Animal Olympians – Part 3

from Wildlife Promise

0 2/22/2010 // By David Mizejewski

The third installment of animals with phenomenal physical abilities in celebration of the Olympics (don't miss part one and part two).

Tasmanian Devil Wiki Spotted Hyena, Least Weasel and Tasmanian Devil
Spotted hyenas have incredibly strong jaws, which they put to good use in the game of survival.  Hyenas can literally consume every part of their prey including bones, horns and teeth!  But contrary to popular belief, hyenas wouldn’t win a medal in a biting competition among mammals.  Recent research has shown many mammalian carnivores have a stronger bite force quotient than hyenas, including gray wolves, lions and even giant pandas (which don’t even regularly eat meat, instead feeding primarily on tough bamboo which requires strong jaws). 

The tiny least weasel would take the silver, although it would be the gold-winner among North American mammals.  The gold medal would go to Australia’s Tasmanian devil, which has a bite force quotient higher than any other living mammal.

Photo: Wayne McLean via WikiMedia Commons