Biggest Reptiles in the World
At Always Pets, we don't discriminate. We love all animals, reptiles included. Some animals, however, we love from afar — preferably, from the safety of our couch, with an entire ocean between us and the demonic lizards with 4-inch incisors.
The largest reptiles in the world are tough to rank because it's impossible to know for sure if there's an even bigger one lurking somewhere in the wilderness. Let's face it: Not even scientists want to spend months searching for the world's largest, perfectly camouflaged killing machine.
Which ones are we talking about exactly? We ranked the biggest reptiles by average weight.
15. Slender Snouted Crocodile
Average weight: 400 pounds
Average length: 10.8 feet
Location: Central and West Africa
If a crocodile and a chainsaw had a baby, it would look like a slender snounted croc. It has a long, thin snout with serrated teeth built for trapping fish.
These crocs are crafty. Stealth is their main advantage as an aquatic predator. Their coloration helps them blend in with the water so their prey never sees them coming.
14. Burmese Python
Average weight: 403 pounds
Average length: 18.8 feet
Location: Much of Asia, from northeast India to China
Burmese pythons are non-venomous, so you don't have to rush to the ER for antivenom if one bites you. That's where the good news ends. Burmese pythons are so large that a bite from one is life-threatening.
The real danger, however, is their crushing power. Burmese pythons are constrictors, so when they strike, they immediately coil around their prey and squeeze. Imagine a bear hug that keeps getting tighter until you lose consciousness. Did we mention they've invaded the Everglades?
13. Green Sea Turtle
Average weight: 418 pounds
Average length: 3.5 feet
Green sea turtles are the gentle giants of the ocean. They float peacefully through our seas, grazing on mostly plant material throughout the day. They spend most of their lives underwater, even sleeping while submerged. They only need air every five or so hours when they're relaxing. While they're on the move, they need air more frequently, popping up to the surface every five minutes or so.
Not to state the obvious, but green sea turtles aren't actually green. They get their name from the color of the fat stored under their shell, which is green thanks to their primarily vegetarian diet.
12. Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Average weight: 441 pounds
Average length: 3.3 feet
The Loggerhead sea turtle is one of the few giant reptiles that are omnivorous rather than carnivorous. In addition to worms and mollusks, loggerheads eat plenty of plants.
If bodybuilders think you need to eat meat to get bulky, loggerheads are proof they're wrong. Seaweed is a staple of their diet, and they still end up to be more than 400 pounds.
11. False Gharial
Average weight: 460 pounds
Average length: 13 feet
Location: Malaysia, Indonesia, Sarawek, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand
The false gharial isn't a gharial at all. It's a less common freshwater croc with a unique reddish-brown color and an unusually slim snout. Like most crocodilians, false gharials lay eggs in a nest and then completely ditch them. Some of the eggs get eaten by wildcats and other predators, but the ones that make it hatch after 90 days. From there, they're on their own. Solid parenting.
Since this croc's range has been reduced thanks to human encroachment, more mishaps between our competing species have happened recently. In 2008, a fisherman was eaten by a false gharial, and a few more fatal attacks have been recorded since then.
10. Green Anaconda
Average weight: 330-500 pounds
Average length: 17 feet
Location: Much of South America and a few Caribbean Islands
Green anacondas are among the largest snakes in the world. They're olive green with yellow spots, and they'd almost be pretty if they weren't so terrifying. The largest specimens are so massive that they have no natural predators. Smaller ones hide in the mud or underwater or coil into a ball if cornered.
Cute! Oh, except for the fact that they squeeze the life out of full-grown deer, capybaras and even crocodiles. Females will sometimes cannibalize smaller males during breeding season. No one appreciates romance these days.
RELATED: 50 Facts About Snakes That Will Make You Love Them
9. Mugger Crocodile
Average weight: 350-700 pounds
Average length: 10 feet
Location: The Indian subcontinent
Mugger crocodiles are an endangered species, and we can't say we'd be heartbroken to see them disappear. Obviously, we'd mourn the impact their loss would have on the balance of their local ecosystems, but we wouldn't miss them on a personal level.
Mugger crocs are thiccc with three c's, boasting the largest snout of all crocs. Its back and tail are bordered with large ridges that make them look like picture-book dragons, minus the wings. It's a good thing they don't have those because a flying croc would be unstoppable.
8. American Alligator
Average weight: 450-1,000 pounds
Average length: 9-13 feet
Location: The U.S. from North Carolina to the Rio Grande in Texas
Between alligators and crocodiles, alligators are slightly less dangerous. Slightly. They're less likely to chase you down unprovoked, but going for a swim with one is still an idiotic idea if you'd like to keep all your fingers. Alligators usually only attack people if they accidentally mimic prey.
The American alligator has a wider snout than the American crocodile, and it's considerably less likely to eat you. They mostly live in freshwater swamps and snack on any birds, fish and mammals that cross their path. Don't cross their path, and you should be fine.
Average weight: 350-1,010 pounds
Average length: 11-15 feet
Location: Northern India and Nepal
The gharial is a type of crocodile with a long, narrow snout. Males have a rounded bulb at the end, which they use to attract mates. Like most reptiles, gharials never stop growing. Their growth slows after a few years, but they still steadily put on weight until they die.
The largest, most intimidating gharials are also the oldest — with up to two decades of experience taking down wildlife larger than you. Gharials also gradually turn black as they age, ya know, for added scariness.
6. American Crocodile
Average weight: 550-1,200 pounds
Average length: 10-14 feet
Location: South Florida and much of South and Central America
Florida people are built differently because they see crocs like this wander into their swimming pools and consider it a normal Tuesday. Nothing is normal about a 12-foot dinosaur sunbathing in your backyard.
The American crocodile is the most common type of crocodile in the Americas, and it's practically the perfect predator. Its eyes and nostrils are set on top of its head, allowing it to hunt while the majority of its body remains submerged. In other words, you don't know it's there until it's too late.
5. Black Caiman
Average weight: 660-1,300 pounds
Average length: 9-14 feet
Location: The Amazon River basin
Books about the Amazon rainforest made it look so lush and inviting. Now that we've seen what else likes to hang out there, we're going to visit the rainforest through our Nat Geo subscription.
Black caimans are the largest crocs in South America, reaching about the length of a midsize sedan. It'll also eat whatever it can find, including smaller members of its own species.
RELATED: Monitor Lizards Are the Pet Dinosaur You've Always Wanted
4. Leatherback Sea Turtle
Average weight: 550-1,540 pounds
Average length: 6.6 feet
The biggest of all sea turtles is equipped with an unusual, soft back that enables it to swim faster than most turtle species. It's carnivorous, but all it really eats is jellyfish. They swim for thousands of miles in pursuit of jellies.
Compared to the other giant reptiles topping our list, the leatherback sea turtle is a snuggly teddy bear. They're huge but harmless.
3. Orinoco Crocodile
Average weight: 840-1,620 pounds
Average length: 12-16 feet
Location: Venezuela and Colombia
The Orinoco crocodile is rare, and despite being massive, it's not much of a threat to humans. It's more of a nuisance than anything else.
The Orinoco croc's diet is composed primarily of fish, which it gleefully gobbles up with no consideration for local fishermen whatsoever. Honestly, if we ran into one, we'd just be happy it was snacking on fish instead of our limbs.
2. Nile Crocodile
Average weight: 550-1,650 pounds
Average length: 12-16 feet
Location: Sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar
Ringing in at well over 1,000 pounds, the second-largest reptile isn't one to mess with. It's a freshwater croc, and it loves to hang out with others of the same species. They'll even share food with each other.
It would almost be cute, aside from the mouthful of razor-sharp teeth and scary-good ambush-hunting tactics.
1. Saltwater Crocodile
Average weight: 880-2,200 pounds
Average length: 14-17 feet
Location: Northern Australia to Southeast Asia
Saltwater crocs heard that Nile crocodiles were cold-blooded killing machines and thought, "You know what? Bet." These terrifying carnivores are the biggest crocs on Earth. They're opportunistic predators, chowing down on anything alive that crosses their path. That could potentially include people, so remind us to stay far, far away from Australia.
Saltwater crocs aren't the easiest to study, for obvious reasons. They're insanely aggressive and happen to be responsible for up to 1,000 human deaths each year.
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