Asked by: Peter Cole, Reading
Computer models suggest that the maximum bite force for a large shark would be 18,000 Newtons (18,000kgm/s²), but this hasn’t been measured on a living shark. Sharks have very sharp teeth and rely on slicing and head-shaking to rip off chunks of flesh, so they don’t need to bite down with their full force.
Even 18,000N isn’t that high when you take into account the shark’s size. The bite force quotient (BFQ), which compares bite force to body mass, is about 164 for a great white, compared with 181 for a Tasmanian devil and 440 for the Nile crocodile.