See 'The Dominator' – the world's largest crocodile, as big as a rhino

Keep reading to watch this amazing video

key point

  • The world's largest alligator is 22 feet long and weighs 2,200 pounds.
  • The second largest alligator is 20 feet 3 inches long from nose to tail.
  • A typical estuary crocodile averages between 10 and 16 feet in length.

The world's largest alligator, the estuarine crocodile, or "saltie," measures 22 feet long and weighs 2,200 pounds. Other crocodile species include dwarf crocodiles and saltwater crocodiles, which are less than six feet long.

The warm tropical waters of Southern Hemisphere wetland ecosystems are home to a range of crocodiles. Because they cannot control their internal body temperature, they rely primarily on the sun to warm their bodies after cooling themselves by immersing themselves in water.

Which brings us to beautiful Australia. While this Australia is famous for animals like koalas and kangaroos, one crocodile seems to stand out. Meet the rulers. At 20 feet long and weighing over a metric ton, the Dominator crocodile is said to be the second-largest crocodile that ever lived.

Australia's saltwater crocodile population is expanding, and the Adelaide River is one of the most densely populated parts of the country. Last year, images of a giant crocodile tearing a pig in half before eating it made headlines around the world.

Crocodile
Once you see the Dominator, it's easy to understand why the saltwater crocodile is considered the largest reptile on Earth.

©William Bradberry/Shutterstock.com

He was only three inches shorter than Lolong, who was captured in the Philippines. Captured in 2011, at 20ft 3in from nose to tail, he is the largest crocodile ever built.

The giant crocodile lives in the murky waters of the Adelaide River and likes to show off to tour boats. While this giant crocodile will surprise you, it's not the only crocodile in the area. His opponent is named Brutus, much smaller than Dominator. One thing's for sure – you won't see me swimming in the Adelaide River.

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Crocodile Tournament

Alligators are extremely social animals, congregating in sizable, mixed groups of adults and juveniles. At the start of mating season, however, males become extremely territorial and protect their particular bank from competition by holding their massive heads aloft and howling at intruders.

Evidence of dominance can be found in the interaction between the Dominator and Brutus. It's safe to say that these two dislike each other. Dominator will often sneak up behind Brutus and start biting his tail, leaving Brutus struggling to survive in the water.

Crocodiles live in groups and often bask together in the sun.

© Adam Jones Adam63 / CC BY-SA 3.0 – License

There are countless videos online showing just how big the Dominator is. Tour boats use fresh meat on long sticks to lure crocodiles closer to the boat. Some videos show the apex predator throwing its one-ton body out of the water to hunt. Either way, you just need to check how big the creature is to fully grasp what he's capable of!

How long can a crocodile live?

Under the right conditions, some crocodiles can live up to 70 years in the wild, with saltwater crocodiles being the longest-lived type.

That said, depending on the species of crocodile, the lifespan varies from 25 to 70 years. As mentioned earlier, under ideal conditions, these organisms can live for a very long time. In fact, captive crocodiles have been known to live to be 100 years old. Also, alligators don't actually die of old age. They don't die of biological aging. Instead, they continue to grow and grow until some external factor causes them to die.

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The oldest ever crocodile has been named Mr. Freshie, a saltwater crocodile who lived to be 140 years old!

How big is an alligator?

The Dominator is very large, even for his species. A typical estuary crocodile grows between 10 and 16 feet. Males are usually much longer than females. This length is made up of bone-plated skin, a long, powerful tail, the crocodile's signature elongated snout, and as many as 67 teeth embedded in the jaw, which are reportedly strong enough to rip metal!

Crocodiles vs. Alligators: What's the Difference?

Because both creatures are from the order Crocodilians, it's easy to see why many people confuse the two animals, but in reality, crocodiles and alligators are different species.

American Alligator vs American Alligator
Alligators have more U-shaped noses.

©iStock.com/Bradley Proxmire

While there are many differences between these two animals, one of the easiest ways to tell them apart is by the shape of their noses. Alligators have U-shaped noses, while crocodiles have longer, thinner V-shaped noses. Even more ingenious are the animal's feet. Crocodilians have webbed feet for better swimming, while crocodilian feet are not webbed but have jagged edges. Alligators also have slightly more teeth (about 80!), compared to 66 for crocodiles.

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More from AZ Animals


featured image

estuary crocodile
Close up of a saltwater crocodile emerging from the water with a toothy grin. Alligators have skin colors and patterns that camouflage them in the wild.

© iStock.com/DianaLynne


about the author

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When she's not busy playing with her few guinea pigs or her cat, Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She is also a Realtor® in the Twin Cities with a passion for social justice. For this millennial, there's nothing better than a cup of hot tea and a vinyl record on a rainy day.

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