Cockroaches grind jaws five times stronger than humans

Cockroaches grind jaws five times stronger than humans

Researchers have said the cockroach has a powerful bite, thanks to jaws that can grind five times stronger than a human, or with 50 times more force than its body weight.Faced with tough materials such as wood, they activate muscle fibres in their jaw to boost their bite to cope with repetitive, heavy-duty tasks, a study in the journal Plos One said on Wednesday.“Ours is the first study to measure the bite forces of ordinary insects, and we found that the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, can generate a bite force around 50 times stronger than its own body weight,” said lead author Tom Weihmann from the University of Cambridge’szoology department.“In relative terms that’s about five times stronger than the force a human can generate with their jaws.”Researchers wanted to understand the cockroach’s bite because insects play a crucial role in many ecosystems and findings could enable “bioinspired engineering”, said Weihmann.The team analysed 300 bites made by specimen cockroaches, ranging from quick and feeble bites to powerful, long-lasting ones. “The weaker, shorter bites were generated by relatively fast muscle fibres, while the longer, stronger bites were driven by additional muscle fibres that take time to reach their maximum force,” said Weihmann.Source – theguardian.com

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