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Great white's mighty bite revealed
Date:8/3/2008

, but the sheer size of the animal means that in absolute terms it tops the scales. It must also be remembered that its extremely sharp serrated teeth require relatively little force to drive them through thick skin, fat and muscle". The scientists also found that although shark's jaws are comprised of elastic cartilage (as opposed to the bony jaws of most other fish), this did not greatly reduce the power of its bite.

Wroe and colleagues applied the same methodology to estimate the bite force of the gigantic Carcharodon megalodon, which may have grown to 16 metres in length and weighed up to 100 tonnes -- at least 30 times as heavy as the largest living great whites.

They predict that it could generate between 10.8 to 18.2 tonnes of bite force. Fossil evidence suggests that Big Tooth was an active predator of large whales that immobilised its huge prey by biting off their tail and flippers before feeding at will.

A comparison of Tyrannosaurus rex with megalodon suggests that the great Tyrant Lizard was no match for the giant shark. " Estimates of maximum bite force for T. rex are around 3.1 tonnes, greater than for a living white shark, but puny compared to Big Tooth."


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Contact: Dr. Stephen Wroe
s.wroe@unsw.edu.au
61-425-330-273
University of New South Wales
Source:Eurekalert

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