London, Jan 1 (ANI): If you started dreading sharks after seeing the movie 'Jaws', then your fear may be unfounded, as in a new study, scientists have discovered that the predators have a surprisingly weak bite.
According to a report in the Telegraph, researchers have found that sharks in fact have very weak jaws for their size and can bite through their prey only because they have very sharp teeth, and also because they can grow to be so big.
"Pound for pound, sharks don't bite all that hard," said Daniel Huber of the University of Tampa in Florida, who led the study.
Dr Huber and the team studied 10 different shark species and measured the bites of small sharks such as sand sharks.
They tested larger sharks by knocking them out and using electricity to stimulate the jaw muscles.
For the research, the team also created an eight-foot great white shark in 3-D digital form that demonstrates how the animal functions, including measurements of the force of its bite.
They found sharks can do a lot of damage simply because their teeth are so sharp and their jaws are so wide.
However, compared with mammals, they have incredibly weak bites for their size.
"Our analysis showed that large sharks do not bite hard for their body size, but they generally have larger heads," said the researchers.
Their studies of shark jaws show that lions or tigers win hands down when it comes to jaw strength, but sharks prevail in the water because of their wide jaw size.
A 20ft (6-metre) great white shark can 'bite through anything that you come across,' the team added, noting that all species often have to resort to a sawing motion to break apart their prey.
According to Dr Huber, the research could lead to advances in protective swim wear and shark-proofing equipment.
It could also contribute to the understanding of the flexible cartilage that forms sharks' skeletons. (ANI)