Saturday, December 22, 2012

Black Piranha has a Bite that Out Powers T-Rex… Amazing!

As a dentist I always have a fascination with anatomy and other geeky things, especially when they have to do with the mouth.  So, needless to say, I perked up when I saw an article that discussed the biting force of a well known modern day Amazon  predator vs. an infamous but long gone alpha predator.
It seems that, for its size, the Black Piranha has an amazing amount of bite force.
I've got to give the researchers credit.  They actually went to South America and caught Black Piranha.  They then our their fingers at risk by holding the fish and placing a bite force device into the mouth.  These things have seriously sharp teeth and these brave researchers were going "mano et mano" with these fierce biting predators.
What they found was pretty amazing.  It seems that the Black Piranha has a bite force that is equal to 30 times its own body weight.  This body mass to bite force ratio is greater than that of other apex predators such as the Great White Shark.
Now, this does need to be put in perspective.  The study does not say the bite force of the piranha is greater than other predators, it's the ratio that is being measured.  However, even when just considering the ratio, the piranha has some extremely impressive jaws.  It's even more impressive when you consider that these fish are, like many canines, pack hunters.  When one considers the the bite force and then multiplies it by the number of fish in a school that is involved with an attack and you can see why the Amazon River strikes fear into many as they just consider the idea of paddling along it in a canoe.

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