Home News Lifes-little-mysteries The saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) has the greatest bite force of any animal alive today. (Image credit: DianaLynne through Getty Images)Tyrannosaurus rex and megalodon are repeat sci-fi stars for a factor: Their bites were relentless. Which extinct and living animals really apply the greatest bite force? Bite force, according to a research study released in Frontiers (opens in brand-new tab), is the force that the muscles and bones of the upper and lower jaw create when an animal bites. Animals with strong bite forces typically have no issue securing down on having a hard time victim. Some predators are even able to break through victim with particularly hard armor. Of all the animals alive today, the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) has the greatest recognized bite force, at 16,460 newtons (newtons determine force magnitude), a 2012 research study in the journal PLOS One (opens in brand-new tab) discovered. For contrast, 1 newton equates to about a quarter pound of force. Whatever winds up in the jaws of a saltwater crocodile goes through severe force throughout its passing away gasps. Paleobiologist Gregory M. Erickson determining an alligator’s bite force. (Image credit: Photo by: Gregory M. Erickson through Florida State University)There are 2 competitors that might challenge– and potentially beat– the croc, however their bite forces have actually not been determined in a live setting since these animals are marine predators. If validated, the greatest bite force might be that of the whale (Orcinus whale), approximated at 84,516 newtons by the Dutch Shark Society (opens in brand-new tab), distantly followed by the bite force of a terrific white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), at about 18,000 newtons, according to computer system designs utilized in a 2008 research study released in the Journal of Zoology (opens in brand-new tab). Amongst extinct animals, the chomp of T. rex might have been king, at a killer 35,000 newtons (opens in brand-new tab) when it stomped the Earth from about 68 million to 66 million years back. The substantial shark Megalodon (Otodus megalodon) scared the seas from 15 million to 3.6 million years ago with a bite force of approximately 182,200 newtons (opens in brand-new tab). There are still concerns about whether the shark might beat out the dinosaur. They’re tough to pit versus each other since shark and dinosaur jaws have various types and varieties of teeth, described Jack Tseng (opens in brand-new tab), a biologist and assistant teacher of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Related: What is the toothiest animal in the world? Bite force can be determined straight or approximated indirectly. Living animals can bite down on a force gauge, which is how researchers determined the saltwater crocodile’s severe bite. For living animals that researchers have actually not had the ability to evaluate in this manner, such as whale and sharks, bite force is based upon what is understood about their body structure, shape and the kind of victim they hunt. Extinct animals are harder. Just the jaw bones stay in a skull, which is why scientists utilize computer system simulations to recreate jaw muscles that have actually long because decayed. Making from a killer bite The Cretaceous dinosaur Tyrannosaurus rex has actually an approximated bite force of 35,000 newtons. (Image credit: Martin Shields through Alamy Stock Photo)What enters into a squashing bite? Numerous qualities– consisting of head and jaw strength– play functions. Teeth are likewise a weapon. T. rex’s head alone had bone-crushing power, however it likewise had actually serrated knife-like teeth. There is one aspect that controls all others, if you ask Daniel Huber (opens in brand-new tab), a teacher and chair of ecological research studies at The University of Tampa in Florida. “[Body] size is the single essential consider figuring out bite force,” Huber informed Live Science in an e-mail. Huber has actually discovered that a predator’s size overwhelms whatever else, consisting of head width to the armor-like durability of victim. The jaw adductor muscles, which are accountable for closing the jawbones, are essential. “The sizes and positions of those adductors can be evolutionarily fine-tuned to take full advantage of the quantity of muscle force that can be sent into bite force,” he informed Live Science in an e-mail. The renowned T. rex probably had effective jaws, according to computer system simulations of the dinosaur king (opens in brand-new tab). When considering the sharpness of its teeth, price quotes of the dino’s bite force skyrocket, Huber stated. Part of that overall force comes from not simply bite force however likewise the additional bite pressure applied by those sharp teeth. “In basic, the sharper the tooth suggestion, the greater the possible bite force offered the exact same input muscle force, due to the fact that any such force would be focused at the idea of a tooth,” Tseng included. Not all animals with a substantial bite force are massive and toothy. Some aren’t even predators. The Galapagos big ground finch (Geospiza magnirostris) has the most extreme bite force for its size, according to a 2019 research study released in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B (opens in brand-new tab). This bird weighs just about 1 ounce (33 grams), however its beak can break difficult nuts and seeds with a force of 70 newtons, suggesting it has the most effective bite force for its body size, according to the research study. That offers the finch 320 times the biting power of T. rex. How do people compare? The hardest bite our types can handle is around 1,000 newtons, so we’re not even in the very same league. Elizabeth Rayne is a contributing author for Live Science. Her work has actually appeared in SYFY WIRE, Forbidden Futures, Grunge and Den of Geek. She holds a bachelor of arts in English literature from Fairfield University in Connecticut and a master’s degree in English composing from Fordham University, and many takes pleasure in discussing area, in addition to biology, chemistry, physics, archaeology and paleontology.