The Heaviest Living Reptiles In The World

A Saltwater Crocodile along the water's edge in Queensland, Australia, one of the further south regions of the species' habitat range.
A Saltwater Crocodile along the water's edge in Queensland, Australia, one of the further south regions of the species' habitat range.

Reptiles can be found all over the world in different shapes and sizes. Crocodiles are some of the largest, with the saltwater crocodile being an average length of 14.8 feet and weighing 450 kilograms. The next two largest reptiles also happen to be crocodiles, but their closely related cousin, the alligator, doesn't appear on the list of heaviest reptiles until number 8. The American Alligator weighs about 240 kilograms and is around 11.2 feet long. In several cases, length does not corroborate with weight. The Leatherback Sea Turtle is only 6.6 feet long but it's still managed to snag the number four spot on the list, weighing 364 kilograms. These massive animals play a significant role in their environment and can be found in many different parts of the world.

Life of the Heaviest Reptiles in the World

Massive Crocodiles

The Saltwater Crocodile is the largest living reptile and has a very wide distribution throughout the world. It can be found on the eastern coast of India, Southeast Asia, and Northern Australia. This predator is not endangered in any of these habitats, probably because of its size and intimidating status. The largest teeth of this species' can be about 3.5 inches in length, allowing it to rip its prey to shreds. It can swim about 15 to 18 miles per hour when it is attacking but they can only keep up this pace for short bursts. Not far behind the Saltwater Crocodile is the Nile Crocodile, weighing in at 410 kilograms. This reptile lives in Africa and can be found in lakes, rivers, and marshlands. It can move faster than its saltwater counterpart, being able to swim 19 to 22 miles per hour. Both of these animals have a very long lifespan and can live up to 100 years.

The Tomistoma

Number ten on the list of heaviest reptiles is the Tomistoma. It weighs 210 kilograms and is 13.10 feet in length. It's length is disproportionately large in comparison to its weight. The American Crocodile is also an average of 13.10 feet long, but it weighs over 100 kilograms more. These creatures are close relatives to crocodiles, but their habitat is restricted to the lowlands of Borneo, eastern Sumatra, and Peninsular Malaysia. Their main diet consists of fish, and they use their long, thin snouts to catch them.

Presence of these Large Reptiles in the Wild Today

Crocodiles are not on the endangered species list in any country, but some of the other reptiles on this list are. The Tomistoma is an endangered species with only about 20 nests having been documented in the wild. Continuous loss of swamp land is the main reason why the species is diminishing. Continuous human expansion has led to many animals being forced out of their natural habitat, just like the Tomistoma. Even abundant reptiles like crocodiles may become scarce if humans keep expanding their scope of influence on the environment.

The Heaviest Living Reptiles In The World

RankReptileAverage Mass (in kg)Average Total Length (in feet)
1Saltwater Crocodile450.0014.80
2Nile Crocodile410.0013.80
3Orinoco Crocodile380.0013.50
4Leatherback Sea Turtle364.006.60
5Black Caiman350.0012.80
6American Crocodile335.0013.10
8American Alligator240.0011.20
9Mugger Crocodile225.0010.80

More in Environment