16+ Strongest Bite Force in the Animal Kingdom

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Animal bite force is a complex science and you’re likely to find all kinds of conflicting figures, regardless of whether you measure in PSI (pounds per square inch), Newtons of force, or pounds of force. On top of this, conducting bite force tests is difficult and rarely a top priority for scientists studying animals.

If that’s true, how can we be sure which animals have the strongest bites in the world? Thanks to the testing some scientists have conducted and sophisticated computer modeling, we can determine a credible estimate of what an animal’s peak biting power could be.

Before we get to the top ten strongest bite forces in the animal kingdom, we’ll explain how bite forces are measured, why it matters for animals, and how we can model them.

What is Bite Force?

close up shot of a lion roaring and showing teeth

Why Does Bite Force Matter?

image of a crocodile in a lake showing its bite force with a Kruger in mouth

How Do People Calculate Or Test Bite Force?

image of a woman biting on a toast of bread

What Determines Bite Force?

skull of a Siberian tiger

10. Tiger (1,050 psi)

Image of a Siberian tiger jumping on the snow

9. Spotted Hyena (1,100 psi)

one of the top animals with the strongest bite force, the spotted hyena pictured in uangwa national park zambia

8. Grizzly Bear (1,000 to 1,200 psi)

image of a grizzly bear, one of the animals with the strongest bite force, growling on a snowy cliff

7. Polar Bear (1,200 psi)

Close up portrait of a polar bear laying on snow

6. Gorilla (1,300 psi)

image of a lone male gorilla, one of the animals with strongest bite force

5. Jaguar (1,500 psi)

Jaguar lying in the grass and leaves in Amazon forest. Jaguar has the strongest bite force of all big cats.

4. Hippopotamus (1,800 psi)

Image of a hippopotamus running aggressively with mouth opened. hippos have the strongest bite force of all living mammals.

3. American Alligator (2,150 psi)

image of an American alligator along Myakka River in Myakka River State Park in Sarasota Florida USA

2. Great White Shark (4,000 psi)

one of the animals with strongest bite force, great white shark swimming on the ocean

1. Saltwater Crocodile (3,700 psi)

the animal with the strongest bite force, the saltwater crocodile pictured with mouth opened

Other Bite Forces

11. Lion (650 psi)

image of a roaring lion in Kenya

Despite their fearsome reputation and iconic status, lions only have a slightly higher bite force than mastiff dogs. They rely on hunting in groups, dragging down and suffocating prey, so they never needed a bite force as strong as the solitary tigers and jaguars.

12. Nile Crocodile (3,000 – 5,000 psi)

one of the animals with the strongest bite force, the Nile crocodile was photographed on a safari in Africa with mouth opened

I’ve found conflicting numbers when it comes to Nile crocodiles. The one study I found only used an eight-foot (2.43 m) specimen and extrapolated that a 16-foot (4.87 m) specimen would have a bite around 3,000 PSI. I also found people who believed the bite could exceed 5,000 PSI. In the end, it was too murky to include them in the above top ten, but they likely have the strongest bite force behind saltwater crocodiles and white sharks.

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13. Bull Shark (478 psi)

a bull shark swimming with other fish species in the ocean

Bull sharks have the strongest bite of any shark when you factor in body size. They’re much smaller than white sharks, reaching typical sizes of nine feet and around 800 pounds. White sharks of a similar size would only be capable of around 360 PSI.

14. Black Piranha (72 psi)

close up image of a black piranha showing its teeth

You’re probably looking at the measly 72 PSI bite force of a black piranha and wondering why it got mentioned here. Black piranhas grow to around a foot in length and at most weigh in around eight pounds (3.62 kg). Their bite force of 72 PSI is massive in comparison to their body weight, and this measurement came from a fish weighing only around 2 ½ pounds (1.13 kg).

15. Tasmanian Devil (200 psi)

image of a Tasmanian devil who is thought to have the strongest bite force when you factor the animal

16. Orcas (19,000 psi)

image of a pair of orca jumping from the ocean

While also untested, a killer whale can theoretically exert 19,000 psi in bite force. This is mainly due to their sheer size, as they can weigh up to six tons (6096.28 kg) and reach thirty feet (9.14 m) in length. Most evidence is based on simulations, theory, and captive whale studies, so it did not merit a spot on the list.

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Strongest Bite Force By Type of Animal

Mammal

Reptile

Fish

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Human Bite Force: Comparison With Humans

a kid trying to bite his arm

What About Dinosaurs?

silhouette of a T-rex under a starry sky

Some of the largest and most powerful creatures to ever roam the Earth are now extinct. Apex predator dinosaurs like the Tyrannosaurus Rex and unmatched marine predators like the megalodon had incredibly strong jaws and crushing bite forces.

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How Would We Even Know?

image of a fossil of a T-rex on a musuem

Strongest Dinosaur Bite Force

1. Megapiranha

The now extinct relative of modern-day piranhas, mega piranha, grew to around thirty pounds. Just like its ancestors living among us today, it had an incredibly strong bite for its size. In theory, mega piranha was capable of a bite between 279 and 1,067 psi.

2. Megalodon

image of a tooth of a megalodon compared to a tooth of a modern great white shark

3. T-Rex

Image of a T-rex, the most likely one to have the strongest bite force of any land animals to ever exists, during the dinosaur age

The infamous T-rex boasts likely one of the strongest overall bite forces of any land animal to ever exist. Their jaws were capable of putting out a force of over 35,0000 psi. This would have been extra helpful to take down the large megafauna it coexisted with and preyed on.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>