The Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta) is a scavenging carnivorous African mammal. It has one of the strongest bite strengths of any mammal due to its strong jaws.
A dog, for example, such as a Mastiff or Rottweiler, has an average bite strength of 325 pounds per square inch. An African Lion has a bite strength of 650 pounds per square inch. A Bengal Tiger has a bite strength of 1,050 pounds per square inch. The Spotted Hyena has a bite strength of 1,100 pounds per square inch.
A Great White Shark has an average bite strength of 625 pounds per square inch. A Hippopotamus has an average bite strength of 1,825 pounds per square inch. The animal with the strongest bite strength is the crocodile at 3,700 pounds per square inch.
The Hyena is a scavenger and will eat the meat (carrion) of dead animals, but it will also hunt its own food. The Hyena will bring an animal down, and grab at its throat, and not let go until the animal is dead.
When feeding, their jaws can crush animal bones, and they leave almost nothing behind.
Because it is both a scavenger and a hunter, it has dual-purpose teeth. Its third premolar tooth on the upper jaw and the lower jaw are the bone-crushing teeth. It also has another premolar tooth on its lower jaw that holds the bone of its prey. It also has carnassial teeth, behind the bone-crushing premolars, that are self-sharpening and can shear meat and bone.
Its jaws are powerful not only because of it teeth, but also because its jaw muscles are large, with a special vaulting (an arched structure) to protect the skull against the force of the bite.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
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