There are many myths about spotted hyenas and the misconception that they’ve got the strongest bite of all predators is one of those. As hyena expert Arjun Dheer says: “Their bite force is less than that of lions, tigers and saltwater crocodiles, but it’s their unique morphology that allows them to consume bones.” A spotted hyena’s skull has a ‘sagittal crest’ running along the top – a bit like a bony mohawk – which the body-builder jaw and neck muscles attach to. Combined with wide premolar teeth, these adaptations together help create bone-crunching jaw strength.
Hyena skulls have a prominent sagittal crest. This skull is from a male found dead after taking on a buffalo