Great White Shark vs Saltwater Crocodile: Who Would Win in a Fight?

Written by Kyle Glatz
Published: April 3, 2022
Image Credit Byron K. Dilkes/Shutterstock.com
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Below the ocean waves, many deadly reptiles and fish hunt their prey in astonishing fashions. Among the most frightening creatures to hunt below the water are sharks and crocodiles. A crocodile vs shark fight pits two of the most dangerous animals against each other. What if we wanted to take the contest to the highest level and put a great white shark vs saltwater crocodile? Who wins this match?

We’re going to take the measure of each creature, factor in the most pertinent data, and show you which of these creatures would stand the best chance of winning an underwater battle.

Comparing a Great White Shark and a Saltwater Crocodile

Great white sharks have the size advantage over crocodiles.

A-Z-Animals.com

Great White SharkSaltwater Crocodile
SizeWeight: 1,150-2,450lbs
Length: 18ft – 21ft
Weight: 300-1,500lbs on average, up to 2,000lbs
Length: 10ft – 20ft
Speed and Movement Type– 20mph-35mph
– Undulating, side-to-side motion for the tail and body.
– 15mph in water propelled by its tail
– 22 mph on land
– Very fast crawling motion  
Attacking Methods4000 PSI Bite Power (18,000 Newtons bite power)  
– About 50 teeth are available to bite in the first row, but 300 teeth overall
– Teeth 4-6 inches long  
3,700PSI bite power
– Incredibly powerful bite
Death roll can instantly remove large chunks of flesh
– 4-inch teeth
– 66 teeth
Defenses– Large size
– Bursts of swim speed
– Tough skin
– Ability to travel on land and water
– Speed
Predatory Behavior–  Both an opportunistic and ambush predator that attacks from below an enemy– Ambush predators that wait in the water for prey to approach.

What Are Key Differences Between a Great White Shark and a Saltwater Crocodile?

Heaviest Animals: Saltwater Crocodile
Saltwater crocodiles are large semiaquatic reptiles.

PomInOz/Shutterstock.com

The greatest differences between a great white shark and a saltwater crocodile are their morphology and habitats. Great white sharks are large cartilaginous fish that live in temperate ocean environments. Saltwater crocodiles are large semiaquatic reptiles that live in coastal areas from India to the northern coast of Australia.

Both animals are among the largest of their species and are recognized as apex predators in their environments. Nevertheless, the differences between these animals are significant. By parsing their unique qualities and examining pertinent elements, we can determine the winner of this battle.

What Are the Key Factors in a Fight Between a Great White Shark and a Saltwater Crocodile?

Shark Eyelid - Great white with eyes rolled back while hunting
Great white sharks have a tremendous combination of speed and power to help them hunt.

Alessandro De Maddalena/Shutterstock.com

The key factors in a fight between a great white shark and a saltwater crocodile include their size, power, and the way they engage their foes.

We’ll look at five broad categories of data that greatly impact the outcome of fights between animals. By the time we’re finished examining elements of size, defenses, and others, we’ll have a very good idea of which animal has the most advantages in a fight. With that information, we can make an educated guess on which creature is most likely to win a battle.

Great White Shark vs Saltwater Crocodile: Size

A great white shark is larger than a saltwater crocodile. A great white shark can reach 21ft long and weigh 2,400lbs. The saltwater crocodile can grow up to 1,500lbs and 20ft long, but heavier and longer variants have been seen. On average, the great white shark is bigger.

The great white shark has the size advantage over the crocodile.

Great White Shark vs Saltwater Crocodile: Speed and Movement

Great white sharks are perfect hunting animals in the water, and part of their success stems from their speed and movement. These sharks can reach amazing speeds of 25 mph to 35 mph. Saltwater crocodiles are fast as well. They can reach speeds of 15 mph in the water.

Sharks have a speed advantage over saltwater crocodiles.

Great White Shark vs Saltwater Crocodile: Attacking Methods

Saltwater crocodiles attack their prey with their teeth and powerful jaws. These animals can generate up to 3,700PSI bites, driving their 4-inch teeth into their enemy’s flesh. These teeth are designed to keep their prey in place while puncturing deep into their body.

Crocodiles will often use a death roll to disorient their prey and rip off chunks of flesh. Exsanguination, broken bones and punctured organs are all commonly seen in these brutal attacks.

Great white sharks are equally terrifying, locating their enemies using specialized sensory organs and then attacking from the deep. They slam into their enemies while delivering a powerful bite. These bites can reach 4,000 PSI in power, with 50, 6-inch-long teeth tearing into the prey. Their teeth are meant to bite and tear away the flesh on their own rather than keep prey from moving.

With each bite taking up to 30lbs of flesh from their prey’s body, they don’t need a fancy spinning move. They tear through their foes until nothing is left.

Both creatures are incredibly deadly, so they are tied in terms of their attacking methods.  

Great White Shark vs Saltwater Crocodile: Physical Defenses

Saltwater crocodiles have very powerful physical defenses in the form of tough skin, the ability to move quickly, and the fact that they can move well on land and in water. Moreover, their size ensures that few animals attack them.

Great white sharks have their large size and bursts of swim speed to keep them safe. Combined with their finely tuned senses, few creatures can get the drop on a great white shark.

Saltwater crocodiles have more substantial defenses than great white sharks.

Great White Shark vs Saltwater Crocodile: Predatory Behaviors

A great white shark is an incredible apex predator that uses ambush predation and opportunistic feeding to find prey. The shark usually finds prey with its extraordinary senses, rapidly swims at them, and uses its powerful bite to land a devastating strike. They’re much too fast and violent for most prey to outrun.

The saltwater crocodile is an ambush predator that waits for prey to come by while keeping all but its eyes underwater. When something gets close to the edge, the crocodile will swim up, sometimes completely submerged, and attack the prey. They’ll drag the animal into the water after they bite and then inflict more bites or engage in a death roll.

Both animals are amazing predators, but the shark’s predatory skills are enhanced by its senses.

Who Would Win in a Fight Between a Great White Shark and a Saltwater Crocodile?

What Do Great White Sharks Eat?
The great white shark is a carnivorous apex predator poised to win this fight.

iStock.com/atese

A great white shark would win a fight against a saltwater crocodile. These deadly creatures are incredibly powerful, but the great white shark has an amazing advantage in the water. Not only would this animal probably notice the crocodile first, but it also has the speed to land a devastating attack.

The saltwater crocodile likes to swim between islands, sometimes up to 30 miles away from its home range. The shark would attack from the bottom in deeper water, crashing into the reptile and taking a massive bite out of it. This fight would end quickly in most cases.

If we somehow put both animals in a tank, then the fight would be a little more interesting. Still, the size difference and the fight would bear down to a biting contest that put victory out of the crocodile’s reach.

Great white shark in the ocean
The great white shark has an incredible sense of smell that helps it to detect prey from two miles away.
Byron K. Dilkes/Shutterstock.com
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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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