Which Bites Harder, a Crocodile or a Shark?

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Though it's wise on occasion to bite your tongue, you would be best not follow that advice if you were a saltwater crocodile or a bull shark. These beasts both have monstrous mandibles that can crush and kill their prey with extreme ease and efficiency. But who has the strongest bite out of the two? The saltwater crocodile.

Bite Force Relative to Size

Bite force is measured relative to the size of a creature, pound per pound. Saltwater crocodiles have the strongest bite out of all the crocodiles. They have a bite that rivals the bite of a t-rex. The bull shark, meanwhile, has the strongest bite of all sharks. They are also rare among sharks for having an unusually high tolerance for freshwater, and have been spotted as far north in the Mississippi River as Alton, Ill.

The Bull Shark

Contrary to popular belief, the great white shark does not have the strongest bite of all sharks. The modestly sized bull shark has that honor. Bull sharks have a bite force of 1,300 pounds toward the back of their jaw and 450 pounds in the front. This helps them to bite through bone and turtle shells. Because of their tendency to occupy murkier freshwater environments, it's necessary for them to be able to secure prey in a single chomp. The lowered visibility of freshwater habitats would make it difficult for them to come back around for a second go. They may be the most dangerous species of sharks in the world, as they encounter swimmers in many different environments.

Saltwater Crocodile

The saltwater crocodile has the strongest bite of the 23 living species of crocodiles, or of any animal for that matter. They have a bite force of up to 3,700 pounds per square inch. Crocodiles are the largest living reptiles. They usually inhabit swamps and marshes, and use their powerful jaws to tear off chunks of flesh from their prey when it's too big to swallow whole.

The Strongest Bite

The strongest bite clearly belongs to the saltwater crocodile. It would be easier to lift a car off of your leg than to open up the jaws of a saltwater crocodile that has clamped down. The saltwater crocodile's bite is specifically adapted for its environment and is extremely efficient for hunting, killing and devouring prey.

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Author

Brian McCracken lives in Portland, Ore., where he writes on pets and animal wildlife as well as a wide array of other topics, ranging from real estate to personal development.