[Top] [All Lists]

Comparison Bite Strength in Mammals

Subject: Comparison Bite Strength in Mammals
From: Chris Benesh <>
Date: Fri, 8 Apr 2005 16:45:02 -0700
Greetings All,

Thanks to Chris Coleborn for giving the heads up to this interesting
article.  I am a first time poster to this forum, but an avid mammal
seeker and birder who has made a number of trips to Australia.

I have been unable to track down the Royal Society article online
(subscription required), but I had a question for those who may have
had access to it.  I have no reason to doubt its findings, but I am
surprised that two mammal species widely believed to have tremendous
jaw strength were not mentioned in any of the new pieces summarizing
the Wroe & McHenry article.  I had always been led to believe that the
Spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta) was tops in bite strength, with
Wolverine (Gulo gulo) ranked quite highly too.  Walker's Mammals of the
World mentions "The jaws [of the Spotted Hyena] are probably the most
powerful, in proportion to size, of any living mammal's."  A fair bit
has also been published on the structure and strength of Wolverine jaws
with the capacity to break open the largest bones and feed on frozen
carcasses.  Clearly, either of these species would rank quite a bit
higher in jaw strength proportional to body mass than any of the
placental mammals (lions, tigers, and bears, oh my) mentioned in the
article summaries.  Does anyone know if these species were considered
in the analysis?  Thanks for any insight.  Also, I'm not looking to
start a placental versus marsupial thread, but am genuinely curious. 
Having the Tassie Devil near the top makes perfect sense to me, since
it is also a predator with a major scavenging component to its
foraging, and has a relatively light body mass.



Chris Benesh
32°09.512N, 110°46.248W
Tucson, Arizona

"Minds are like parachutes.  They only function when they are open."
James Dewar
On Apr 1, 2005, at 4:05 PM, Chris Coleborn wrote:

> The Sydney Morning Herald has an interesting article on the relative
> strength of various mammal's (placental vs marsupial) bite. The Tassie
> Devil
> comes out on top. The article is reproduced below.
> Regards,
> Chris Coleborn

------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor --------------------~-->
Has someone you know been affected by illness or disease?
Network for Good is THE place to support health awareness efforts!

Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the mammals-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU