A-z - Animals

The 8 Largest Alligators in History

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  • Scientists are still debating whether the regal crocodile, nicknamed "Super Crocodile," was the largest crocodile ever recorded. Most of its fossils have been found in the Tenere Desert region of the Sahara Desert in Niger. The alligator likely weighed about 17,600 pounds and was 40 feet long.
  • According to fossils collected by two archaeologists in 1840, the spiny crocodile, which probably lived in Pakistan during the Miocene, probably reached about 36 feet in length and weighed about 6,000 pounds. This crocodile is sometimes called the beaked crocodile for its distinctive beak-like nose.
  • Purussaurus brasilensis was a carnivore weighing about 18,500 pounds that lived in South America during the Late Miocene. Due to its large size and huge teeth, it probably had few predators.

Have you ever wondered what is the biggest crocodile? According to fossil evidence, the longest crocodile in existence is the imperial crocodile , which is 40 feet long and weighs 17,600 pounds.

The largest official measurement ever made is Lolong, a saltwater crocodile that measured 20 feet 3 inches long and weighed 2,370 pounds. Tragically, he died of congestive heart failure in February 2013. The largest living crocodile is Cassius, which is over 100 years old.

Saltwater crocodile Cassius is 17 feet 3 inches long. While these modern crocodiles were huge, prehistoric crocodiles were much larger.

Scientists had to guess how big prehistoric dinosaurs were, because no accurate measurements were available at the time.

They can be approximated by measuring the length of the skull measured at the midline from the tip of the nose to the back of the skull table, as modern crocodilians have a strong correlation when using this measurement.

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#8 Largest Alligator Ever: Purussaurus mirandai – 32 feet 9 inches

Crocodile isolated 3d model
Purussaurus mirandai is the only crocodile found to have an extra vertebra in its sacrum.

©1 2 3D Illustration/Shutterstock.com

Purussaurus mirandai is the first entry on our list of the largest crocodiles ever recorded, weighing around 5,700 pounds. The animal was about 32 feet 9 inches long and had a very unusual spine.

It has an extra vertebra in the pelvic region and one less in the torso region. Scientists believe this is how the crocodile was able to carry all its weight. This crocodile lived in Venezuela about 7.5 million years ago.

#7 Largest Alligator Ever: Euthecodon brumpti – 33 feet

Euthecodon brumpti is a species of alligator that lived in modern Africa from the early Miocene to early Pleistocene.

One of the heaviest fossils of this animal was found in Kenya. Fossils of this crocodile are among the most common in the Turkana Basin.

This crocodile probably lived in Lake Turkana between 1 and 8 million years ago, eating fish. Scientists believe the alligator grew to be about 33 feet long.

#6 Largest Alligator Ever: Gryposuchus croizati – 33 feet

Largest crocodile ever: Gryposuchus croizati
Gryposuchus croizati is one of the largest crocodiles ever found in Venezuela.

© Joerim / CC BY 3.0 – License

Gryposuchus croizati is estimated to have been 33 feet long, but it has been suggested that the reptile may have been even longer. Some of the largest fossils of this animal have been found in the Urumaco Formation in Venezuela.

The fossils indicate that the alligator weighed about 3,850 pounds. They also think the animal lived in the middle to late Miocene.

It may have become extinct because nature continued to create a canyon system where they lived, a wetland area.

#5 Largest Alligator Ever: Deinosaur – 35 feet

The largest crocodile ever
Deinosaurs are a member of the crocodile family — the family that includes modern alligators, crocodiles and cannibals .

© Daderot/CC0 1.0 – License

Deinosaurs, which probably grew to about 35 feet in length, may have been an early ancestor of the American alligator.

There is evidence that this crocodile is abundant in the eastern United States. However, the longest fossils have been found in the western United States. This suggests that they lived along the entire length of the Western Interior Seaway between 83 and 72 million years ago.

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Presumably, these creatures do lay eggs. However, science assumes that they also have the ability to fly at an early age. Young Deinosaurs are said to be able to flap their wings, but as they gain weight, they may lose the ability to flap their wings.

The largest official discovery ever made measured 20 feet 3 inches long and weighed 2,370 pounds.

The animal could have weighed 11,000 pounds. It was capable of crushing other dinosaurs, but likely ate marine fish. A special plate with holes allows this crocodile to breathe even when it is completely underwater.

#4 Largest Alligator Ever: Rhamphosuchus – 36 Feet

Largest Alligator Ever: Rhamphosuchus
Reconstruction of a Pliocene giant crocodile, Rhamphosuchus crassidens, in size comparison with the Ganges dolphin.

© Apokryltaros at English Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 3.0 – License

The spiny crocodile may have lived in what is now Pakistan during the Miocene epoch. According to fossils collected by two archaeologists in 1840, the reptile probably grew to be about 36 feet long.

This crocodile has a distinctive beak-like nose, so it is sometimes called a beaked crocodile. Scientists believe it mainly ate fish, but it also hunted.

It may often feed on other animals that come to the waterhole where it lives. Scientists believe this Indian crocodile, which lived about a million years ago, weighed about 6,000 pounds.

#3 Largest Alligator Ever: Mora Alligator – 39 feet 4 inches

There may be as many as 10 subspecies of mora . Scientists believe the crocodiles grew up to 39 feet 4 inches long and had a distinctive duck face.

About six million years ago, they lived in Venezuela and Brazil. There is evidence that they scooped up water with their wide-open mouths and swallowed their prey whole.

While the teeth of most species are very strong, fossils show that the teeth of this species were very fragile and very small. Eating a different diet than other alligators at the same time and in the same location may have helped this alligator grow to be very large, weighing up to 16,000 pounds.

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#2 Largest crocodile ever: Purussaurus brasilensis – 41 feet

The largest ever crocodile, Purussaurus brasilensis
Pencil drawing of Purussaurus brasiliensis, a 12 m long alligator from the Miocene of Brazil.

© Nobu Tamura (http://spinops.blogspot.com) / CC BY 3.0 – License

Purussaurus brasilensis ranks second on our list of the largest crocodiles on Earth, weighing around 18,500 pounds. This crocodile, which lived in the late Miocene of South America, was a carnivore. Due to its large size and huge teeth, probably few animals could harm it.

Scientists believe the animal can generate 15,500 pounds of force with each bite. This species lives where the Amazon River now flows, and changes in the ecosystem may have contributed to its demise.

In terms of size, this gigantic crocodile is about the length of a tour bus. It is also one of the largest reptiles to have survived the extinction of the dinosaurs.

It is thought to consume as much as 88 pounds of food per day, feeding on a wide variety of animals in its environment.

#1 Largest crocodile ever: Sarcosuchus imperator – 41 feet

Largest crocodile ever: Sarcosuchus imperator
Sarcosuchus imperator (meat-eating crocodile), nicknamed the super crocodile. With an estimated body length of 40 feet and a skull of over 5 1/2 feet in length, it was one of the largest crocodiles that ever lived.

© HombreDHojalata / CC BY-SA 3.0 – License

Arguably, the largest crocodile ever lived was the regal crocodile , but scientists are still debating whether it was the largest. The animal's skull was about five feet six inches long, while its entire body was about 41 feet long.

It has about 100 teeth, some of which sit slightly inside the lower teeth, like overlays. This may have allowed the crocodile to hunt animals, although its main food was likely fish.

Most of the fossils of what may be the largest crocodile ever recorded come from the Tenere Desert region of Niger's Sahara Desert. The alligator likely weighed about 17,600 pounds.

The reptile gets a new armor plate every year it lives. These plates help protect it from predators. By studying the plates, scientists concluded that it took about 55 years to reach its maximum size.

The crocodile's snout ends in a distinctive bowl shape, which scientists believe it used to smell because its stiff neck made it difficult to turn it.

Summary of Top 8 Alligators

rank Crocodile length
1 king crocodile 41 feet
2 Brazilian Prussian 41 feet
3 mora crocodile 39 feet four inches
4 Alligator 36 feet
5 Deinocrocodile 35 feet
6 Crozati crocodile 33 feet
7 real fur 33 feet
8 Purussaurus mirandai dragon 32 feet nine inches

Did crocodiles and dinosaurs live together?

The answer is yes! Crocodiles first coexisted with dinosaurs during the Triassic period, between 252 million and 201 million years ago. Crocodiles have been around for a long time, and research shows that their bodies haven't evolved much since then. So these crocodiles are actually ancient creatures!

While many dinosaurs were larger than crocodiles, not all were, and studies have shown that crocodiles found some dinosaurs delicious! Scientists recently discovered the remains of an ancient crocodile and its well-preserved last meal in the Great Australian Superbasin.

This dinosaur-crocodile encounter is estimated to have occurred during the Cretaceous period, between 145.5 million and 65.5 million years ago. What happened to the crocodile so soon after eating is unknown, but scientists were able to scan the animal's gut and see the almost fully formed ornithopod bones inside.

The discovery provides the first clear evidence that dinosaurs were eaten by ancient giant crocodiles. Previous discoveries have included crocodile tooth marks on fossilized dinosaur bones, and in one case, crocodile teeth embedded in the bone, suggesting some crocodilians ate dinosaurs.

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