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RE: Tyrannosaurus had most powerful bite of any land animal

  One must wonder, as in whales, that much of the force the muscles can extert 
in moving the jaw is due to the medium in which the jaw is moving. For baleen 
whales, the jaw does not actually exert force through prehension, but due to 
resistance to water at speed; the same must be true -- at least partially -- 
for plesiosaurs and mosasauroids. This means that the jaws of aquatic predators 
are overbuilt in order to counteract water resistance, not present on land 
(where only gravity is relevant and the resisting substrate during prehension).

  It's been a long time since I had what few papers I had on mysticete jaw 
morphology and function, or I'd prop up something, but I seem to recall that 
the muscles typically used by terrestrial animals to close and power the jaw 
(such as the pterygoideus) function rather to hold the jaw steady during travel 
when the jaw is agape [please, correct me if I am misremembering]. This is 
partially due to the position of the pterygoideus insertions on the mandible; 
similar functions are had in birds that regularly hold their jaws open, 
including black skimmers and flamingoes (and a good reason why they have such 
fantastically large retroarticular processes).


  Jaime A. Headden
  The Bite Stuff (site v2)

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion 

> Date: Wed, 29 Feb 2012 17:19:54 +0000
> From: Mark.Witton@port.ac.uk
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Re: Tyrannosaurus had most powerful bite of any land animal
> And don't forget the big pliosaurs: I imagine their bite forces could
> give Tyrannosaurus' bite a run for its money.
> Mark
> --
> Dr. Mark Witton
> www.markwitton.com
> Lecturer
> Palaeobiology Research Group
> School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
> University of Portsmouth
> Burnaby Building
> Burnaby Road
> Portsmouth
> PO1 3QL
> Tel: (44)2392 842418
> E-mail: Mark.Witton@port.ac.uk
> If pterosaurs are your thing, be sure to pop by:
> - Pterosaur.Net: www.pterosaur.net
> - The Pterosaur.Net blog: http://pterosaur-net.blogspot.com/
> - My pterosaur artwork: www.flickr.com/photos/markwitton
> >>> Augusto Haro <augustoharo@gmail.com> 29/02/2012 17:13 >>>
> Some of the science news stories speak of the highest bite force of
> any animal... Has been the bite force of the largest (fossil) crocs
> and cetaceans also been analyzed?