Gorilla vs Crocodile: Who Would Win in a Fight?

A male silverback mountain gorilla in the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
© Jurgen Vogt/Shutterstock.com

Written by Kyle Glatz

Updated: March 4, 2023

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Gorillas are highly powerful and intelligent creatures that live in the rainforests and other areas of Africa. Despite their shrinking numbers, they’re powerful animals that many other creatures fear. Crocodiles also live in and around the rivers and lakes of Africa and other areas around the world. So, what happens if a gorilla roams too far into a crocodile’s watery home and a fight starts? Discover which creature wins the gorilla vs. crocodile battle!

Comparing a Gorilla and a Crocodile

Gorilla vs Crocodile
A matchup of gorillas vs. crocodiles would pit raw strength against incredible bite force.
GorillaCrocodile
SizeWeight: 220lbs – 440lbs
Height: 4.4ft- 5.1ft
Length: 4ft-5ft
Weight: 300-2,000lbs
Length: 10ft – 20ft
Speed and Movement Type-25 mph
-Can move quickly with knucklewalking
– 22 mph on land
– Very fast crawling motion
– 15mph in water propelled by its tail
Bite Power and Teeth1,300 PSI bite power
-32 teeth including 2-inch fangs
3,700PSI bite power
– 4-inch teeth – 66 teeth
Senses-Human-like sense of sight
-Good sense of smell
-Human-like sense of hearing
– Great nocturnal vision and underwater vision
– Pressure receptors help crocodiles identify changes around them
Defenses– Threat display
– Speed  
– Tough scales
– Ability to travel on land and water
– Speed
Offensive Capabilities-Open-handed strikes (can’t make true fists)
-Biting    
– Incredibly powerful bite
– Death roll can instantly remove large chunks of flesh.
Predatory Behavior– Opportunistic predator as an omnivore  – Ambush predators that wait in the water for prey to approach.

The Key Factors in a Fight Between a Gorilla and a Crocodile

The key factors for this fight include power, sensory abilities, and predatory behavior.

©iStock.com/Gumpanat

Determining which of these creatures has the best chance of winning a battle requires some keen insight into their bodies and behaviors. However, not every piece of the puzzle is needed to figure out how this fight would play out. We’re going to look at the physical elements of speed, defenses, and power, along with how each animal fights to determine the winner.

Physical Features of a Gorilla and a Crocodile

Gorilla bite force - gorilla resting

Gorillas can weigh over 400lbs and can lift over 1,000lbs

©AB Photographie/Shutterstock.com

Both the gorilla and crocodile are tough and sizeable creatures that can inflict a lot of damage when they want. That’s why we have to parse the physical features of these animals to determine which of them has the greatest advantages in a fight with each other. Consider the strengths each animal brings to the fight!

Gorilla vs. Crocodile: Size

Gorillas are among the largest apes in the world. A silverback gorilla saunters into this fight with a weight exceeding 400 lbs and the ability to lift over three times its weight. The largest gorilla on record reached over 800 lbs!

Crocodiles are much larger, though. They can regularly reach a weight of 1,500lbs in the wild, and some of them weigh 2,000lbs or more. Gorillas are powerful, but even they can’t handle that much weight, especially when it’s biting at them.

Crocodiles have an advantage in terms of size.

Gorilla vs. Crocodile: Speed and Movement

Gorillas can move very quickly, even though their primary form of locomotion is knucklewalking. They reach speeds of 25 mph, but they are not swift in the water.

Crocodiles are fast on land and in water, reaching speeds of 22 mph and 15 mph, respectively. However, keep in mind their land speed is only ever very short bursts.

Gorillas have a slight speed advantage over crocodiles.

Gorilla vs. Crocodile: Bite Power and Teeth

Although people are worried about being bludgeoned by gorillas, it’s their teeth they should worry about. A gorilla can exert 1,300 PSI of bite force with 2-inch fangs. Although that is powerful, it’s small compared to the crocodile, which has 4-inch teeth and 3,700 PSI of biting power.

Crocodiles have a serious advantage in terms of bite power and teeth.

Gorilla vs. Crocodile: Senses

Gorillas are not known for their great senses. They have human-like senses in terms of sight and smell. Also, they have a good sense of smell. Crocodiles are predators, so their senses are acute. They have great nocturnal and underwater vision and the ability to sense pressure changes in their watery environments.

Crocodiles have a distinct advantage in terms of senses.  

Gorilla vs. Crocodile: Physical Defenses

When trying to fend off predators or aggressors, gorillas rely on their perception of aggressiveness to drive away others. Their threat display and vast size are usually enough to send other animals scampering away. However, another great defense is their speed.

Crocodiles have thick bodies covered in scales that are hard to penetrate. They can also quickly traverse water and land alike, so they can get away from enemies or go into the water where they have the advantage.

Either way, crocodiles have a distinct defensive advantage over gorillas.

Combat Skills of a Gorilla and a Crocodile

Deadliest Animal in the World: Crocodiles

Crocodiles rely on their teeth

to kill their enemies.

©Phil Hyde/Shutterstock.com

Both gorillas and crocodiles are effective attackers. Although gorillas are peaceful, they turn into furious and aggressive creatures that will bite, beat, and dismember creatures when they are threatened. Gorillas are mostly herbivorous, though, so they don’t go looking for fights against apex predators.

Crocodiles are aggressive ambush predators. Their combat skills include camouflaging in their environment or waiting beneath the water and then launching a devastating attack. A bite from a crocodile will turn bones into splinters. After they bite, the horror begins. Crocodiles use a death roll to dismember limbs and rip away large chunks of flesh.

Both gorillas and crocodiles are highly dangerous beasts, so they get a tie in combat skills.

What Are Key Differences Between a Gorilla and a Crocodile?

A female western lowland gorilla.

Crocodiles are large reptiles and gorillas are intelligent

mammals

.

©Mike Price/Shutterstock.com

Gorillas are mammals, and crocodiles are reptiles. Crocodiles are quadrupedal, and gorillas are mostly bipedal, but they use their hands to help them walk. Crocodiles are larger and heavier than gorillas. Also, crocodiles have stronger jaws and larger teeth than gorillas.

Although gorillas are far more intelligent than crocodiles, their senses are not as acute. Crocodiles are all about stealthy attacks, but gorillas prefer to scare animals off and avoid physical confrontations when possible.

Who Would Win in a Fight Between a Gorilla and a Crocodile?

Animals That Live in Coral Reefs: Crocodiles

Crocodiles are too powerful and vicious for gorillas to beat in a fight.

©underworld/Shutterstock.com

A crocodile would win a fight against a gorilla. Most of the fights would begin in or near water, and a gorilla doesn’t stand a chance in that scenario. If a crocodile bit and dragged the gorilla into the water, then it’s a simple victory.

The two creatures might meet each other on land, though. That fight would be far more interesting since the gorilla can use its greater agility to move around the crocodile’s body and inflict terrible damage with its powerful hands and teeth.

Nevertheless, the crocodile must only land a single attack to effectively end the gorilla’s threat. A serious bite to the midsection might have the least significant impact on a gorilla of any bite, and that’s saying something. Attacks on the limbs would result in death rolls and amputations, and a bite to the head could crush the gorilla’s skull.

Although a gorilla might win in some scenarios using its wits, the sheer brutality and size of a crocodile are too hard to overcome.

Who Can Beat the Powerful Crocodile?

Crocodile battles are a fascinating topic that has been debated among scientists for years, But the answer to this question is not so straightforward. While crocodiles are incredibly strong and well-equipped for battle, they can be outmatched by some other animals. The size of the animal plays a major role in determining who will win the fight. Larger animals, such as hippos or rhinos, may be able to overpower a crocodile due to their sheer size and strength.

It’s widely believed that hippos have the capability to bite and potentially kill a crocodile due to their immense bite force of up to 1800 pounds per square inch. In theory, this could even be enough power to split a crocodile in half! Of course, it would depend on where the hippo bit the crocodile and how powerful its jaws were at that moment in time. On top of this, there is also evidence from animal behavior experts suggesting that crocs might not stay and fight when confronted by an aggressive hippopotamus. Instead, they may choose flight-over-fight as their first defense mechanism. This suggests that while theoretically possible, actual instances of these ‘crocodile battles’ between two large animals would likely be rare occurrences in nature.


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About the Author

Kyle Glatz is a writer at A-Z-Animals where his primary focus is on geography and mammals. Kyle has been writing for researching and writing about animals and numerous other topics for 10 years, and he holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Education from Rowan University. A resident of New Jersey, Kyle enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games.

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