Black Piranha Has Most Powerful Bite On Record

In a battle for most powerful bite the black piranha and its extinct brethren the megapiranha take the title. In fact, the piranha now has the strongest recorded bite in known history.

Newly published research has found that the black piranha uses its over-sized jaw muscles to bite with a force 30 times its body weight. According to the Daily Mail, this measurement comes in below the bite force of much larger creatures. The great white shark, alligator, and hyena can each deliver quite a chomp but fall short when compared to the piranha.

The study, published in Scientific Reports, cites the piranha’s bite power in comparison to overall weight and size as the reason it swam ahead of the competition. Other creatures that failed to measure up include the legendary prehistoric Tyrannosaurus rex and the Megalodon, a massive whale-killing shark.

An article in Science 2.0 reports that the study is the first to measure bite force in wild specimens of black piranhas. The researchers cite “specialized jaw morphology” in the fish as the reason it yields such a forceful bite. Aggressive in nature, the piranha will often attack and bite prey that far outweighs its size.

The study was conducted in Brazil’s Amazon River basin and analyzed 15 black piranhas. Scientists placed a customized force gauge between the fish’s jaw and measured its defense bites for data. Guillermo Ortí, Professor of Biology at George Washington University and co-author had this to say of the experience:

“It was very exciting to participate in this project, travel one more time to the Amazon to be able to directly measure bite forces in the wild. I learned a lot of biomechanics from my colleagues while collecting valuable specimens for my own research.”

Along with having the most powerful bite, the black piranha is also the largest species of carnivorous piranha in the Amazon.