University researchers estimate bite force of dinosaurs

Researchers from Florida State University and the University of Florida, have worked directly with the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park to conduct a groundbreaking study of crocodilian bite force, according to an announcement received by Historic City News today.

The study, published yesterday by the electronic peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE, found a strong correlation between body mass and bite force across all crocodilian species.

“This study could not have been done anywhere else in the world,” Gregory M. Erickson, Ph. D. of FSU, who led the study, told reporters. “We were fortunate to work with the Alligator Farm staff that is uniquely qualified to handle a variety of large crocodilians.”

The Alligator Farm is the only facility in the world housing all 23 crocodilian species, making it the choice location for researchers to conduct the study.

Researchers were able to collect data at the Alligator Farm from hundreds of individual animals within their collection — ranging from hatchlings to adults weighing over 1,200 pounds.

For the first time, from data obtained in this study, scientists can reliably estimate that very large, extinct crocodilians and dinosaurs were capable of up to 23,100 pounds of bite force.

Dr. Kent Vliet, Ph. D. of the University of Florida, who co-authored the article with Erickson, said, “We have initiated further studies at The Alligator Farm to measure the underwater bite force of crocodilians.”

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