Saltwater crocodiles are formidable animals. Not only are they large and scaley, but they also have a reputation for being aggressive predators. When you consider their massive size, this makes them the real kings and queens of their wetland habitats.
One of these reptiles named Cassius living at Australia’s Marineland Crocodile Park currently holds the world record for the largest crocodile in captivity. He is a whopping 18 feet long. Based on his growth, experts estimate his age around 120 years. Saltwater crocodiles have the longest lifespan out of the crocodile species, some living up to 100 years.
Cassius was last measured in 2011 and his keepers believe that he might be shattering his own record. He was first captured in 1984 and relocated to a safe sanctuary location. He had gotten into battles and been injured, leaving him with chunks missing in his tail and his snout. This impacted his length by as much as 10 inches. Because he hasn’t been measured in over 10 years, he might have added an inch or two. Combined with the length of his injured snout and tail, which wasn’t included in the previous recordings, Cassius might be significantly longer now than his records indicate.
His keepers are considering remeasuring him to see if he has grown. Not only will this update his record, but it can also help researchers learn more about the growth rate of these massive reptiles as they age. After they reach around 16.4 feet long, growth tends to slow down. While they might still continue to grow, it is at a much slower pace than previously in their lives.
How Long Do Crocodiles Grow?
Although crocodiles in the wild can grow up to 23 feet long, Cassius is the record holder for captive animals. Another crocodile in the Philippines held the title briefly. Named Lolong, this animal measured 20 feet. However, he died in 2013, just one year after unseating Cassius as the world’s longest captive crocodile and Cassius returned to holding the current record.
Saltwater crocodiles are the largest reptile, surpassing other species of crocodiles as well as alligators. These massive animals can weigh as much as 2200 pounds. Most are closer to 1000 pounds, which is still very heavy. They eat a diet of mostly fish as well as meat that they can catch. In captivity, the reptiles are fed a steady diet, which contributes to their long lifespans.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Danny Ye/Shutterstock.com
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