A lot goes into an impressive bite. Our fascinating list of extreme marine biters consists of hundreds of teeth, thousands of kilograms of power, and unique muscle structures from both fresh and saltwater habitats.
Whether it’s an effective way to catch dinner or merely a means of self-defense, the top 10 marine animals with the most forceful bites all have some pretty cool features that we’re going to highlight today.
|Bite Force [PSI]
|Bite Force [kg/cm²]
|# of small cars per square inch
|Great White Shark
|Alligator Snapping Turtle
(Strongest Bite Force in the ocean)
Everything you will learn here
- Top 12 Marine Animals with the Strongest Bite Force in the Ocean
- Colossal Squid: 100 PSI
- Black Piranha: 455 PSI
- Great White Shark: 625 PSI
- Octopus Bite Force: 700 PSI
- Alligator Snapping Turtle: 1,000 PSI
- Bull Shark: 1,300 PSI
- Walrus: 1,850 PSI
- Hippopotamus: 2,000 PSI
- Alligator: 2,125 PSI
- Saltwater Crocodile 4,000 PSI
- Humboldt Squid: 6,000 PSI
- The Killer Whale has the strongest Bite Force in the Ocean: 19,000 PSI
- A Few Other strong biting Animals worth mentioning that come close to the Marine Animals with the strongest bite force in the ocean
Top 12 Marine Animals with the Strongest Bite Force in the Ocean
To put things into focus for you here, we’d like to point out that the average strength of a human bite is about 162 pounds (ca. 73 kg) per square inch (PSI). In no particular order, check out these marine animals with powerful bites that certainly pack a punch.
Colossal Squid: 100 PSI
Colossal Squid Bite Force [PSI]: 100
Colossal Squid Bite Force [kg/cm²]: 7
The Colossal Squid is an elusive creature that lurks in the depths of the Southern Ocean, and it has a bite force that would make even Jaws blush! According to scientists who have studied these giant cephalopods, the Colossal Squid has a beak that can exert a jaw pressure of over 100 pounds per square inch (psi). That’s more than enough force to crush the shell of a crab or even the armor of a sperm whale!
Black Piranha: 455 PSI
Black Piranha Bite Force [PSI]: 455
Black Piranha Bite Force [kg/cm²]: 32
In most cases, you can expect the strength of an animal’s jaw to be proportionate to its size. However, the Black Piranha is undoubtedly an exception to this rule.
Though this nasty fish is only about 20 inches (ca. 51 cm) long, it has remarkable jaw strength, measuring as much as 455 PSI. That force measures far beyond the typical standard in terms of body weight, making this piranha a truly unexpected animal.
Put it into perspective this way: if the alligator were to be shrunk down to the same size, the piranha’s bite force would be almost three times greater than the alligator.
This bite force, along with a set of super-sharp teeth, has made the piranha infamous and feared. It has the strongest bite of all living fish today, comparatively.
Great White Shark: 625 PSI
Great White Shark Bite Force [PSI]: 625
Great White Shark Bite Force [kg/cm²]: 44
The Great White might not seem so impressive. First, let’s recall the average human’s bite force: 162 PSI. Let’s also consider how many large, sharp teeth a Great White Shark has: about 50, in multiple rows.
That being said, a Great White Shark’s bite force of 625 PSI compared to a saltwater alligator may not sound impressive, but it’s no joke from a feeble human standpoint.
These sharks simply don’t need to have as massive a biting force as the other animals. For example, a hippo’s biting force may seem extreme for a herbivore, but we have to remember that hippos don’t have sharp teeth. On the other hand, the Great White essentially owns a personal set of high-quality, sharpened razor blades.
So while their biting strength is still terrifying on its own accord, it’s the whole package that makes this marine animal nothing to sneeze at, even though it doesn’t have one of the strongest bite force in the ocean.
Octopus Bite Force: 700 PSI
Octopus Bite Force [PSI]: 700
Octopus Bite Force [kg/cm²]: 49
Did you know that an octopus has a bite force of up to 700 pounds per square inch (psi)? That’s stronger than a lion’s jaw! Imagine getting chomped on by one of these cephalopods – it would be like getting hit by a hydraulic press! Thankfully, octopuses are not known to attack humans unprovoked. But if you ever find yourself in a wrestling match with an octopus, watch out for that parrot-like beak! It may be small, but it’s definitely mighty.
Some Octopus, are not dangerous because of their suction, but due to their venom they inject in their catch. While most octopus don’t attack humans, the Blue ringed Octopus is an exception. The Blue-ringed octopus is one of the world’s most venomous marine animals. They are found in the tide pools and coral reefs of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and they are known for their striking blue rings that appear when they feel threatened or are hunting prey.
Despite their small size (they are typically only a few inches long), Blue-ringed octopuses are extremely dangerous to humans. Their venom contains tetrodotoxin, a powerful neurotoxin that can cause paralysis and death. There is no antivenom available for the Blue-ringed octopus, so treatment for its bite focuses on life support and the management of symptoms.
Therefore, it is important to be aware of the Blue-ringed octopus and to avoid contact with them if possible. If you are stung by a Blue-ringed octopus, seek medical attention immediately.
Alligator Snapping Turtle: 1,000 PSI
Alligator Snapping Turtle Bite Force [PSI]: 1,000
Alligator Snapping Turtle Bite Force [kg/cm²]: 70
Most turtles are small, cute, slow, and mostly harmless; the alligator snapping turtle is not one of those turtles. Smaller than most of the animals on our list today at an average of 26 inches long, these little guys are no joke.
Alligator snapping turtles are different from your average snapping turtle in that they have a bite measuring 1,000 PSI. Even though this turtle is far smaller than the giant hippo, its bite is still half as strong and far exceeds that of a human – or your pet dog, for that matter.
This super-strong jaw could easily snap off a finger or two, so it’s best to stick to the little guys when searching for a new shelled pet.
Bull Shark: 1,300 PSI
Bull Shark Bite Force [PSI]: 1,300
Bull Shark Bite Force [kg/cm²]: 91
Though the name “Great White Shark” certainly seems to emulate some kind of dominance in the shark world, it actually does not have the strongest bite in the species. The Bull Shark surpasses the Great White in this category, coming in with a bite force of 1,300 PSI as the back of their jaw where it’s the most powerful.
The Bull Shark can easily break through both bones and shells, allowing it to feed on all kinds of marine life – including turtles with their durable outer protection.
Bull Sharks tend to live in freshwater habitats that usually involve murky, unclear water. For that reason, their jaw strength is incredibly important, as it ensures they catch their dinner with one chomp before they lose it.
(You might be interested in reading about the other Most Dangerous Freshwater Fish).
Walrus: 1,850 PSI
Walrus Bite Force [PSI]: 1,850
Walrus Bite Force [kg/cm²]: 130
How much harm could a big, floppy creature with an old man mustache really cause? Answer: a lot. Though these goofy-looking animals seem cuddly and harmless, they’re actually known for eating more than just shellfish. A walrus will quickly kill and feed on seals, and it can even hold its own against polar bears with its giant tusks.
It’s not just a walrus’s giant tusks that make it a force to be reckoned with, but its powerful jaw. With a strength of 1,850 PSI, seals don’t stand a chance at survival.
So, next time you think of a walrus as just a blob of flubber hanging out and catching fish, remember that it can just as easily fight for its life when a polar bear comes knocking.
Hippopotamus: 2,000 PSI
Hippopotamus Bite Force [PSI]: 2,000
Hippopotamus Bite Force [kg/cm²]: 141
Though the hippopotamus, more affectionately referred to as the hippo, is classified as a mammal, it spends much of its life living in the water, making it perfect for our list of marine animals with captivating jaw muscles.
This large animal is often portrayed as cute, cuddly, and round, but its bite says otherwise. A hippo’s jaw is incredibly strong, with a force of 2,000 pounds (ca. 907 kg) per square inch. As if that wasn’t enough to strike a little fear, this animal can also open its mouth as full as 180 degrees.
Hippos are herbivores, but their hefty bite comes in handy when they need to defend themselves or their babies against predators like crocodiles.
Alligator: 2,125 PSI
Alligator Bite Force [PSI]: 2,125
Alligator Bite Force [kg/cm²]: 149
We could go on and talk about the differences between crocodiles and alligators, or we could focus on one thing they have in common: powerful and dangerous jaw muscles.
While the alligator’s bite isn’t quite as ferocious as the crocodile we talked about, it’s still strong enough to take down fish, turtles, and even sometimes deer. With a bite of about 2,125 PSI, it’s stronger than a Great White Shark and has also been known to consume local pets that get too close.
Alligators are typically considered not aggressive towards humans, but that doesn’t mean they’re safe to be around. Several people in Florida – a popular habitat location for alligators – have been attacked and even killed by alligators.
Though their biting force is mainly used for hunting for live food, an alligator’s bite could easily take off an entire human limb – if not more.
Saltwater Crocodile 4,000 PSI
Saltwater Crocodile Bite Force [PSI]: 4,000
Saltwater Crocodile Bite Force [kg/cm²]: 281
Speaking of crocodiles, the saltwater crocodile is a terrifying creature with an unbelievable biting strength of 4,000 pounds (1.81 t) per square inch. In fact, this croc has the most substantial bite of any living animal in the world.
While that number alone should be enough for you to want to keep your distance, we’ll take it a step further. We’ll also let you know that saltwater crocodiles use their intense biting strength to hunt and kill live zebras and antelopes from their hidden spots in the watering hole. The saltwater crocodile is ranked #3 of animals with the strongest bite force in the ocean for a reason, after all.
While their biting down strength is more than impressive, it’s worth acknowledging their opening strength is actually frail. Trained experts can easily keep this croc’s mouth shut with just a few layers of duct tape.
Humboldt Squid: 6,000 PSI
Humboldt Squid Bite Force [PSI]: 6,000
Humboldt Squid Bite Force [kg/cm²]: 422
When you think of a powerful jaw, a squid probably isn’t the first thing to come to mind. Squids are known for their unique makeup that has neither an internal nor an external skeleton. Though it’s highly dangerous and difficult to get close to these creatures, scientists say their powerful beak has a biting force of almost 6,000 PSI.
(You might be interested in reading about the most Dangerous Fish in the Ocean)
As if this squid needs any additional help, it also has eight tentacles that boast several suction cups that capture and immobilize their prey. Their strong mouth muscles then finish the job, leaving other animals with no fighting chance. The Humboldt squid makes it to the second place of marine animals with the strongest bite in the ocean.
The Killer Whale has the strongest Bite Force in the Ocean: 19,000 PSI
Killer Whale Bite Force [PSI]: 19,000 (strongest bite force in the ocean: corresponds to 117x human bite force or 9.5 small cars)
Killer Whale Bite Force [kg/cm²]: 1,336
We’ve put this beautiful beast for number one on our list despite a couple of reasons. The first is that while there have been estimates, scientific guesses, and captive animal studies, so far, it has been practically impossible to actually measure the biting force of a Killer Whale.
That being said, the reason we listed it here was to save the best for last, as estimates show a Killer Whale could have the strongest bite force in the ocean of 19,000 PSI or more. As far as numbers go, this one is absolutely insane and has the strongest bite force in the ocean.
It makes sense when you think about it, considering this large dolphin feeds on large prey such as Great Whites, Humpback Whales, and saltwater crocodiles. While any other creature would stay away from these frightening beasts, the Killer Whale takes them on with this incredible force and a set of 50 razor-sharp teeth to boot.
A Few Other strong biting Animals worth mentioning that come close to the Marine Animals with the strongest bite force in the ocean
The above marine animals have incredible and unbelievable biting strength, but we did want to highlight just a few more than didn’t quite make the top ten but are still ferociously strong.
- Megalodon: 110,000 to 180,000 newtons
- Tiger Shark: 1,330 lbf
- Nile Crocodile: 5,000 lbf
While it’s unlikely that you’ll be running into most of these animals during your everyday activities, it’s best to stay away altogether if you can. These animals mean business, and they can do some serious damage if they get the chance.
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