How Strong Is A Lions Bite? (Bite Force)

Lions are one of the most infamous species of the cat kingdom and they are thought of as the kings of the jungle.

The lion is a native species to India and Africa and they favor grassland and prairie habitats.

How Strong Is A Lions Bite (Bite Force)

Within the lion family, the males are considerably larger than the females, however, it is the females that are the main hunters in each pride of lions.

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Lions hunt in packs and it is their bite, large teeth, and powerful claws that enable them to hunt large prey.

In this piece we look at what exactly bite force is, how strong a lion’s bite is and its bite force, and more.

What Is Bite Force?

The bite force is the estimation of how much strength can be found behind certain animals biting objects.

It is typically measured using pressure-sensitive films, piezoelectric sensors, and strain gauges.

The bite force is then measured in pounds per square inch or PSI.

Bite force varies depending on the jawbone, jaw muscles, and surface area of the teeth in question.

Humans on average have a bite force of approximately 162 pounds PSI which enables us to tear through food, chew, and so on.

The bite force is used as an indicator of how dangerous certain predators may be as a result of their bite force.

Animals with strong bite force can tear through bones and muscles with a single bite.

The animal that is believed to have the strongest bite force is the Great White Shark.

While field tests have not been conducted, for obvious reasons, a group of scientists led by Steve Wroe in Australia carried out experiments to discover how powerful the bite force of a Great White Shark could be.

The team reported that size will impact the strength behind the force but in the case of a 21-foot Great White the bite force could be as strong as 4,000 PSI.

Below we look in more detail at Lions and the varying bite forces you can expect within this species.

A Lion’s Bite Force

The bite force of a lion may surprise you after learning what the greatest animal bite force is that has been discovered by research.

The bite force of a lion has been measured to be more than 650-pounds PSI.

This is still considerably higher than a human bite force but within the animal kingdom, it does not even rank in the top five.

The top five strongest bite forces in the animal kingdom are the great white shark, saltwater crocodile, hippopotamus, jaguar, and gorilla.

The lion is ranked at number ten and is outranked by the grizzly bear, Bengal tiger, spotted hyena, and polar bear.

Don’t get us wrong, lions are still very strong and we wouldn’t like to be bitten by one anytime soon but the lion’s bite force of 650-pounds PSI is only 100-pounds more than the strongest biting domestic dog, which is the English mastiff.

Lions are not solitary creatures and they tend to hunt in groups which is why their bite force doesn’t affect what they can and can’t eat as they hunt large prey in groups and share the carcass.

Scientists believe that it is due to their social habits, hunting tactics, and the fact they eat their prey where it falls.

That is why evolution has not given lions a stronger bite force as it is not needed.

Lion’s Teeth

Lion’s Teeth

The lion’s teeth are a huge power behind this creature’s bite force.

heir teeth enable them to hunt any type of prey, regardless of the thickness of the skin and hyde.

They have three main types of teeth which are explained below:

  • Incisors: The incisors play a key role in the gripping of the prey and food. They are the smallest teeth in a lion’s mouth and can be found at the front of the mouth
  • Carnassial Teeth: These are similar to a human’s molar teeth and are similarly located at the rear of the mouth. These teeth are used to tear flesh and shear through fat while eating
  • Canines: These are the largest teeth in a lion’s mouth and lions have four in total, with two on the top jaw and two on the bottom jaw. They are beside the incisor teeth and help to kill prey and puncture through flesh

What Food Lions Eat

In the prairie and grasslands of Africa and India, the lion has a huge choice of food.

These environments are home to animals big and small with almost all of them living in fear of lions and tigers.

The lion’s strong bite and sharp teeth enable these creatures to tear through thick hides and skin to eat the carcass of their prey.

When the females are hunting they have elite tactics that have been developed over centuries and are instinctive to this animal.

The female spots prey and when the time is right, attacks, aiming for the throat.

If the throat is not reachable other soft areas are aimed to ensure an easy kill.

Animals that lions eat include anything from giraffes to zebras, hippos to buffaloes, nothing is off the table for the powerful lion.

Do Lions Bite Each Other?

When communicating lions make noise but they can also sometimes bite each other.

When cubs are playing with adult cubs biting is often an element within that play.

This helps cubs develop their communication and hunting skills, which of course is particularly important for female cubs.

Within a pride, the alpha lion will always have the strongest bite to ensure they can protect their pride and assert dominance if necessary.

When an alpha grows old they are replaced by a younger male lion.

Final Thoughts

While lions may not have one of the strongest bites in the animal kingdom they are special for other reasons, such as their amazing hunting skills and social skills which make them unique among other species in the cat kingdom.

Joe Edwards
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