Curious Connections--The strongest bite force of any bony fish ever recorded is 320 Newtons (N)--from South America's black piranha (Serrasalmus rhombeus)--the largest species of carnivorous piranha. * Researchers say the bite force is generated by a "massive adductor mandibulae muscle complex." The 320 N reading was made by a 2.4-pound specimen, equating to a bite force more than 30 times greater than its weight (about 70 pounds).
The researchers reconstructed the bite capabilities of the larger, extinct giant Miocene piranha, which ranged from 1,240 to 4,749 N. Adjusted for body size, its bite force edges out the black piranha as the strongest known for a bony fish. Relative to body size, both the living black piranha and extinct giant Miocene piranha have stronger bite forces than the great white shark and extinct Megalodon. We wonder how freshwater gamefish would compare.
*Grubich, J. R., S. Huskey, S. Crofts, G. Orti, and J. Parto. Mega-bites: Extreme jaw forces of living and extinct piranhas (Serrasalmidae). Sci. Rep. 2, 1009; D0I:10.1038/srep01009 (2012).