Mention of the bowling ball made me think about a question I had heard whispered a few times:
Can grizzly bears crush bowling balls?
Grizzlies can definitely crush apples, so it seems reasonable that they could probably take down a bowling ball if they really tried.
But does anyone know for sure?
Let’s find out today.
Can a grizzly bear crush a bowling ball?
Surprisingly, yes, a bite from a mature grizzly bear can definitely crush a bowling ball.
The strength of a grizzly bear’s bite varies depending on the size and age of the individual, but it can be up to 1,200 pounds per square inch for adult males. (source)
It would take around 800 pounds per square inch of force to destroy a bowling ball.
That means a bite from a mature male grizzly bear can do it with a single chomp.
For comparison, that’s 3-4 times as strong as a Rottweiler and twice as strong as the bite of the African lion.
It’s also more than twice as strong as the bite of an American black bear.
Do bears really crush bowling balls?
Yes, but only with their jaws.
While it’s unlikely that grizzly bears actually eat bowling balls (they’re made of pretty hard plastic), they can definitely use their jaw strength to crush them into smithereens.
Grizzlies simply exert more pressure than humans are able to create when biting something with their back teeth, though they’re unlikely to develop enough force to actually puncture the bowling ball.
A grizzly bear’s back teeth are wedge-shaped and capable of exerting tremendous pressure in a vertical direction (upwards when closing the jaw).
This allows them to chow down on bones or even antlers when necessary without breaking their teeth.
Why are grizzly bear bites so strong?
Grizzlies are extremely powerful predators, and their jaws are designed for crushing prey.
The shape of a grizzly’s jaw makes it easier to generate huge amounts of power by twisting and grinding large bones and antlers.
Their massive molars and premolars are capable of applying enormous amounts of pressure to their food, and they don’t have to worry about cracking or breaking them as is common with other species.
All in all, grizzly bears pack a tremendous biting force.
Are there any other animals that can do the same with their bites?
Of course, there are other animals that can crush objects and bones with their bite force.
Alligators, crocodiles, and caimans can also generate incredibly powerful bites capable of devastating damage.
Snapping turtles have the strongest bite relative to their size (pound for pound), though they don’t get nearly as much press as alligators or crocodiles.
Hippo jaws are also capable of exerting tremendous pressure that can easily break a bowling ball.
But for sheer jaw strength, nothing beats the sperm whale.
The largest toothed predator on Earth is also one of the most powerful creatures in history, with an adult male’s bite strong enough to crush a boat or snap metal cables.
Grizzly bears are definitely powerful creatures, as evidenced by their jaw strength which can crush a bowling ball with ease.
While it’s unlikely that they would ever need to do so in the wild, this ability shows how robust and adaptable these animals truly are.
Thanks for reading.
Last updated on February 16, 2022
Jerry Coleman is a professional bowler and experienced bowling blogger. He founded and owns the voelkersbowling.net website, which provides news and information about the sport of bowling. Jerry has competed in numerous tournaments over the years and has won several awards for his bowling skills.