Sharp teeth brute force makes
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Home / International News / 2007 / September 2007 / September 4, 2007
Sharp teeth, not brute force makes Great Whites bite so deadly
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Sharp teeth, not brute force makes Great Whites bite so deadly

The Great White sharks ability to inflict a killer wound on anything it bites, is probably due to its saw like teeth, rather than the amount of bite force, according to a new study by a biologist from the University of Tampa in Florida.

Washington, Sept 4 : The Great White shark's ability to inflict a killer wound on anything it bites, is probably due to its saw like teeth, rather than the amount of bite force, according to a new study by a biologist from the University of Tampa in Florida.

Once a Great White clamps down on a prey with its razor-sharp teeth, it shakes the catch from side to side to initiate a sawing action.

As part of his study, Daniel Huber, a biologist at the University of Tampa in Florida, examined an eight-foot (2.4-meter) Great White shark that had died after becoming entangled in nets off the coast of Australia.

Huber and his colleagues dissected the shark's head and took several measurements, including the size and placement of the jaw muscles.

A 3-D digital recreation of the shark and a computer simulation of a full-force bite, currently being developed by Huber and his team will provide an accurate data of a Great White shark's bite force.

Huber and his team will compare the final force estimate with those from Tiger and Bull sharks, which, along with the Great White, are responsible for the most shark attacks on humans.

"We are figuring out in three dimensions the leverage of all of these jaw muscles. The jaws work like a set of pliers, where pliers with long handles would let you grab an item with more force than pliers with short handles," said Huber.

"The white has the narrowest head of the three, so it has less space for jaw muscles. Consequently, we're expecting that it will have a lower bite force on a pound-for-pound basis," LiveScience quoted him as saying.

He, however, said the Great Whites would still top the charts as savviest hunters and most adept at capturing prey.

"Much of the damage inflicted by white sharks is due to their teeth, and not necessarily to the force," Huber said.

ANI

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