The strongest crocodile bite force is 3,700 pounds per square inch (PSI). The titleholder is the saltwater crocodile, the biggest of all extant crocodilian species.
By contrast, lions and hyenas can only generate about 1,000 PSI of bite force. When humans eat steak, the amount of force exerted is 150 to 200 PSI. Some say that the Nile crocodile has a stronger bite force at 4,000 or 5,000 PSI, but it is not proven.
Which animal has the strongest bite force?
It is difficult to say, as not all animals have been studied for bite force. Some estimate that the whale has a bite force of 19,000 PSI, but this is debatable.
Among mammals, the hippopotamus has the strongest bite force, which registers at 2,000 PSI. It is not stronger than a crocodile’s bite force, but it is the strongest among mammals.
Among all animals, the great white shark is a major contender. The estimate is that it can generate 4,000 PSI of bite force, but this is not a direct measurement.
In 2008, Australian scientists used computer modelling to determine the bite force of a great white shark. They took x-rays of shark skulls to estimate the power of their jaws. They concluded that the bite force of a great white shark depends on its size.
The consensus is that a 21-foot great white shark can generate 4,000 PSI. That shark is huge. The average ones—those that measure 11 to 15 feet, are not as powerful. Again, no one has directly measured the bite force of sharks as it is a difficult thing to do in the water.
Is a crocodile bite stronger than a shark?
The estimate is no—a crocodile’s bite is not stronger thana shark’s. The saltwater crocodile is at 3,700 PSI of bite force, but a great white shark is estimated to be at 4,000 PSI.
The problem is that there was never a direct measurement of sharks’ bite force. In theory, sharks are more powerful. In addition to this, it is really difficult to tell because the water density will also have an impact on the force of a bite.
Can a crocodile bite through steel?
No, not really. At the outset, the crocodile “can” bite through steel because of its bite force. The reality is that the crocodile is not even at 10% power to break steel.
The breaking point of structural steel is 400 megapascals (MPa). Translated to PSI, it is equivalent to 58,015 PSI.
How about other types of metals? Can crocodiles bite through them? Below is a list of some of the most common metals and their breaking point.
- Carbon steel – 121,977 PSI
- Bronze – 34,800 PSI
- Aluminum – 13,053 PSI
Crocodiles cannot break steel with their bites. They surely can crush bones and turtle shells, but not the metal rods. If they did, then it would be a tough ordeal to transport them to zoos and habitats.
Why is a crocodile’s bite force so strong?
Crocodiles have a strong bite force because they have a second jaw joint. The additional jaw joint enhances their bite.
Researchers at the Oklahoma State University studied how crocodiles and alligators can produce thousands of PSI for a bite.
They found out that the largest jaw-closing muscle of crocodilians is massive. This muscle is so big that it spills out behind the head. As such, it gives the crocodile the appearance of a thick neck.
This study found out that this muscle is responsible for up to 70% of the force that the croc’s bite force generates.
Overall, evolution is what made the crocodiles powerful. However, one can also observe that juvenile crocodiles are forced into growing up quickly. If they do not, the bigger crocodiles will eat them.
The juvenile crocs had to develop a strong bite early in their lives. For millions of years that this has been happening, the evolution eventually resulted in the croc having a strong bite force.
As the juveniles grow, they also keep on growing their bite power. To some degree, the bite power they develop is not even needed. The bite force of a croc is more than enough to catch prey.
Is crocodile bite stronger than hippo?
The crocodile is stronger. Below is a comparison.
- Crocodile – 3,700 PSI
- Hippo – 2,000 PSI
There are people who say that a hippo can generate a force of 5,000 PSI. However, there is no clear evidence for this. What makes a hippopotamus scary is that it can open its mouth 180 degrees.
Since a hippo can open its mouth wider, it has more room to grab and hold, whereas a crocodile cannot. In addition to this, the hippo has long canines.
Hippo teeth can grow up to 20 inches in length. That is longer than one average 12-inch ruler. These incisors are sharp. Combined with a force of 2,000 PSI, the hippo can crush any hide and bone. Hippos have the longest teeth among all land animals.
Hippos are omnivores, not carnivores. However, they eat more plants than meat. Some hippos would eat carrion floating by the river.
Although hippos have long teeth, they do not use themfor hunting prey. They are not obligate carnivores, so they eat mostly grass. The long teeth are important to them because they fight each other. The teeth are also necessary to ward off predators.
So, while a crocodile has a stronger bite force than a hippo, it is likely for a hippo to win against a croc. Generally, crocodiles are afraid of hippos. There are alsovideos of hippos attacking crocodiles in the wild, proving that crocs are helpless against a herd of hippos.
Summary: how strong is a crocodile bite force?
The strongest bite force of a crocodile is 3,700 PSI. The reigning king of crocs is the saltwater crocodile. While some say that the Nile crocodile can reach 5,000 PSI, there is no documented evidence to prove it.
On land, the crocodile has the strongest bite force. Some claim that the hippo can reach 5,000 PSI, but then, there is also no clear proof of this.