When you think of animals with immense jaw pressure, the image of a coyote or something similar might come to mind. Although the meat-eating canines have undeniably strong bites, they don't beat out the rest of the land animals on the planet. Hyenas (family Hyaenidae), on the other hand, do.
Broad Diets of Hyenas
As carnivores, hyenas boast a wide array of prey animals. Some of the many animals they routinely dine on include porcupines, antelope, juvenile rhinoceroses, fish, foxes, birds and rabbits. When they're by themselves, they tend to go for smaller, more realistic prey. When they're hunting within groups, they're capable of taking on prey of much more substantial size. Hyenas aren't at all wasteful when it comes to eating. They scarf up almost every part of an animal's body, from the teeth to the bones. It's not uncommon for hyenas to go for days without eating.
Hyenas have extremely strong jaws that are capable of quickly and easily grinding down bones. They, strangely enough, favor the hardness of bones over flesh. Their jaw pressure is superior to that of all other mammals. Some hyenas can even shatter the anterior limbs of oxen with their bites. The jaw of a mature hyenas can apply 800 pounds of pressure per square inch.
Tigers and lions are both large and mighty cats that have reputations as being formidable predators. Although these felines are tough, they can't compete with hyenas in this realm. Hyenas have stronger jaw pressure than both of them. When a lion discovers that eating his prey is simply too difficult, he might abandon it only for a hyena to handily devour it later.
Other Animals With Strong Jaw Pressure
Sharks surpass hyenas in terms of jaw pressure. They differ from other creatures in that their top and bottom jaws alike are capable of moving. It's not much of a surprise that sharks can eat any animal in their surroundings. Not only are their bites powerful, they're also equipped with many teeth. Whenever they knock a tooth out accidentally, another one promptly replaces it. Alligators also have substantial jaw pressure.
- Zoos - Animals, People, Places; Bernard Livingston
- Cool Animal Names; Dawn Cusick
- Read Reflect Respond; Joanne Sutter
- San Diego Zoo Animals: Spotted Hyena
- Nature's Nastiest Biters; Frankie Stout
- The Dental Cosmos - Volume 55; J.D. White, John Hugh McQuillen and George Jacob Ziegler, et al.
- Teeth, Claws and Jaws; Janet Riehecky
- African Wildlife Foundation: Hyena
- Biology - Organisms and Adaptations; Robert K. Noyd
- Big Book of Animal Devotions; William L. Coleman
- Anup Shah/Photodisc/Getty Images