Epic Battles: The Largest Crocodile Ever vs. T-Rex

Written by Kyle Glatz
Published: October 28, 2022
© iStock.com/para827
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T-Rex was a large, powerful dinosaur that made life difficult for smaller dinosaurs. By the time it became extinct over 66 million years ago, it had walked the planet for millions of years, scavenging or hunting prey across what is now the western United States. However, it was not alone in having a massive mouth and a devastating bite. The largest crocodile ever, Sarcosuchus imperator, was a large, powerful creature that may have preyed on smaller dinosaurs. What would happen in a fight between the largest crocodile ever vs. T-Rex?

That’s what we’re going to figure out. We’ll compare several key factors to determine which of these animals had the greatest likelihood of surviving a fight.

Comparing the Largest Crocodile Ever vs. T-Rex

Largest Crocodile EverT-Rex
SizeWeight: 6,800 to 9,000 pounds, up to 17,600 pounds
Length: Up to 41 feet
Height: Up to 3 feet tall while standing
Weight: 11,000-15,000 pounds
Length: Roughly 40 feet
Height: 12-20 feet
Speed and Movement Type– 12 mph over very short distances (estimated by modern saltwater crocodiles)
– 15-18 mph while swimming (estimated by modern saltwater crocodiles)
17 mph (potentially higher)
– Used bipedal strides to walk and run
Defenses– Powerful osteoderms would offer protection against bites
– Could hide in water to stay out of sight
– Swimming speed allows the crocodile to move swiftly away from trouble
– Its massive body would dissuade most creatures from fighting
– Amazing senses would help it detect danger and prey alike
– Reasonable running speed would help it get away from unwanted fights
Offensive Capabilities– Had 100 sharp teeth that could deeply picture prey
– Bite power of up to 18,000 PSI (estimated based on studies of modern crocodiles)
– A bite could allow Sarcosuchus to hold prey while it bled to death while unable to move
– Has a bite with 17,000lb bite power  or between 8,000-12,800 PSI
– Had the strongest bite of any terrestrial animal
– 50-60 serrated teeth that measure 12-inches
–  Has great speed with which to chase down enemies
Predatory Behavior– Ambush predator that waited submerged or partially submerged to attack prey– Was an apex predator that stalked prey and attacked from land, but was also a scavenger  

The Key Differences Between the Largest Crocodile Ever and a T-Rex

Largest Crocodiles Ever: Sarcosuchus imperator
Sarcosuchus imperator, nicknamed supercroc, With an estimated body length of 40 feet, and a skull over 5 1/2 feet long, this is one of the largest crocodiles ever.

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The biggest differences between the largest crocodile ever and a T-Rex can be found in their size, bite power, and hunting behaviors. While the largest crocodile ever weighed between 6,800 pounds and 9,000 pounds, the T-Rex weighed 15,000 pounds. The T-Rex stood between 12 and 20 feet tall and measured about 40 feet long. The largest crocodile measured 41 feet in length and stood about 3 feet tall.

The largest crocodile ever may have had a stronger bite than the T-Rex, capable of producing 18,000 PSI with a bite compared to a T-Rex’s 12,800 PSI per bite. Finally, Sarcosuchus imperator was an ambush predator that used the water to hide but the T-Rex was an apex predator that stalked prey on land before attacking.

These differences are significant and could have a significant impact on how this fight turns out. Let’s look closer at the factors that will decide the battle.

What Are the Key Factors in a Fight Between the Largest Crocodile Ever and a T-Rex?

The most significant factors in the fight between the largest crocodile ever and a T-Rex are their sizes, attacking methods, and offensive capabilities. A big animal doesn’t always make a great hunter, especially against other massive predators.

While those three elements are certainly more important than other factors in the battle, they’re not the only things we need to consider. We’ll also look at defenses and speed to provide a well-rounded picture of this hypothetical battle.

Largest Crocodile Ever vs. T-Rex: Size

The T-Rex is depicted as being bigger than the largest crocodile, but that depends on the sources used. A T-Rex would weigh between 11,000 and 15,000 pounds, grow up to 40 feet long, and would stand between 12 and 20 feet tall.

Meanwhile, the largest crocodile ever would weigh between 6,800 and 9,000 pounds, but some scientists believed they weighed more, up to 17,600 pounds. However, the crocodile grew about 41 feet long and stood around 3 feet tall.

T-Rex has the side advantage because it’s taller, almost certainly heavier, and has a very similar length to the Sarcosuchus imperator.

Largest Crocodile Ever vs. T-Rex: Speed and Movement

T-Rex was a somewhat swift animal that is believed to have run at a speed of about 17 mph. Meanwhile, sources are scant on the speed of the largest crocodile ever. Modern crocodiles can run at speeds of about 12 to 22 mph over very short distances as they burst out of the water to claim their prey. Yet, they can swim between 15 and 18 mph, something that the Sarcosuchus imperator could potentially do.

T-Rex is faster on land than the largest crocodile ever, but it’s slower in the water.  

Largest Crocodile Ever vs. T-Rex: Defenses

The largest crocodile ever had profound defenses in the form of powerful osteoderms and scales that covered its body. Puncturing these scales to harm the crocodile would be an incredible feat. Moreover, these creatures could hide in the water and areas with vegetation very well. If they found themselves in trouble, they could simply rush into the water and swim away.

Meanwhile, the size of the T-Rex would be enough to frighten off most other animals in their area. Also, they had great senses that could be used to detect and evade trouble before it started. Lastly, if they found themselves in a bad situation, the T-Rex could move somewhat quickly, enough to put distance between them and their enemies or at least reposition for a more favorable attack.

Both creatures have equally good defenses, but the physical defense of the largest crocodile gives it an edge.

Largest Crocodile Ever vs. T-Rex: Offensive Capabilities

t-rex
The t-rex was a skilled hunter with super-sharp teeth and an immense bite force.

©Herschel Hoffmeyer/Shutterstock.com

T-Rex had one very effective method of attacking: biting. This monstrous dinosaur could bite with a force of up to 12,800 PSI, driving 50 to 60 teeth measuring 12 inches long into their prey. These bites would puncture vital organs or simply cause the prey to bleed to death in short order. Combined with the T-Rex’s senses and ability to chase prey, this was a very powerful dinosaur.

The largest crocodile ever had 100 teeth that measured about 6 inches long. While they may not have been able to perform a deathroll like their modern relatives, the Sarcosuchus imperator is believed to have had a bite strength of about 18,000 PSI.

That means it could latch on and nothing could get it off of the prey. This crocodile could then drag the prey into the water and drown it, allow it to exhaust itself, or just keep chomping to inflict massive damage.

The bite force of the T-Rex could be less than the crocodile’s bite force, but the combined force of the bite would be more devasting.

Largest Crocodile Ever vs. T-Rex: Predatory Behavior

The largest crocodile ever was an ambush predator that would wait at the water’s edge to attack prey and drag them to a watery grave. However, T-Rex was an apex predator and a scavenger. When it hunted, this creature probably stalked and then ambushed prey on land, but it was much more difficult for this creature to hide than the crocodile.

Thus, their ambush styles were fairly different in that the largest crocodile probably used one precise attack to immobilize prey while T-Rex had to hunt and bring down prey.

The largest crocodile ever had a more effective predatory behavior as it relates to a battle.

Who Would Win in a Fight Between the Largest Crocodile Ever and a T-Rex?Top of Form

The T-Rex would win a fight against the largest crocodile ever. Simply put, the T-Rex is just too large and powerful for the crocodile to kill. Sarcosuchus imperator certainly had a powerful bite, but those 6-inch teeth aren’t going to puncture the T-Rex’s vital organs or cause it to bleed to death from a single bite.

The crocodile’s best bet would be to attack a T-Rex through an ambush. Even if this was successful, the crocodile would have to be very lucky to land an attack on the T-Rex’s head. If that was the case, it may have been able to bring the T-Rex down. The chances are also good that the T-Rex would find a way to bite the crocodile back by writhing or shaking its massive, powerful head and neck. The T-Rex’s bite would do far more damage and convince the crocodile to let go and flee if it’s not already dead.

Meanwhile, if this fight happens on land, the largest crocodile ever has a hopeless battle ahead of it. The T-Rex could simply saunter over and deliver a deadly bite to the back, head, or sides of the crocodile. The T-Rex was faster than the croc on land, after all.

Also, crocodiles lack the maneuverability to defend against an attack that is coming from directly above, especially during an ambush. Furthermore, the T-Rex could use its feet to pin the crocodile before delivering the deadly bite.

Either way, it seems more likely that the dinosaur survives this fight.  

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The Featured Image

3D rendering of a T-rex in a forest of palm-like trees
T-rex's short front arms were tiny and useless for hunting or capturing prey.
© iStock.com/para827

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About the Author

I'm a freelance writer with 8 years of experience. I've written in a variety of niches such as video games, animals, and managed service providers. I graduated from Rowan University in 2014 with degrees in English and Education. When I'm not working, I enjoy playing video games, reading, and writing for fun.

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Sources
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  3. Royal Society Publishing, Available here: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rsbl.2012.0056