The largest bear that ever lived on the earth, the Agriotherium africanum, also had the strongest bite, a new study has found.
Dr Stephen Wroe and his team from the University of Newcastle, Australia used CT scanners to create 3-D images of bear skulls and scanned six species, ranging from a giant panda to a reconstructed fossil of A. africanum.
Reconstructions of the skull of the carnivore, which became extinct almost five million years ago, showed researchers that it was well adapted to resist the forces involved in eating large prey and exerted the highest bite force
“Our analyses show that Agriotherium africanum had an enormously powerful bite – considerably greater than for the largest of living big cats, or any living bear,” the BBC quoted Wroe as saying.
“Our analyses show that it had the most powerful bite of any known terrestrial mammal determined thus far,” he said.
The study has been published in the Journal of Zoology.