Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Crocodiles Trump T.Rex as Heavyweight Bite-Force Champions

02.04.2012
In PLoS One, Stony Brook researcher says finding adds insight to evolution of the reptile hunters

Paul M. Gignac, Ph.D., Instructor of Research, Department of Anatomical Sciences, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, and colleagues at Florida State University and in California and Australia, found in a study of all 23 living crocodilian species that crocodiles can kill with the strongest bite force measured for any living animal.

The study also revealed that the bite forces of the largest extinct crocodilians exceeded 23,000 pounds, a force two-times greater than the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex. Their data, reported online in PLoS One, contributes to the understanding of performance in animals from the past and provides unprecedented insight into how evolution has shaped that performance.

In “Insights into the Ecology and Evolutionary Success of Crocodilians Revealed through Bite-Force and Tooth-Pressure Experimentation,” the researchers detail their examination of the bite force and tooth pressure of every species of alligator, crocodile, caiman, and gharial. Led by Project Director Gregory Erickson, Ph.D., Professor of Biological Science at Florida State University, the study took more than a decade to complete and required a diverse team of croc handlers and scientists.

“Crocodiles and alligators are the largest, most successful reptile hunters alive today, and our research illustrates one of the key ways they have maintained that crown,” says Dr. Gignac.

The team roped 83 adult alligators and crocodiles and placed a force meter between their back teeth and recorded the bite force. They found that gators and crocs have pound-for-pound comparable maximal bite forces, despite different snouts and teeth. Contrary to previous evolutionary thinking, they determined that bite force was correlated with body size but showed surprisingly little correlation with tooth form, diet, jaw shape, or jaw strength.

Dr. Gignac emphasizes that the study results suggest that once crocodilians evolved their remarkable capacity for force-generation, further adaptive modifications involved changes in body size and the dentition to modify forces and pressures for different diets.

The findings are unique, to the point that the team has been contacted by editors of the “Guinness Book of World Records” inquiring about the data.

Among living crocodilians, the bite-force champion is a 17-foot saltwater croc, with a force measured at 3,700 pounds.
“This kind of bite is like being pinned beneath the entire roster of the New York Knicks,” says Dr. Gignac, illustrating the tremendous force displayed by the living creatures. “But with bone-crushing teeth.”

The research was funded by the National Geographic Society and the Florida State University College of Arts and Sciences.

The Department of Anatomical Sciences is one of 25 departments within the Stony Brook University School of Medicine. The department includes graduate and doctoral programs in Anatomical Sciences. The faculty consists of prominent and internationally recognized researchers in the fields of Anthropology, Vertebrate Paleontology and Systematics, and Functional Morphology.

Greg Filiano | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.stonybrook.edu

Further reports about: Anatomical Bite-Force Champions Heavyweight PLoS One Science TV body size crocodiles

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The dense vessel network regulates formation of thrombocytes in the bone marrow
25.07.2017 | Rudolf-Virchow-Zentrum für Experimentelle Biomedizin der Universität Würzburg

nachricht Fungi that evolved to eat wood offer new biomass conversion tool
25.07.2017 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA mission surfs through waves in space to understand space weather

25.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Strength of tectonic plates may explain shape of the Tibetan Plateau, study finds

25.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

The dense vessel network regulates formation of thrombocytes in the bone marrow

25.07.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>