We’ve already discussed the fact that zombies likely don’t eat brains because their jaw strength and mouth shape prevent biting through the human skull. But a recent study from the University of New South Wales in Australia, suggests that the undead may possess more chomping force than previously thought.
The findings show that the human jaw can produce a bite as strong as our close relative the chimpanzee, even though chimps have a stronger skull, and larger teeth. Paleontologist Stephen Wroe continues:
“Size matters, but efficiency matters more, and humans are very efficient biters.”
In fact, Wroe found that our jaws are 40 percent more efficient than those of the formidable gorilla and orangutan.
Efficiency of the jaw muscles allows the human skull t0 be thinner and weaker than other related species, since we are exposed to less structural stress when biting down and chewing. However, humans still fall well short of the bite force of other larger animals, like gorillas. We also don’t come close to the power generated by predators with longer jaws, such as crocodiles, wolves and even certain large rodents.
Though nothing in Wroe’s work overturns previously held beliefs about the practical limits of a zombie’s biting ability, it reinforces the need for further scientific investigation into the physiology of the undead.