# The Naked Scientists Forum

### Author Topic: Is the tonne a proper unit to measure a bite?  (Read 4408 times)

#### blakestyger

• Guest
##### Is the tonne a proper unit to measure a bite?
« on: 04/08/2008 14:36:05 »
The great white shark, the Guardian tells us today, has "a bone-crunching bite of up to 1.8 tonnes". Other creatures, we're told, have bites of 3.1 tonnes (T rex), 560 kg (African lion) and 80 kg (adult human).

I thought that it only means something if the weight related to an area, so the pressure of the bite is measured. Are these units right?

#### DoctorBeaver

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##### Is the tonne a proper unit to measure a bite?
« Reply #1 on: 04/08/2008 16:20:27 »
If, for instance, an animal has a bite force of 10kg per cm2 and the total bite area is 10cm2, then the total bite force is 100kg.

Beaver factlet:-

A Nile crocodile has a bite force of 3,000lbs per inch2.
« Last Edit: 04/08/2008 16:22:03 by DoctorBeaver »

#### graham.d

• Neilep Level Member
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##### Is the tonne a proper unit to measure a bite?
« Reply #2 on: 04/08/2008 17:00:52 »
My guess is that it is more useful to judge the strength of a creature by the total force it is able to exert in its bite, rather than the pressure. If it were the pressure (force per unit area), it may well be that a mosquito could produce a greater value by virtue of having a very sharp proboscis. I don't know this to be the case, but this is an illustration. I expect both measures can be useful depending on what you need to know.

#### lyner

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##### Is the tonne a proper unit to measure a bite?
« Reply #3 on: 04/08/2008 21:56:15 »
I was trying to think of some crushing remark but. . . .

#### DoctorBeaver

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##### Is the tonne a proper unit to measure a bite?
« Reply #4 on: 04/08/2008 23:46:56 »
I was trying to think of some crushing remark but. . . .

Were you aiming for MAXILLAmum effect?

#### lyner

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##### Is the tonne a proper unit to measure a bite?
« Reply #5 on: 05/08/2008 15:03:59 »
I do like a question that you can really get your teeth into.
Something incisive, like molar mass calculations. By gum, this is so sad.

#### DoctorBeaver

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##### Is the tonne a proper unit to measure a bite?
« Reply #6 on: 05/08/2008 16:05:42 »
This has acciDENTALly turned into a pun thread.

#### blakestyger

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##### Is the tonne a proper unit to measure a bite?
« Reply #7 on: 05/08/2008 17:32:24 »
Thanks for all your helpful suggestions - it's certainly given me something to chew over.

#### Bored chemist

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##### Is the tonne a proper unit to measure a bite?
« Reply #8 on: 05/08/2008 18:08:47 »
Strictly, the tonne is a unit of mass not force so it's not the right unit. Most people will not care but you ought to use the tonne force.
That's practically the same unit, but with a slightly longer and more silly name.
Of course the physicists might insist on using meganewtons- but nobody I know has any real idea what that means whereas the tonne is roughly the mass of a car.

#### DoctorBeaver

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##### Is the tonne a proper unit to measure a bite?
« Reply #9 on: 05/08/2008 20:41:33 »
...whereas the tonne is roughly the mass of a car.

Sandra's Proton 1.5 or my 7 series BMW?

#### blakestyger

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##### Is the tonne a proper unit to measure a bite?
« Reply #10 on: 05/08/2008 21:15:36 »
7 series BMW?

Middle-management.

#### DoctorBeaver

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##### Is the tonne a proper unit to measure a bite?
« Reply #11 on: 05/08/2008 21:27:37 »
You concentrate on managing your own middle and leave me to run my companies!  [:(!]

#### DoctorBeaver

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##### Is the tonne a proper unit to measure a bite?
« Reply #12 on: 05/08/2008 21:31:19 »
...whereas the tonne is roughly the mass of a car.

Sandra's Proton 1.5 or my 7 series BMW?

The reason I asked is that the BMW is made from proper metal whereas I think Proton use baking foil. Push 1 finger against any of its panels and they bend. I reckon the Beamer is at least twice as heavy.

UPDATE...

OK, maybe not twice as heavy.
Proton 940 kg
BMW 1600 kg
« Last Edit: 05/08/2008 21:36:16 by DoctorBeaver »

#### The Naked Scientists Forum

##### Is the tonne a proper unit to measure a bite?
« Reply #12 on: 05/08/2008 21:31:19 »