Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective, does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.
Crocodiles are undoubtedly one of the most dangerous creatures on our planet. These reptiles first appeared during the Late Cretaceous period, about 83.5 million years ago. Crocodiles are now classified into 25 different species, including a couple of species of the gavial family, 8 species of alligators and 15 species of true crocodiles. The habitat extends to all tropical areas of the world. Crocodiles usually settle in fresh water bodies, hunting any animals nearby. Of all the predators in existence, they have the most powerful jaws, capable of crunching the bones of even a large animal such as a leopard. They are also known for often attacking people without even being provoked, while the presence of sharp teeth, an extremely mobile tail and powerful armor make them formidable opponents even for an armed person. Most crocodile species are quite large, but in our today's selection we will look at ten real giants belonging to the order Crocodilia.
- The largest crocodiles in the world
- 10th place – New Guinea crocodile
- 9th place – Swamp crocodile
- 8th place – Siamese crocodile
- 7th place – Mississippi alligator
- 6th place – Ganges gavial
- 5th place – Black Cayman
- 4th place – Sharp American Crocodile
- 3rd place – Orinok crocodile
- 2nd place – Nile crocodile
- 1st place – combed crocodile
The largest crocodiles in the world
|Nomination||a place||name||Maximum length||Weight Limit|
|The largest crocodiles in the world||10||New guinea crocodile||3.5 meters||–|
|9||Swamp crocodile||3.5 METERS||200 kg.|
|8||Siamese crocodile||4 meters||300 KG.|
|7||Mississippi alligator||4.5 METERS||400 KG.|
|6||Ganges gavial||5 METERS||250 KG.|
|5||Black caiman||5 METERS||400 KG.|
|4||Sharp American Crocodile||5.3 METERS||500 KG.|
|3||Orinoco crocodile||5.4 METERS||380 KG.|
|2||Nile crocodile||5.5 METERS||1,000 KG.|
|1||Combed crocodile||7 METERS||2,000 KG.|
10th place – New Guinea crocodile
New Guinea crocodiles belong to the family of true crocodiles, they live in Indonesia and in the western part of the island of New Guinea. Males reach a length of three and a half meters, females are slightly smaller – about 2.7 meters. Crocodiles are gray-brown in color, turning into dark brown on the tail with oblong black spots. The muzzle is narrow and long, extended forward. Representatives of the species feed on amphibians, fish, small mammals, young individuals begin with aquatic invertebrates and insects, only as they grow older they switch to larger prey. Being a nocturnal predator, the New Guinea crocodile in the daytime prefers to bask on the bank or hide in burrows that it digs in the steep slopes of the river. The lifespan of these predators is 60 years or more.
9th place – Swamp crocodile
Swamp crocodile, also called mager, is found in South India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and several neighboring countries. The body length of males is from three to three and a half meters and weighs 150-200 kilograms. The color is light or dark olive, depending on the age of the individuals. Swamp crocodiles live in swamps, shallow lakes and slow-flowing rivers. During the drying up of reservoirs, they dig themselves shelters in the form of burrows or migrate to a new place. Muggers move freely on land, reaching, if necessary, a speed of 14 kilometers per hour (though only for a short time). In the aquatic environment, they are able to chase their prey at a speed of 40 kilometers per hour. The diet of growing individuals consists of invertebrates, the diet of an adult predator includes fish, turtles, snakes, birds and a variety of mammals. They hunt at any time of the day, most often they go to land at night. Crocodiles do not disdain dead animals, thereby contributing to the purification of reservoirs. Sometimes mageras themselves become prey for larger crocodiles or tigers.
8th place – Siamese crocodile
This crocodile species inhabits Southeast Asia. It was first discovered in Siam, as a result of which it received such a name. Today the population is only about five thousand individuals, most of them live in Cambodia. Crocodiles settle in swamps and rivers, go out hunting mainly at night, and during the day they often sit in shelters. The main source of food for them is fish and aquatic animals, less often they hunt mammals that come to the water. Adult males grow up to four meters in length and weigh up to 300 kilograms. Despite the formidable appearance and impressive size, the Siamese crocodile is relatively peaceful and rarely attacks a person, except when defending a territory. The species has a clearly defined social hierarchy, which is violated only during drought periods, when reptiles are forced to congregate in the remaining water bodies in large groups.
7th place – Mississippi alligator
Mississippi alligators are endemic to the southeastern United States and are found in a variety of freshwater bodies, usually choosing stagnant water. The name alligator comes from the Spanish word for lizard. Adult males of this species are about four and a half meters long, and their weight is often more than four hundred kilograms. Mississippi alligators are olive or black in color, the belly is much lighter than the rest of the body. They hunt small and medium-sized animals, however, in the absence of other food sources, they can attack large individuals who come to the watering hole. The Mississippi alligator is able to cope with prey far superior in weight category. Cases of cannibalism are also frequent, especially with a high population density.
6th place – Ganges gavial
This reptile is one of two members of the gavial family that have survived to this day. Lives in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent and on the Indo-Gangetic plain. The length of the body of Gangetic gavials reaches five meters, large individuals weigh up to 250 kilograms. The coloration ranges from brown and dark green to almost white. A unique feature of the species is its elongated jaw, which is almost five times as long as wide. Sharp teeth sticking out of the mouth give the gavial a frightening appearance, but it does not pose a serious threat to humans. Crocodiles settle in deep rivers with a fast current, feed mostly on fish. Due to the poorly developed muscles of the limbs, they are extremely slow on land, where they really rarely go. But in its native element, the gavial is capable of speeds up to 30 kilometers per hour.
5th place – Black Cayman
Black caimans belong to the alligator family, they are found in South America, in more than seven countries. This is the largest of all types of alligators, the length of males, taking into account the tail, can be more than five meters, and they weigh about 400 kilograms. As the name suggests, their scaly skin is black in color, which serves as a great camouflage at night and helps absorb heat better. Caimans usually live in large lakes and rivers, their highest concentration is observed in the Amazon River and its tributaries. During the flood season in the Amazon, they settle in the formed temporary reservoirs, while during drought, on the contrary, they gather in numerous groups. They actively hunt mainly at night, during the day they often bask in the sun to maintain optimal body temperature. Any animals, both river ones and those coming to the watering place, can become prey. The powerful jaws of the black caimans allow them to gnaw through even the shells of large turtles.
4th place – Sharp American Crocodile
This species is found in South and North America, the most common in Florida, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean islands. Such a wide range of habitat is possible not least due to the species' tolerance to being in salt water. Sharp-nosed crocodiles owe their name to their narrow, pointed jaws. The largest males of the species grow to 5.2-5.3 meters and weigh 400-500 kilograms. The main diet of sharp-nosed crocodiles consists of fish, they are very agile in the aquatic environment and are capable of reaching speeds of 32 kilometers per hour. In the winter season, reptiles dig along the line of the river bank of the burrow, where they wait until the onset of heat. For humans, the species is considered dangerous due to its high aggressiveness – numerous cases of crocodile attacks have been recorded in Panama, Mexico and Costa Rica.
3rd place – Orinok crocodile
A South American reptile from the family of true crocodiles, inhabits water bodies in Colombia and Venezuela, mainly in areas near the Orinoco River. This species is the largest animal on the entire continent of South America, its body length reaches 5.4 meters. Sexual dimorphism is pronounced, females are much smaller than males and grow no more than 3.6 meters. The color of crocodiles ranges from grayish to uniform dark green. The species is characterized by a narrow muzzle adapted for spearfishing. Adults feed mainly on fish, medium-sized reptiles and semi-aquatic mammals such as capybaras. Land inhabitants are attacked only when they are very hungry. In social terms, Orinox crocodiles are very isolated predators, each individual occupies a personal area, protecting it from any invasion, except for the mating period.
2nd place – Nile crocodile
The species range covers almost the entire territory of the African continent south of the Sahara. Nile crocodiles live in rivers and freshwater swamps, although they are tolerant of water with a low level of salinity. Due to their size, they are at the top of the food chain in Africa – almost no animal is able to withstand a predator more than five and a half meters long and weighing about a ton. In addition, these crocodiles have an enormous bite force, once a German scientist zoologist witnessed how an adult male bit off the head of a bull. They hunt from an ambush, instantly dragging a victim under the water that has come too close. At night, Nile crocodiles sometimes lie in wait for prey at a distance of 30-50 meters from the water. During a short-term chase, despite their apparent clumsiness, they can reach a speed of 17 kilometers per hour. In water, reptiles can move twice as fast. The diet consists mostly of large animals, including buffaloes, sharks and even leopards. Attacks on humans are also common, due to the large number of settlements near the crocodile habitats.
1st place – combed crocodile
Saltwater crocodiles are the largest reptiles on the planet and the largest of all land-based predators. The maximum length of males is seven meters, the weight of such a male can reach two tons. The species has an unusually wide habitat, stretching from the shores of India through Asia to Australia itself. This is due to the fact that crocodiles often migrate long distances using the ocean currents. There are cases when they covered more than 500 kilometers during such travels. Saltwater crocodiles live in deep rivers, mangrove swamps, sometimes they can be found in sea lagoons. This species is distinguished by its tolerance to salty sea water. Being extremely aggressive and strong animals, they often displace other top predators from their habitats, such as sharks and large felines. The powerful jaws of the combed crocodile make it easy to shatter the buffalo's skull, not to mention any weaker bones. Reptiles spend most of the day waiting for their prey, but at the time of the attack they can reach speeds of 11 kilometers per hour on land and up to 30 kilometers per hour in the aquatic environment. For humans, this reptile also poses a serious danger, since it tends to consider humans as potential prey.
Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.