The chart below compares some wild animals’ claws (including the Siberian tiger, African lion, Jaguar, Cougar, Grizzly bear, Harpy eagle, and Polar bear).

animal claws
This chart compares some wild animals’ claws. Source: “Set of 31 Claws in Riker Box” on the Bone Clones, Inc. website.

Harpy eagle’s feet and claws are the strongest among the birds

Harpy eagle claws
Harpy eagle’s feet and claws are the largest and strongest of any bird. Source: Deposit Photos

It seems the longest claw in the animal kingdom belongs to the Grizzly bear (or Kodiak bear? Kodiak bear claws are not in the collection, but since Kodiak bears are larger than Grizzly bears, I would not surprised if their claws are also bigger). Harpy eagle comes a close second after these brown bears. Its feet and claws are also the strongest of any bird.

The harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja) is also called the American harpy eagle to distinguish it from the Papuan eagle, which is sometimes known as the New Guinea harpy eagle or Papuan harpy eagle. It is the largest and most powerful raptor found in the rainforest, and among the largest extant species of eagles in the world. It usually inhabits tropical lowland rainforests in the upper (emergent) canopy layer.

Destruction of its natural habitat has caused it to vanish from many parts of its former range, and it is nearly extirpated in Central America.

In Brazil, the harpy eagle is also known as the royal hawk (in Portuguese: gavião-real).

Golden eagle’s spectacular claws

Golden eagle claws
Golden eagles also have big, spectacular claws

Golden eagle’s claws are also spectacular. is one of the best-known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the most widely distributed species of eagle. These birds are dark brown, with lighter golden-brown plumage on their napes. Immature eagles of this species typically have white on the tail and often have white markings on the wings.

Golden eagles use their agility and speed combined with powerful feet and massive, sharp talons to snatch up a variety of prey, mainly hares, rabbits, marmots, and other ground squirrels.

Tiger vs lion claws

Tiger sharpening its claws
A tiger is sharpening its claws. Tigers have huge retractable claws which are razor-sharp. Their paws are so powerful that they can smash the skulls of domestic cattle and break the backs of sloth bears. Image source: Deposit Photos

Tiger is the biggest living cat on Earth, but I am still surprised by how big its claws are compared to that of the African lion.

A tiger’s paws are powerful enough to smash the skulls of domestic cattle and break the backs of sloth bears. With these claws, it’s no surprise that the tiger can take down these large animals easily.

Both tigers’ and lions’ claws are incredibly sharp. A brown bear’s claws are much bigger and longer, but relatively blunt in comparison to a tiger’s or any other big cat’s.

Lion sharpening claws
A lion is sharpening its claws. Lion claws also some of the most fearsome weaponry in nature. They are razor sharp and as strong as carbon fiber. Their paws also so powerful. Image source: Deposit Photos

Brown bears (Kodiak bear, Grizzly bear, and Kamchatka brown bear)

Brown bears have non-retractable claws. Large brown bears’ claws (Kodiak bear, Grizzly bear, and Kamchatka brown bear) can be as long as 4 inches (10 cm). They use their claws to defend themselves and fight with other bears, but Kodiak bears primarily use their claws to dig for roots and other food and to grip food. Even though their claws look large and clumsy to us, they are actually quite dexterous and capable of manipulating small objects.

Grizzly bear paw and claws
Large brown bears’ claws (Kodiak bear, Grizzly bear, and Kamchatka brown bear) can be as long as 4 inches (10 cm). Photo: Grizzly bear paw on Deposit Photos

Sloth bears also have enormous claws

Despite being smaller than the brown bears, sloth bears are considered one of the most dangerous animal in the world. The number of sloth bear attacks annually rivals and may even exceed the total number of all bear attacks.

They do not feed on humans (they primarily eat termites and ants), but they are extremely protective of their cubs. They are known to go after anyone (human, animal, even tigers!) who gets too close of their offspring.

Habitat loss and human expansion also increase human-sloth bear conflicts and potential deadly attacks.

Sloth bear claws
Sloth bears also have enormous claws which are very dangerous. Image source: Deposit Photos

Cassowary claws

Not included in the image above, but cassowaries have very big and deadly claws too. They have big, three-toed feet with sharp claws which are fearsome, and they can sometimes kick and injure, and even kill humans and other animals with their powerful legs.


M. Özgür Nevres

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  1. Yes, the tiger is a powerful animal but is often overrated. Tigers do not strike when they hunt, they grab, and their strikes are not as powerful as the mighty lion. A tiger smashing a skull is unlikely unless the animal is small and even this is unlikely since the tiger is not a frontal attacker. A typical tiger hunt is rear attack grab prey and reach the throat or nape as soon as possible. It’s more about agility and quickness than power. In the wild tigers rarely fight, most of the time they avoid fighting. When they do fight again, we see tigers more often grabbing each other than striking.

    1. Dude, are you nuts or just another frustrated lion fan? Tigers can break the back of bears yet you say that is inferior??? Yes they rarely fight each other because they rather not hurt their own species, now that’s a smart big kitty

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