A-z - Animals

What is the bite force of a lion?

Published: November 21, 2021

© Eric Isselee/Shutterstock.com

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Lions are one of the most popular big cats in the world. For many, the lion is the king of the jungle, a dominant species with powerful influence. Native to Africa and India, lions inhabit open grasslands and grasslands. They are elite hunters and are considered keystone predators, which means they have a lot of influence over the environment in which they live.

Lions hunt and live in groups called prides, which can contain up to 2 to 40 lions. Unique among big cats, they exhibit sexual dimorphism. Males can weigh up to 400 pounds and have large, bushy manes. Females are much smaller, weighing up to 270 pounds, but they are the primary hunters in the pride.

Huge teeth, huge claws, a powerful bite, and masterful hunting tactics make them one of the fiercest predators in Africa. Lions have a strong bite, but not the strongest of the big cats. A jaguar has a much stronger bite, but a lion has the security and strength of its pack. The lion's bite is just one of the many impressive features of this big cat. Their strong bite helps it hunt, tear apart flesh and capture prey much larger than itself.

What is a lion's bite force?

Lion Bite Force Lion Roaring and Showing Its Teeth
A lion bite can generate about 650 psi of pressure


A lion's bite strength depends on its age and size. It is generally believed that a lion's bite can only produce about 650 psi of pressure. While very strong, it is only 100 psi more than the most powerful dog mastiff. As the lion grows and becomes larger, it will be able to generate greater force through its bite.

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650 psi was measured on a juvenile lion 2 to 3 years old. Each lion grows differently and some may grow to cub size and become subadults at 1 to 2 years old. Some adult lions are able to generate approximately 1000psi of pressure through their bite. Males are larger than females, but females are the primary hunters of this species. Males have a stronger bite and will join the hunt, hunting large prey like elephants.

What do lions eat?

what do lions eat
Lions mainly eat large mammals that live in the savannah

© AZ-Animals.com

Lions need strong jaws to kill and eat their prey. Lionesses do most of the hunting, while males hunt only when needed. Lions feed on a variety of animals in Africa and need to be able to tear through thick skin and hides. The lioness targets the animal's throat in order to easily kill other soft areas of the body.

Some of the animals that lions eat are:

  • zebra
  • buffalo
  • elephant
  • rhino
  • hippo
  • giraffe

Not only do they hunt large prey, but their hides and hides are extremely thick and difficult to get through. An example is the hippopotamus, whose skin is 2 inches thick. The lion's powerful bite helps kill and eat such species.

lion tooth type

Lion Bite Force - The lion faces and shows its teeth
Two lions show off their canines to help tear apart flesh

© Eric Isselee/Shutterstock.com

A lion's teeth are one of the most important features that help them eat. Even with such a strong bite, they still need the help of canines and incisors to tear open the flesh. The three types of teeth that lions have are incisors, canines and canines. As carnivores, their teeth are designed for eating and tearing flesh.

  • Carnassial Teeth: A modified molar in the back of a lion's mouth that helps cut and tear flesh
  • Canines: The lion's largest tooth, there are four in total on either side of the lion's incisors, used to tear apart flesh and help kill prey
  • Incisors: the smallest teeth at the front of the mouth, which help to grip food and animals
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Why do lions bite each other?

Types of Lions - Running Lions
lion on the hunt

©Blue Slate Films/Shutterstock.com

Lions are very social animals and biting can be used to communicate and interact with each other. As cubs, they bite and play with adult lions. Play helps pups learn how to hunt and defend themselves. Unlike other big cats, lions are social animals and live in packs. Cubs will bite and play with other cubs and adults to learn how to interact with the pride.

Every pride has a male lion, and for many, he is a powerful representation of leadership. The alpha lion's job is to protect itself from predators and reproduce for the entire group through mating. Once the lion grows old, he is replaced by a younger, more capable lion. The alpha must be able to defend its group, which often means killing other animals and lions with its powerful bite.

Alpha lions have the strongest bite because they are the largest. Alpha lions will bite other males to show dominance. In a large group there may only be about 3 male lions. If new alphas replace old ones, they may bite and kill the old leader's pups.

How does the lion's bite force compare to that of other big cats?

What do lions eat - lions vs hyenas
A lion surrounded by a pack of hyenas

©Mark Sheridan-Johnson/Shutterstock.com

A lion's bite produces less force than many other animals, and there are plenty of big cats capable of producing a stronger bite than a lion. Jaguars have a stronger bite than all other big cats, producing approximately 1,500 psi of pressure in their bite. Tigers are also another species with a stronger bite, capable of around 1,050 psi of pressure.

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Lions do have one of the strongest bites, but that's not what makes them special. Their social skills and ability to hunt large numbers make them one of the best predators, unique among the big cats.


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Lion Bite Force - The lion faces and shows its teeth

© Eric Isselee/Shutterstock.com

about the author

Emilio Brown

Spiders, snakes, and lizards are some of my favorite types of animals, and I love keeping a few species as pets. I love learning about all the wonders nature has to offer and have been a writer for 5 years. In my spare time, you will find me walking into nature.

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