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Posted by Adam Britton on March 09, 2003 at 02:14:23:
In Reply to: Re: p.palpebrosus jaws posted by donny039 on March 07, 2003 at 12:38:59:
Greg Erickson and Kent Vliet have data on bite force from 23 species (done at St Augustine Alligator Farm, and out here in Australia). They won't release the data yet, but caimans tend to have a powerful bite for their size.
Crocodiles don't just bite, they can thrash, roll, shake and whip. For example, you have the "bugger off and leave me alone" quick snap, the "tasty - let me at it" crushing feeding response, the "die human, I hate you" thrashing, twisting and rolling, and more. The bite itself can be very powerful, but in most bites the main damage is done when the crocodile twists its head and rolls its body. Nobody has ever lost a limb by a crocodile biting it (that causes crushing damage) - the limb is lost when the crocodile hangs on and rolls its body. With several hundred kilos exerting a rotational force on a weak joint, there's nothing you can do to stop the inevitable separation. Even small caimans can send you to hospital if they roll.