Prehistoric piranha bit with 50 times the force of its weight

12/20/2012 |

A recent study of the mega-piranha, an ancient Amazonian predecessor of modern piranhas, estimates that the prehistoric fish could bite with a force up to 50 times greater than its weight. Researchers measured the bite strength of a small modern piranha species and then studied the bone structure of the ancient species -- which weighed 20-30 pounds -- to reconstruct its bite. "When you remove body size, the piranhas turn out to be ... the real champs in terms of jaw evolution," said biologist Justin Grubich, who co-authored the study published Thursday in Nature's journal Scientific Reports.

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