Komodo Dragon vs Anaconda: Who Would Win in a Fight?

Yellow Anaconda
© Chris Tefme/Shutterstock.com

Written by Heather Ross

Updated: March 8, 2023

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Reptiles include some of the most diverse and frightening creatures on the planet. Among them are the anaconda, a massive snake, and the Komodo dragon, a very large lizard. While humans have to watch out around these creatures, it’s also interesting to see what happens if these animals encountered one another. How would two such different creatures fare in a fight? We’re going to get to the bottom of the Komodo dragon vs anaconda fight and demonstrate which deadly animal would slay the other in battle!

Comparing a Komodo Dragon and an Anaconda

A battle of Komodo dragon vs anaconda would pit two of the largest reptiles on Earth against one another.
Komodo DragonAnaconda
SizeWeight: 150lbs – 300lbs
Height: 1.5ft-2ft
Length: 6ft-10ft
Weight: 250lbs -550lbs
Length: 17-22 feet
Diameter: 12 inches
Speed and Movement Type11 mph top speed-5 mph on land
-10 mph in the water
Senses– Good eyesight
– Use their tongues and Jacobson’s organ to smell and taste their environment and find prey from miles away
– Poor hearing
– Pit organs help identify heat from prey
– Anacondas pick up vibrations from other creatures
– Uses Jacobson’s organ to smell and process chemicals.
Defenses– Hard skin with strong scales that are reinforced with bony deposits called osteoderms
– Speed
– Their eyes on their head allow them to skim the surface of the water
– Swims in water
– Large size
– Camouflage
Offensive CapabilitiesPossibly venomous
– Sharp claws hold prey in place
Sharp teeth lead to exsanguination in victims
– Powerful bite for grasping
– Immensely powerful constriction that kills by stopping the prey’s heart while causing internal damage    
Predatory Behavior– Ambush predators
– Tries to knock down and bite vital areas on prey, typically the neck.  
– Ambush prey in and out of water
– Bites and holds prey while coiling around them and constricting.    

What Are Key Differences Between a Komodo Dragon and an Anaconda?

Where Do Snakes Live

Green anacondas can grow very large, up to 22ft long and 500lbs in weight

©Patrick K. Campbell/Shutterstock.com

The most significant differences between a Komodo dragon and an anaconda are their morphology and size. Komodo dragons are quadrupedal, lizard-like creatures that have a form of venom within their saliva, and anacondas are large snakes that slither on the ground and possess no venom.

Anacondas are typically longer and heavier than Komodo dragons at their largest, but there are significant size differences within these animals’ species.

We’re going to use these unique qualities of the Komodo dragon and the anaconda along with other information to paint a complete portrait of these animals. We’ll figure out which of them is most likely to survive a battle against the other.

What Are the Key Factors in a Fight Between a Komodo Dragon and an Anaconda?

Animals that reproduce asexually – Komodo dragon

The Komodo dragon is the largest vertebrate animal known to reproduce asexually.

©Anna Kucherova/Shutterstock.com

The most significant factors in a fight between these deadly reptiles will be their bodies, how they sense other creatures, and how they fight against enemies. Both of these animals are deadly predators, and we need to see how their predation skills align with their physical capabilities.

Let’s examine these animals from five different perspectives and then weigh them against the other to determine which one has the most advantages.

Komodo Dragon vs Anaconda: Size

Anacondas are larger than Komodo dragons in just about every respect except for height. Anacondas are not tall creatures since they slither along the ground. Komodo dragons reach weights of over 300lbs, grow 10ft long, and stand 2ft high.

Anacondas can weigh upwards of 550lbs, grow 22 feet long, and have a diameter of 12 inches. Of course, these are the maximum sizes for the largest species, the green anaconda.

Anacondas have a size advantage.

Komodo Dragon vs Anaconda: Speed and Movement

Komodo dragons are surprisingly fast animals, reaching 11 mph as they run on land. Anacondas only reach a maximum of 5 mph over very short distances on land, but they can move about 10 mph in the water.

Komodo dragons have the advantage in speed.  

Komodo Dragon vs Anaconda: Senses

Anacondas and Komodo dragons have similar senses due to them both belonging to the reptile family. They both rely on their Jacobson’s organ to sense chemical changes in the air. Komodo dragons have good eyesight and poor hearing, though. Anacondas do best when sensing heat from prey and vibrations in the water.

Overall, anacondas have better senses than Komodo dragons.

Komodo Dragon vs Anaconda: Physical Defenses

Anacondas have relatively good defenses in the form of the ability to traverse land and water, camouflage, and large size when fully grown. These elements help them ward off some predators.

Komodo dragons have reinforced scales throughout their body and the ability to run somewhat fast. They can also move well on land and in water but not as well in water as the anaconda.

Anacondas have the defensive advantage.

Komodo Dragon vs Anaconda: Combat Skills

Anacondas rely on ambushing their prey, landing a strong bite, and then leveraging themselves using their weight to wrap around and crush their prey to death.

Komodo dragons also ambush their prey, but they rely on causing shock and exsanguination through blood loss and potentially venom to kill their prey. The element of surprise is important, but not always necessary to them.

Both creatures have powerful combat abilities that will factor into the fight and help determine the winner.

Who Would Win in a Fight Between a Komodo Dragon and an Anaconda?

Yellow Anaconda

An anaconda can quickly strike, wrap up, and kill large prey

©Chris Tefme/Shutterstock.com

An adult anaconda would win a fight against a Komodo dragon. The Komodo dragon is a highly capable fighter, but it would not be able to deal fatal damage to the anaconda before it was grabbed and crushed.

Anacondas can successfully attack crocodiles, creatures that can kill faster than a Komodo dragon. Sure, the Komodo dragon is going to attack and severely bite the anaconda, but their attacks rely on bleeding out their foes rather than biting deeply. Their bite might introduce its venom into the snake’s bloodstream. That’s not going to stop the anaconda’s attack, though.

The anaconda will strike back, wrap up the lizard, and crush it to death. It might not even be a pyrrhic victory since the Komodo dragon’s venom is not that strong. At the end of the day, the largest anaconda would take down the largest Komodo dragon.

What Kind of Animal Can Defeat an Anaconda?

Lurking in the shadows and ready to ambush their prey, there are not many examples in the animal kingdom that can defeat an anaconda in a fair, one-on-one fight. When the anaconda is the hunter, they have too many adaptations to help them deal a fatal surprise attack and death coil on their foes.

There are, however, a few large and strong beasts that can stand up to an adult anaconda and even beat them in a battle. It obviously helps if it is a fair fight without an anaconda ambush!

One such animal is a crocodile, especially a saltwater croc which has the strongest bite in the world! As an anaconda strikes at a croc, it projects its most vulnerable part of its body, and if a croc was able to bit down it would be game over. Crocodiles also have a very strong, thick body that would be incredibly tough for an anaconda to successfully constrict, and, lastly, attempting to bring their foe into the water would not be an advantage against a fully-grown croc!


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About the Author

Heather Ross is a secondary English teacher and mother of 2 humans, 2 tuxedo cats, and a golden doodle. In between taking the kids to soccer practice and grading papers, she enjoys reading and writing about all the animals!

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