Did you know that bears have some of the strongest bites in the animal kingdom? While they don’t exactly rank at the top in terms of overall strength, their jaws can pack a serious punch.
So, which subspecies top the bear bite force scale? Who’s managed to sink their teeth into the title of the most powerful jaw? Let’s take a closer look at the six main contenders to find out.
Strongest Bear Bite Force
Before we get into details, you need to understand the basic measurement used to determine an animal’s bite force. It’s usually expressed in PSI, or pounds per square inch. This refers to the amount of pressure that the animal can exert with their teeth.
To give you some perspective, the human jaw can generate about 200 PSI of pressure. But when it comes to bears, the numbers are a whole lot more impressive.
Next, we’ll list six subspecies with a strongest bite force.
Polar Bear Bite Force
The polar bear’s claim to fame is its massive size. And when you’re that big, it’s no surprise that you’ve got an equally a powerful bite. These apex predators can weigh up to 1600 pounds and measure over ten feet in length—perfectly matching a bite force of 1200 PSI.
They store fat in their bodies to help them withstand the cold weather and survive for extended periods without food. And this extra weight gives them added strength, allowing them to take down prey that is much larger than they are. When they’re not chomping down on seal meat, polar bears also enjoy munching on berries, roots, and seaweed.
Despite their imposing strength, polar bears are actually quite gentle creatures. They’re known to playfully wrestle with each other and even interact with humans on occasion. But don’t be fooled by their friendly demeanor—if you get on their bad side, they won’t hesitate to show you just how dominant they really are.
Grizzly Bear Bite Force
The grizzly bear is the next contender on the list. These massive animals are found across North America and can weigh up to 1500 pounds. And while they’re not quite as large as polar bears, they more than make up for it with their ferocious appetite. The bite force of a grizzly bear rounds out to 1160 PSI, making it one of the strongest in the animal kingdom.
These bears have a diet that consists mostly of meat, but they’re also known to eat nuts and roots. Their jaw is designed for crushing bones and flesh, which comes in handy when they’re taking down their prey. And while they might look slow and sluggish, they can actually run at the speed of up to 35 miles per hour—making them one of the fastest land animals on the continent.
Unlike polar bears, grizzlies are not known for their friendly demeanor. In fact, they’re one of the most feared animals in North America. And with good reason—when they’re angry or provoked, they can be absolutely ferocious and take no prisoners. In fact, they’re the most aggressive bear species out there and they’re responsible for the majority of bear-related human fatalities.
Brown Bear Bite Force
This is the type of bear you’re probably most familiar with—they’re often featured in children’s stories and movies. But while they might look cute and cuddly, brown bears are actually quite dangerous. They weigh between 600 and 1500 pounds and have a bite force of 975 PSI.
Brown bears are found throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Their widespread habitat is due to their ability to adapt to a variety of climates and ecosystems. Their fur helps keep them warm in cold weather and their long claws are perfect for digging up food. Their diet mainly consists of vegetation, but they will also eat fish, small mammals, and carrion.
While brown bears are typically introverted and elusive creatures, they are fiercely protective of their cubs. If they feel like their young are in danger, they will attack—even if that means taking on a human. After all, a mother’s love knows no bounds. And that’s something we can all admire, even if we don’t want to get too close to these giant animals.
American Black Bear Bite Force
The American black bear is the smallest of the three main types of bears found in North America. But don’t let their size fool you—they can still pack a powerful bite. These bears typically weigh between 250 and 600 pounds and have a bite force of 970 PSI.
While they’re not quite as large as grizzlies or polar bears, they more than make up for it with their agility. They can climb trees, swim swiftly, and run up to 30 miles per hour. They’re mostly herbivores, but they will also eat meat on occasion. And their diet consists of a variety of items, including fruits, nuts, roots, and insects.
American black bears are generally shy and timid creatures, which means they rarely interact with humans. But if they’re startled or feel threatened, they can be aggressive and even dangerous. Unless you’re a trained professional, it’s best to stay away from these bears and admire them from a distance.
Asiatic Black Bear Bite Force
The Asiatic black bear is found throughout Asia and is the smallest of the three main types of bears. Their bodies are smaller and more compact than their American and grizzly cousins, with slightly longer claws. And while they might be small, they still have a powerful bite—their jaws boast a force of 650 PSI.
For the most part, Asiatic black bears are herbivores. They’ll munch on fruits, nuts, and leaves, with their sturdy jaws crushing through even the toughest of vegetation. They will also eat meat if they’re starving, but it’s not their preferred food. These bears are also excellent swimmers and climbers, which helps them escape predators and find food in hard-to-reach places.
In general, Asiatic black bears withdraw from human contact and avoid confrontation. Interactions with other animals are also rare, as these bears tend to be solitary creatures. They are, however, close to their own families—mothers will stay with their cubs for up to three years to ensure they’re safe and well-fed.
Giant Panda Bite Force
Next up is the bite force of a bear that’s more likely to make you smile than scream—the giant panda. These adorable creatures are found in the mountains of central China, in mostly forested and bamboo-covered terrain. And while their diet consists mainly of bamboo, they’re still capable of delivering a powerful bite. Their jaws boast a force of 212 PSI.
Their fur is thick and woolly, which helps protect them from the cold. Their bodies are stout and compact, with short legs that make them look quite clumsy. But don’t let their appearance fool you—giant pandas are excellent climbers and can even swim fairly well.
These bears are generally gentle giants. They don’t feel the need to be aggressive and are content to live a peaceful life in the bamboo forests of China. However, they are still wild animals and should be treated with caution. After all, a giant panda’s bite may not be as strong as some of the other bears on this list, but it’s still powerful enough to cause some serious damage.
All in all, the specifics regarding the bear bite force depend on the type of bear in question. One thing is for sure though—you definitely wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of any of these animals, whether they’re the cuddly giant panda or the dangerous grizzly bear.