Piranha tops T Rex in the bite league
PARIS - Agence France-Presse
The black piranha exerts bite force equivalent to 30 times its bodyweight. AFP photoOutsized jaw muscles allow the black piranha to exert bite force equivalent to 30 times its bodyweight, a feat unmatched in the natural world, according to results of a finger-risking study published Dec. 20.
Other animals like the great white shark, the hyena and the alligator can deliver more forceful bites, but their crunching power becomes much less impressive when viewed in relation to their overall size and weight, it said.
In fact, relative to their size, piranhas outperform even prehistoric monsters like Tyrannosaurus rex and the whale-chomping megalodon, a massive shark that preceded the great white, said the study.
Published in the journal Scientific Reports, the research saw scientists catch 15 black piranhas in Brazil’s Amazon River basin and risk their digits by teasing a customized force gauge between their serrated jaws.
The fish, ranging from about 20 to 37 centimeters in length, “readily performed multiple defensive bites” on the gadget, wrote the team from the U.S., Egypt and Brazil.
This was the first live measurement of bite force taken from the black piranha (Serrasalmus rhombeus), the largest of the notoriously carnivorous species.
Such undertakings are “rare, dangerous and difficult to perform,” wrote the research team.
“While anecdotes of piranha-infested waters skeletonising hapless victims are generally hyperbole, the effectiveness of their bite is not,” the scientists added.