Great White Shark Bite Force: How Strong are Great White Sharks?

Great White Shark Bite Force

The bite force of a great white shark is approximately 18,000 newtons or 4,000 psi. This is extremely strong, and once made them the strongest bite animal in history.

Bite force aside, great white sharks typically avoid human prey. In fact, they enjoy using their strong bite and hundreds of teeth for eating larger mammals such as seals or sea lions. To learn more about this intriguing species of fish, continue reading!

How Strong is The Bite of a Great White Shark? (Great Shark Bite Force)

The great white shark has a bite force of approximately 18,000 newtons or 4,000 psi, making them a fairly strong-bite shark species. They also used to have the strongest bite in history, making them once stronger than any other animal in the world.

Anatomy of Great White Shark Jaw Muscles

The great white shark’s powerful bite comes from its strong jaw muscles and head structure.

Key Jaw Closing Muscles

Quadratomandibularis – This thick, triangular muscle fills the cheek area and is the largest of the jaw-closing muscles. When it contracts, it generates immense force to clamp the jaws shut with incredible pressure. It accounts for most of the bite power.

Preorbitalis – This muscle, located above the jaw joint, starts at the eye socket’s floor and connects to the upper jaw. Pulling up on the upper jaw when activated, plays a key role in snapping the jaws closed.

Postorbitalis – Located below and behind the eye socket, this muscle aids the quadratomandibularis in biting and clenching. It adds extra power, mainly for swallowing big pieces of food.

Suborbitalis – Positioned below the eye, this muscle pulls down and back on the lower jaw when contracted. This muscle also helps pull back and steady the eyeball during a bite.

Muscle Fiber Composition

The large jaw-closing muscles have dense red aerobic fibers. These fibers are rich in myoglobin, which helps in sustained energy production. This allows the shark to maintain a vice-like grip without quickly fatiguing.

White anaerobic fibers are interspersed with the red fibers. They provide rapid power bursts for split-second biting.

In different sharks, the mix of red and white fibers varies with age, diet, and habitat.

Skeletal Support System

  • Loosely joined cartilage and ligaments attach the jaws to the cranium. This allows side-to-side motion, preventing dislocation when shaking prey.
  • Thick fibrocartilage between the joints strengthens the jaws and resists the high pressure of bites.
  • Strong collagen fibers anchor the teeth to the gums. This transfers the biting force from the jaws to the teeth.
  • Thick cartilage around the braincase reinforces it against the stress of biting.

How Many Teeth Does a Great White Shark Have in its Mouth?

Unlike humans, the great white shark has an impeccable amount of pearly whites in their mouth– a set of 300 teeth to be exact. And if you thought that was impressive, great whites have about 300 teeth at one time, growing as many as 900 teeth a year, and possibly over 20,000 teeth in its lifetime.

But you might be wondering exactly how this is possible? Well, because unlike humans where we grow one adult tooth, and as soon as it’s gone we need to invest in dentures or crowns– great whites do not have this problem.

These large and in-charge species have between 5 – 7 rows of teeth, with retractable gums too! So as soon as the great white loses one of its teeth during a one-on-one battle, another one immediately pops into place thanks to its hundreds of teeth that it has in its mouth.

How Many Teeth Does a Great White Shark Lose in a Year?

Although it’s impossible to know how many teeth a great white shark loses in a year, one thing’s for certain, their teeth are incredibly weak meaning they lose teeth at least once a week.

Great whites do not have roots, making their teeth extremely fragile and loose. Thankfully, however, when they do lose a tooth– their other hundreds of teeth located in their mouth can quickly make up for its loss.

How Long is a Great White Shark Teeth?

The length of a great white shark’s serrated teeth are believed to be between 1 – 3 inches long, however, it’s uncertain to know for sure considering the circumstances. These mighty monsters used to have much larger teeth, anywhere from 3 – 5 inches long– almost as long as the megalodon with teeth once recorded to be as long as 7 inches.

Can a Great White Shark Bite Through Steel?

Although the bite of a great white shark is mighty tough, when it comes to steel– think again. Great white sharks could “technically” bite through steel, however, it’s extremely unlikely and it would need to be a pretty thin piece.

When it comes to steel or any kind of metal for that instance, great white sharks will rarely take a bite into it for many reasons. For the most obvious; they don’t enjoy the taste of steel, and even after one bite of any type of metal- it’s enough to keep them away from biting another piece again.

This is why shark cage divers rarely have problems because they know that sharks do not like the taste of metal and won’t bother biting the cage.

How Fast Can Great White Sharks Swim?

Beware, great white sharks can swim as fast as 60 kph / 37.2 mph— meaning you won’t want to try to “out-swim” this scary predator if ever in such a situation. Typically, however, a great white shark will swim in short bursts, anywhere between 5 – 25 kph / 3 – 15 mph.

Great white sharks also must swim in order to breathe, meaning if they’re attempting to catch prey– they can’t pause midway in an attempt to pop out on them out of the blue. Instead, they’ll swim below their prey and quickly grab them– sometimes going as slow as 3 kph to 15 kph in a matter of seconds.

How Much Do Great White Sharks Eat?

The impressive great white shark has a varied diet and eats far more food than one could imagine. In this article, author Richard Grainger mentions “observing multiple different species“ within the stomach remains of a shark he examined, and at large quantities too.

From what we know, great white sharks are born feeding off fish and invertebrates. As they get older, they transition to larger mammals such as seals, sea lions, and even squids or sometimes other large bony fish as well.

Great whites don’t chew their food, instead, they rip off large chunks from their prey and ingest them. With other times, avoiding that process altogether and swallowing them whole if possible. Making them eat significantly large portions at one time– and allowing them to live up to 6 weeks without needing another meal.

Do Great White Sharks Live in Deep Water?

Great white sharks enjoy roaming waters that are primarily cold and close to coastal regions, making them live no further than 500 meters deep on average. However, great white sharks have been known to roam anywhere between 300 – 1200 meters in certain zones throughout the world.

Many people believe great white sharks have the ability to swim deeper than the figures mentioned above, however, it must be for a great reason. Great whites don’t roam the deep water for no reason unless hunting larger species such as squids.

Do Great White Sharks Nurse their Young?

No, great white shark mothers do not nurse their young. This is because, by the time the mother gives birth to her pups, these baby sharks are already able to care for themselves.

More often than not, baby great white sharks will go off on their own to find food and will begin their life from that moment on. Sometimes, mother great white sharks will try to eat her young, and if that wasn’t stressful enough, other sharks will try eating baby pups too.

As soon as the female great white shark has given birth to all 2 – 8 pups, she will either leave (or eat) her pups. Proceeding to swim away and continue on with her life when finished.

Do Baby Great White Sharks Bite?

When a great white gives birth to her newborns, these pups are already well equipped to venture through the ocean on their own. As they explore, the first thing they do is search for small foods such as fish, rays, and sometimes other sharks.

For this, they do not bite their food, therefore not needing to use their teeth. Instead, they swallow their food whole– until they reach an older age when they begin feeding on larger mammals.

It’s uncertain to know whether a baby great white shark would bite a human if in that position. However, one can only assume they would if it came down to it.

How Many Teeth Does a Baby Great White Shark Have?

Unfortunately, no one truly knows just how many teeth a baby great white shark has. However, one thing is for certain– great white shark pups are born with a full set of teeth. In fact, an article mentions a scientist who believes that baby sharks shed their teeth in their womb.

Unlike humans where we begin to have our first set of pearly whites from the age of 2 years onwards, baby great white shark’s believed to have between 50 – 300 teeth in their mouth. This, of course, is anybody’s guess, however, but it sure does make you wonder!

How Big is a Newborn Great White Shark?

Although experiencing the birth of a newborn great white shark is extremely rare, scientists believe that shark pups are born to be approximately 5 foot long at birth (or 1.5 meters.) Unfortunately, however, this number varies significantly- due to the uncertainty around the great white shark reproductive process and the fact that nobody has ever watched it occur.

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