Washington, Jan 10 (ANI): A new study has determined that the Great White Shark tops the list of hardest-biting sharks in the ocean.
According to a report in Discovery News, in descending order, the top five hardest-biting sharks, based on this study and prior research, are: the great white, great hammerhead, bull, blacktip and horn sharks.
The largest great white shark on record, which measured around 24 feet long, would have had a bite force of 9,320 Newton (N) at the tip of its jaws and 18,216 N at the back of its jaws, where the leverage is higher.
"A key finding over the years has been that pound-for-pound, sharks don't bite overly hard for their body size compared to other animals," lead author Daniel Huber told Discovery News.
"However, their large body sizes make the overall magnitude of bite force so great that the pound-for-pound issue goes out the window," he added.
For the new study, he and his team took measurements of length, body mass, head height and head width for 10 variously sized sharks, with the blackbelly lantern shark being the smallest studied and the great hammerhead being the largest.
The researchers gathered data about each species' bite force, either from other studies or by calculating it based on muscle and jaw geometry.
The scientists determined which shark characteristics were most closely linked to bite force.
The study, that measured biting force in several shark species, indicated that a big body helps, but the primary predictor for how hard a shark can bite is the width of its head.
A hard diet, consisting of foods like sea turtles, large sea birds and even other sharks, was also found to predict how hard a shark could chomp.
The researchers were surprised to learn, however, that the hardest biters also seemed to have the sharpest teeth.
This seemed counterintuitive, since when a shark's jaws clamp together into hard food, the eater could crack its own teeth.
Also, greater biting force would appear to eliminate the need for such pointy teeth.
Instead, the scientists discovered that many hard-biting sharks have teeth that overlay each other, "kind of like roof shingles on a house," Huber said. "This reinforces them and helps to distribute stresses throughout all of the teeth," he added.
According to Steve Wroe of the University of New South Wales, "Nature has endowed this carnivore with more than enough bite force to eat large and potentially dangerous prey." (ANI)