Which animal do you think possesses the most powerful bite? Is it the Lion, Hyena, Snapping Turtle? Or maybe is something smaller like a piranha. The answer, may surprise you. There’s a famous proverb that says the “big fish eats the little fish,” and if one takes a closer look at how nature works, one will see that this is not far from the truth. This is especially true in the animal kingdom where most animals survive by employing a wider range of tactics and evolutionary traits. As you have probably guessed by now, a powerful bite force is one of the many traits that help animals not only in their quest for food, but also in their battle for protection. For that reason, today we’ll rank the most “accomplished” members of the animal kingdom based on what else? Their bite force. From the beautiful Siberian tiger to the intimidating Polar bear, these are 25 most powerful bites in the animal kingdom you definitely want to avoid.
Killer Whale, PSI: 19,000 ~ Unknown
So far it has been impossible to measure the bite force of a killer whale with accuracy. However, based on captive killer whale incidents it’s estimated that their bite force could exceed 19,000 PSI. Since this is mere speculation, the killer whale, for now, comes in on #25 as a special mention.
Piranha, PSI: Unknown
In boxing terms the black piranha would be the absolute “pound for pound” king of the animal kingdom when it comes to bite force. The piranha is able to exert a force of up to thirty times its body weight, a feat that is unheard of in the animal kingdom. However, its exact bite force hasn’t been measured.
Leopard, PSI: 300–310
The leopard is one of the five “big cats” in the genus Panthera and can be found in many parts of the world such as certain areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, West Asia, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, and even Siberia. Known for its great athleticism and speed the leopards’ bite is something you definitely want to avoid.
Tiger Shark, PSI: 325
This sea beast might be one of the most deadly predators of the oceans and definitely looks very intimidating but its psi bite force is only 325.
African Wild Dog, PSI: 340
The African wild dog is a canid native to Sub-Saharan Africa and is considered the largest of its family in Africa. Don’t let it’s cute appearance deceive you, in terms of bite force, it competes with cougars.
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Cougar, PSI: 350
The cougar, also known as the puma, is considered to be the greatest of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere and one of the fastest land animals, period. They don’t have the most powerful bite force but with extremely muscular jaws and long canine teeth which are adapted for cutting meat, tendon, and sinews; you really don’t need that much bite force.
Gray Wolf, PSI: 406
The gray wolf is one of the world’s best known and well researched animals with probably one of the most paradoxical relationships with humans. The wolf is a formidable hunter, normally hunting in packs to tackle animals much larger than itself. It also sports a respectable bite force of 406 PSI.
Mastiff, PSI: 556
The Mastiff has the highest bite force among domesticated dogs. Not the Rottweiler, American pit bull, or the German shepherd.
Great White Shark, PSI: 669
Even though sharks in general are supposed to have the strongest bite among fish, surprisingly the great white’s PSI isn’t all that great. This, however, could be attributed to the fact that great whites don’t necessarily need a strong bite force, because much of the damage they do is inflicted by their teeth.
African Lion, PSI: 691
We were kind of disappointed to see the “king of the jungle” ranking so low but apparently his mighty bite isn’t one of his greatest weapons. However, lions have a strong-enough bite to give them a position in our top twenty-five list.
Jaguar, PSI: 700
The scary thing about jaguars isn’t just their powerful bite force but the way their teeth are constructed: they can pierce through skulls and can also pierce through turtle shells. For the record, jaguars have the strongest bite by far in relation to size among the cat family.
Brown Bear, PSI: 850
The humble brown bear lives in the forests and mountains of northern North America, Europe, and Asia. It is the most widely dispersed bear in the world and has a very respectable bite force that can reach up to 850 psi.
Kodiak Bear, PSI: 930
The Kodiak bear, also known as the Alaskan grizzly bear, lives on the islands of the Kodiak Archipelago in Southwestern Alaska from which it borrows its name. It is the largest subspecies of brown bear and one of the two largest members of the bear family, the other being the polar bear.
Siberian Tiger, PSI: 950
No only do Siberian tigers possess incredibly strong jaws, but they also possess very sharp teeth which they use to chomp down on their victims throat.
Snapping Turtle, PSI: 1000
According to a bite force test done by Dr. Brady Barr of National Geographic, the snapping turtle possesses a bite force of about 1000 PSI.
Bengal Tiger, PSI: 1050
Bengal tigers are the largest members of the cat family and are renowned for their power and strength. Despite their fearsome reputation, most tigers avoid humans but the few that don’t, are responsible for the deaths of many humans in India where these tigers live.
Hyena, PSI: 1100
This not so pretty and intimidating animal that most of us ’90s kids learned about from watching The Lion King, has teeth that are specialized for consuming coarse food and crushing and digesting large bones. Their milk contains some of the richest calcium of all land predators thanks to the bones they eat.
Polar Bear, PSI: 1235
Polar bears are some of the strongest and toughest mammals on the planet and as such they have a very powerful bite force as well. Their nutrition consists mainly of seals—which don’t exactly have soft skin—but their teeth are adapted for a vegetable diet as well.
Grizzly Bear, PSI: 1250
The grizzly bear is a majestic and dominant symbol of the wild and raw strength. They are omnivorous and have very strong teeth; their incisors are relatively big and their canine teeth are large. Unlike most other carnivorous animals, their teeth are adapted for a vegetable diet.
Bull Shark, PSI: 1250
Bull Sharks have the strongest bite among fish but their PSI is only half the equation; they also possess extremely sharp teeth.
Silverback Gorilla, PSI: 1300
The teeth of typical Silverback gorillas (male) are white and big but not very sharp; however, they have very strong neck and jaw muscles that give them a very strong bite force.
Hippopotamus, PSI: 1821
Hippos might not look like they possess a strong bite but the truth is these huge animals have extremely powerful jaw muscles. Although they’re herbivores, they have the strongest bite among all mammals.
American Alligator, PSI: 2125
The American alligator is the rare success story of an endangered animal that was not only saved from extinction but is also one of the most vicious and deadly predators in the world with the third most powerful bite.
Nile Crocodile, PSI: 5000
The Nile crocodile has a well-deserved reputation as one of the most vicious man-eaters in all Africa. Firm numbers are sketchy, but estimates are that up to about 200 people may die each year in the jaws of a Nile crocodile, who also happens to have the second most powerful bite in the animal kingdom.
Saltwater Crocodile, PSI: 7700
Simply put, the saltwater crocodile is the largest living reptile, as well as the largest terrestrial and riparian predator in the world. The males of this species can reach up to 22 feet and weigh up to 4,400 lb, and they have the strongest bite ever measured on a living animal.