Asked by: Anonymous
Jaws act a bit like hinges. The force exerted depends on the size, strength and location of the jaw muscles, coupled with how close to the hinge-point you measure (closer gives greater forces). By sticking a force meter between the rear teeth, crocodiles give by far the strongest recorded bites – although they can’t open their jaws very forcefully.
A large male Nile crocodile was filmed biting 22kN – roughly equivalent to the weight of a large car. Saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) get a few per cent longer, so should give a stronger bite. But size is so important that even the relatively weak back jaws of great white sharks exert 18kN, according to computer models. And I suspect blue whales will come out top, although no studies have been done and their toothless bite just closes on water.
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