This paper reviews the maximum forces exerted by animals in a wide range of activities including running, jumping, swimming and biting. Most of the data refer to vertebrates and arthropods, ranging in size from 0.5-mg fleas to 3-tonne elephants. Maximum forces exerted on the environment give values of (force/body weight) which lie, in most cases, between 0.5 body mass-1/3 (kg) and 20 body mass-1/3. Maximum forces exerted by major muscle groups give values of (force/body weight) in most cases between 10 body mass-1/3 and 50 body mass-1/3.

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