Hungry Crocodile vs. Fearless Mountain Lion: Who Wins in a Battle Between the Two?

Written by Crystal

Published: March 31, 2023

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Can a mountain lion beat a crocodile in a fight?

Mountain lions are mysterious, commonly talked about but rarely seen. And crocodiles are big scary water monsters whose teeth are the stuff of nightmares. If a fully grown mountain lion were to get in a fight with a crocodile, would it have a chance of walking away the winner? It’s time to find out.

The animal battle below is one of the most exciting yet. After overviewing each species, we’ll get a chance to see how this fight would play out. Who will be the winner in a crocodile vs. mountain lion fight? Read on to find out.

Overview: Crocodile

Crocodile on a shore

A crocodile’s teeth are made for tearing their prey apart.

Crocodiles are carnivorous apex predators with mighty jaws. In a crocodile vs. mountain lion battle, the reptilian beast could swallow parts of the mountain lion whole. Crocodiles have sharp interlocking teeth. Many species have 60 to 70 teeth, like the saltwater crocodile with even 66 teeth. Their strong jaws and teeth are designed to tear their food apart, which is good since crocodiles can’t chew.


A few of a crocodile’s favorite foods include birds, crustaceans, fish, and mammals. And they’re expert ambush predators. Sometimes Nile crocodiles will work together during fishing expeditions to turn the odds in their favor. But even if they have trouble catching fish, it’s not a problem. A crocodile can live for 3 years without eating a single bite. Their slow metabolism and low-activity lifestyle are two reasons they can survive so long without eating.

Predatory Skills

These ambush predators are more active during the night. Sometimes crocodiles will venture onto the land to attack prey; other times, they prefer to wait for their meal day close enough in the water. After biting down on its prey, the crocodile will drag it back into the water and drown it. Then they tear off big chunks of meat and swallow them whole.


A saltwater crocodile can grow 20 feet long and weigh over 4,000 pounds. In comparison, a freshwater crocodile usually grows 9 feet long and has a maximum weight of 220 pounds. The exact length and weight of a crocodile depend on its species.

A few species you may be familiar with include saltwater crocodiles, Nile crocodiles, and American crocodiles. There are 23 different species of crocodilians, and 13 of these species qualify as crocodiles. They live throughout North, Central, and South America. You can also find crocodiles in Africa, Australia, and Asia.

Overview: Mountain Lion

Like crocodiles, mountain lions are apex predators.

Mountain lions are also apex predators who frequently target elk, deer, beavers, and other animals. The only threat they have to worry about is the occasional grizzly bear. If a mountain lion senses danger, it can quickly escape at speeds of 30 mph. In short first, mountain lions can even go 50 mph. They can also quickly climb trees and blend into their environment.

The color of the mountain lion’s coat will vary slightly based on their geographic location. Overall, they tend to have a gray, tawny, or brown colored coat. The coat color can appear a dark brown or black in certain light conditions.


Mountain lions live a solitary lifestyle, traveling long distances to find prey. Some of their favorite foods include raccoons, turkeys, and porcupines. A typical home range will be about 30 square miles of territory. Along with walking across the terrain, mountain lions can swim nearly a mile.

Predatory Skills

When a mountain lion pounces on an animal, they usually go for the neck. Digging their 2-in claws into the body, they grab hold as tightly as possible. The tight hold prevents the prey from escaping and gives the mountain lion a chance to deliver a fatal bite.

The head, neck, and chest are three of the top places that are mountain lion targets. Often they’ll go for the neck, suffocating their prey to death. Unfortunately for the big cat, their normal attack strategy might not work in a crocodile vs. mountain lion fight. Their claws are sharp, but not sharp enough to pierce the crocodile’s armor.


Mountain lions are the biggest cats in North America. They even belong to the big cat family, along with cheetahs, jaguars, tigers, and lions. An average mountain lion way between 64 to 198 pounds. It’s most common to see one weighing around 130 pounds. An average length, including the tail, can be 4 to 8 feet long. Their agile bodies allow them to leap and jump, which is perfect for attacking prey.

Who Wins in a Crocodile vs. Mountain Lion Fight?

In a battle between a crocodile and mountain lion, the crocodile likely emerges the victor.

In a crocodile vs. mountain lion fight, the crocodile would win. It makes sense when you consider each challenger’s fighting style and defenses. Even though mountain lions are comfortable going in the water, their swimming skills pale compared to the crocodiles.

Crocodiles spend most of their lives navigating the waterways and hiding from unsuspecting prey. They regularly attack animals who are coming to get a drink of water. To make matters worse for the big cat, crocodiles are fearless about going on land to snag a meal.

In the blink of an eye, the crocodile can launch its attack and quickly submerge back underwater, holding the prey tightly in its mouth. The mountain lion would never even see the crocodile coming.

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About the Author

Crystal is a dedicated writer at A-Z Animals, focusing on topics related to mammals, insects, and travel. With over a decade of experience in the world of research and writing, she also fulfills the role of a skilled video and audio engineer. Residing in sunny Florida, alligators are Crystal's favorite animal.

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