When we talk about strength, we must first ask ourselves the question of the point of view. In our human world, weight and strength are often linked, without however being systematically associated. Also, a top 10 strongest animals can intuitively be based on height and weight but can end up being a top 10 heaviest animals. It therefore seems more interesting to move towards pure force, in proportion to the size of the animal, and according to the category to which it belongs. Curious to know the result?
1 – Onthophagus taurus
In insects, the place of the strongest in the world is occupied by a beetle named Onthophagus taurus, better known as Bull dung beetle. This insect is small since its length is between 5.5 and 11 mm. Researchers have attested to its prowess: it is capable of pulling 1141 times its weight, or the equivalent of 80 tons for a human being.
It is quite possible to come across this champion in the garden. The species is indeed present from Europe to China. Thanks to international trade, the Bull Dung beetle is also present in North America, Australia and New Zealand. These insects are used in breeding farms. Indeed, at the time of reproduction, the females dig tunnels under plates of manure, form balls of manure displaced at the bottom of the tunnels, and dig in each ball a small chamber in which they lay an egg. The larvae develop there by feeding on manure. These lifestyles make them excellent natural soil fertilizers, limiting the need for fertilizers. Their presence also helps to moderate the proliferation of flies and bacteria.
Also among insects, the second place is occupied by the rhinoceros beetle which weighs 25 mg and displaces 850 times its own weight.
2 – the ant
When we talk about the strength of animals, the ant remains a key player. Who has not stopped once to observe one moving an insect much larger than her or carrying a piece of bread that seems, on her scale, extremely heavy? Ants make up an extraordinarily diverse world owing to the existence of more than 10,000 different species in the world. Most of them are able to carry between 10 and 50 times their own weight, which is around 15 mg. The reason ants are so strong is that their muscles have a large area compared to their body size, when compared to larger animals. They can therefore produce more force. Of all their muscles, their neck muscles are particularly powerful.
Among all the species of ants, the weaver ant, Oecophylla smaragdina, stands out for its ability to lift 100 times your own weight. The workers are of a color varying from red to orange. Their size varies between 3.5 and 9.5 mm. Their name comes from the fact that they sew the leaves of the trees where they live with silk threads produced by their larvae. They are mainly present in India, Sri Lanka, China, Australia and the Philippines. With a tangy taste and a high content of vitamin C, their tasting can be appreciated in some countries. The strength of these worker ants is certainly favored by their great adhesion to the leaves, obtained by the secretion of a liquid secreted at the level of the legs.
3 – The boa constrictor
The boa constrictor is a very large snake that is found in the wild only on the American continent. This snake is known for the way it kills its prey. When used, the blood pressure of the victim drops very quickly and causes circulatory arrest, the blood, and therefore oxygen, no longer reaching the vital organs.
The size of these snakes is between 1.50 and 3.50 m, with a weight ranging from 6 to 16 kg. However, a few exceptional specimens may have measured 4.20 m or weighed 30 kg. They feed on iguanas, birds, ocelots and other small mammals. The force of their constriction can reach 32 kN, that is to say a force making it possible to move 3260 kg on a meter in one second.
4 – The crocodile
To speak of animal strength is also to evoke the power displayed by the jaw of a crocodile which is considered the highest among all animals. The force of a bite can indeed reach 16 kN, which remains lower than the force associated with the constriction of the boa mentioned above.
The strength of the bite is related to the size of the animal. Also, the most powerful of the crocodiles is also the largest: it is the marine crocodile, Crocodylus porosus, which can measure up to 5.5 meters. It lives in Southeast Asia and Australia, most often along the coasts. The force of the bite at the molars represents a pressure of about 1.6 tons / cm². To give you a more precise idea, know that a pressure of 150 kg / cm² can the bone of a human arm.
5 – The hyena
The greatest biting power measured in a hyena to date is 917 kg / cm², a little more than double the biting power measured in a lion. The hyena is thus the only land mammal known to crush elephant and giraffe bones. The speed at which this animal is able to take its meals is a real asset to survive in the very competitive space of the savannah. This bone-crushing ability is associated with the secretion of particular digestive juices. Remember that its role in the ecosystem of the savannah is essential because, like the vulture, it eliminates corpses, thus limiting the spread of diseases. However, to wring our necks out of received ideas, we must also insist on the fact that three-quarters of its food comes from hunting and therefore from living animals. She lives and hunts wildebeest, buffaloes, gazelles and zebras in groups.
6 – The hippopotamus
The jaw power of the hippo is equivalent to that of the hyena. But the animal runs in another category than the predator since it is a herbivorous. The hippopotamus is therefore the most powerful herbivore in the world. Its jaw has the particularity of opening to 180 degrees. Its teeth are sharpened by friction against each other. The incisors and canines, which can measure 40 to 50 cm in length, are only used in combat. An adult male weighs about 1.5 tons and grows over the course of his life which lasts between 40 and 50 years, when a female weighs 1.300 tons, weight reached around 25 years.
7 – The fierce harpy
Among the birds, the most powerful of them is also the most imposing: it is the fierce harpy, Harpia harpyja. It can lift and take prey up to 4 kg in its nest. Its talons are longer than the claws of a grizzly bear and exert a pressing force greater than a wolf’s jaw which is 28 kg / cm2
8 – The camel
Would you have thought you would find the camel in our top 10 strongest animals? It is in fact the animal which has the highest traction force with a draft horse. It is between 80 and 100 kg. Its working power is however lower than that of the work horse because it peaks at 700 watts when that of the work horse (and buffalo for that matter) reaches 1000 watts.
9 – The grizzly bear
The grizzly bear is the largest land carnivore. If it is very present in Indian symbolism and legends, associated with strength and protection, it is now rare: a few specimens today live isolated in North America.
An adult male reaches one yard at the withers, and his weight varies between 180 and 500 kg. The kodiak bear can even reach the ton. The females are much lighter, their weight ranging between 90 and 270 kg. Thanks to his powerful musculature, he is able to lift a weight equal to about 600 kg.
10 – The gorilla
We choose to close this top 10 with the gorilla, an animal morphologically close to us. He is the largest living primate and an adult male can reach 2 meters while standing. Its weight is around 280 kg. These animals have a strength four to nine times that of a man. A silverback gorilla can thus lift up to 815 kg, while the record weight for a man is 501 kg. This record was recorded in 2020 by Hafthor Julius Björnsson, measured at 2.06 m for a weight of 156 kg.