Washington: A 17 ft Australian saltwater crocodile exerts the most powerful bite on earth, recorded at 3,700 pounds, beating a wild American alligator with a 2,980-pound zap, a study reveals.

Greg Erickson’s lab at the Florida State University, conducting these measurements, estimates that the largest extinct crocodilians, 35 to 40-foot animals, bit at forces as high as 23,100 pounds.

“If you can bench-press a pickup truck, then you can escape a croc’s jaws,” Erickson warned, of the kind of force these crocs exerted. “It is a one-way street between the teeth and stomach of a large croc.”

Erickson, biology professor, and his Florida counterparts Scott Steppan, Brain Inouye and graduate student Paul Gignac, looked at how hard alligators and crocodiles bite, the journal Public library of Science ONE reported.

The current study, funded by the National Geographic Society and Florida State, took place in both the US and Australia, according to a university statement.

The team roped 83 adult alligators and crocodiles, strapped them down, placed a bite-force device between their back teeth and recorded the bite force.

Erickson and his team have a new understanding on how these animals became so successful and a better understanding about the remarkable biology of living crocodiles and alligators. They’ve also developed new methods for testing bite forces.

The study’s findings are so unique that Erickson’s team has been contacted by editors at the Guinness Book of World Records about the data.

Source: IANS