we don’t come close to these apex predators, we outdo much of the rest of the animals in nature.

The top biter that currently exists in the animal kingdom is still up for debate, but it is generally considered to be either the great white shark or the saltwater crocodile. While simulations have been run for large great whites that beat the “salty,” there is concrete data available that puts the crocodile in close range. When comparing the two animals when equal in size—the great white can be the larger of the two—it would appear that the crocodile comes out on top.

Prehistoric Predators

Stretching back through time into prehistoric ages, it is harder to claim what animal would have the biggest bite, but the general consensus is the megalodon, a giant relative of the great white shark that is speculated to have a greater bite force than even the tyrannosaurus rex. Megalodons reached lengths of 60 feet & are believed to have fed on whales & other large sea life. Their bite was made even more deadly with rows of razor-sharp teeth that could be longer than 6 inches.

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