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The shark’s ability to inflict killer damage on anything it grabs, however, probably is due to saw-like teeth and not the amount of bite force, the study researchers say. Once a great white clamps down on a prey with its razor-sharp teeth, the shark often shakes the catch from side to side to initiate a sawing action. The jaws work like a set of pliers, where pliers with long handles would let you grab an item with more force than pliers with short handles.

Famous for their 300 blade-like teeth, which are continually replaced, these sharks certainly have one of the most feared bites on Earth. But with a jaw made of flexible cartilage rather than solid bone, is it the most powerful bite? To find out, someone had to measure the force it exerts.

A digital rendering of a great white shark’s maw could lead to the first accurate estimate of the power behind a full-force bite. Computer models suggest that the maximum bite force for a large shark would be 1,8 Ton but this hasn’t been measured on a living shark. The white has a narrow head, so it has less space for jaw muscles, and therefore scientists expect that pound for pound the great whites’ bite is not particularly impressive, but the sheer size of the animal means that in absolute terms it tops the scales.


But great whites would still top the charts as savviest hunters and they rely on slicing and head-shaking to rip off chunks of flesh, so they don’t need to bite down with their full force Much of the damage inflicted by white sharks is due to their teeth, and not necessarily to the force.

Even 1,8 ton isn’t that high when you take into account the shark’s size. The bite force quotient (BFQ), which compares bite force to body mass, is about 164 for a great white, compared with 181 for a Tasmanian devil and 440 for the Nile crocodile.



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