How Strong are Wolves? (Wolf Bite Force Explained)

According to official National Geographic measurements, the wolf bite is 406PSI strong, putting it above the bite force of dogs and most other canines.

how strong are wolves

Wolves need a strong bite in order to get a hold of their animals of prey. They also need to have strong jaws and sharp teeth in order to break down the bones of the animals they catch and to get meat from the animal of prey and into their mouths.

How Strong is Wolf’s Bite?

A wolf has one of the strongest bites out of all carnivores, with its bite being rated to approximately 406PSI (pressure per square inch).

This was established through a test by National Geographic where they tried to compare the wolf bite to the bite of dogs and some other carnivores. To compare it with a dog bite, which measures around 300PSI and slightly more, they tested the wolf bite under the same conditions and the results were clearly in favor of wolves.

They need a strong bite in order to kill the animal they’re pursuing and break down its bones, as well as to be able to eat the meat that’s often hard and tough to bite onto. 

406PSI is the lowest recording made by National Geographics; other recordings have shown an even stronger amount of force that was exerted from a wolf’s bite. Some results have varied between 500 and 600 and higher, suggesting that a wolf’s bite is even stronger than the lowest measured rating.

Compared to the biting power of humans, which is “only” at around 165PSI, the wolf’s biting strength is spectacular to observe but also essential, because it enables them to survive and thrive in nature. This means that the wolf’s biting power is up to three times stronger than the human-biting power.

Read Also: European vs North American Wolves (Which is Stronger?)

Why is Wolf’s Bite so Strong?

Wolves are carnivores, which means they catch other animals for food. They need strong teeth to not only kill the animal but also break its bones and eat the meat of the animals they catch, which can be tough.

Their jaws and teeth are fully adapted in such a way that they provide as much biting power as possible.

If we take a look at the jaw structure, we’ll see that the lower jaw is attached to the skull and is not as rigid as it is with humans or some other species. This gives the lower jaw much more power and wolves also have specialized jaw muscles that enable them to bite stronger and more powerfully.

A wolf has 42 teeth overall – 20 of them are in the upper jaw, and 22 of them are in the lower jaw.

Lower jaw teeth are essential because they not only increase the power of the bite but also make sure that the wolf is able to chew down the meat of the animals of prey and get to the bone marrow faster.

Read Also: What Happens to the Old Wolves in the Pack?

Is a Wolf’s Bite is Stronger than a Dog’s Bite?

A wolf’s jaw is much stronger than that of a dog, and there are specific reasons for that. Let’s see why this is the case.

  • A dog doesn’t need its jaws to be as strong, because it doesn’t hunt animals like wolves. Their evolution was different and they adapted to a different lifestyle where they were provided food by humans, alleviating the need to have a stronger jaw.
  • Wolves have a bigger body-to-skull ratio than dogs – between 15-20% larger, which means that with their larger jaws, they’ll get more biting power. However, not all dogs have a smaller jaw.
  • Wolves also have sharper and bigger teeth, which is why they’re slightly more effective at breaking down bones and chewing the animals’ meat. They need this feature in order to hunt successfully in nature.
  • Dogs eat softer food, especially now when the food they eat is provided to them by humans.

That being said, some dog species might even have a stronger biting power than the wolves.

This is especially true of larger dogs with larger jaws – some of them have biting powers of up to 600PSI, which might put them into an equal position to wolves, and in some cases, might even surpass the biting power of a wolf.

How Strong Are Wolves Physically?

When we’re talking about the physical strength of wolves, we have to take a look at their features and some capabilities they have.

Many people are wondering whether wolves are stronger than humans – that is unlikely. Wolves have a strong bite and they have a lot of stamina, but humans have two functional hands and also two feet that are stronger than that of a wolf.

There have been many accounts of humans encountering wolves in a 1-on-1 battle. Often, it didn’t end in the wolf’s favor, but when it did, they caused severe consequences to the humans that were attacked.

The wolves have some features that are to their advantage against other animals and humans. They’re faster and have more stamina than many other animals, which gives them an advantage in a chase. This is why they prefer to chase their prey rather than face it up close.

However, if it comes to a battle up close and personal, wolves have several features that might help them win.

For instance, we’ve already talked about their strong bite, but they will also attempt to jump onto the target if the target is small enough, which can severely cripple if not kill the target.

Conclusion

The wolf’s bite is truly one of the most feared forces in nature. They have a strong jaw and big and sharp teeth, enabling them to use their strong bite against other animals, but also to get food for themselves and their packs.

Wolves are one of the strongest animals in their habitat, which earned them a reputation as powerful and relentless hunters, especially when they attack in packs. But a single wolf also has enough power to counter even larger animals.