Samantha Martin

ScienceShot: T. rex Packed World's Strongest Bite

Of all the bites in the animal world, the Tyrannosaurus rex's may be the most famously terrifying. Now, it's also the strongest known to science, according to new research. Among T. rex fiends, the dino's crunch has long been a hot topic of debate. Some researchers have suggested that Tyrannosaurus bore relatively wimpy chompers, meaning that it couldn't have feasted on big herbivores, such as Triceratops. Not so, scientists have found. In the new study published online today in Biology Letters, researchers created a computer simulation of an adult T. rex's head (shown), complete with working muscles, based on rough estimates. And, Triceratops beware, the T. rex boasted a savage bite. An adult Tyrannosaurus could deliver as much as 5800 kilograms of force with one back tooth—where the animal's bite was strongest. That's much more than earlier estimates, which postulated no more than about 1350 kilograms of force, and nearly 10 times more powerful than the bite of modern alligators, some of the strongest snappers alive.

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Posted in Paleontology, Plants & Animals