See ‘Dominator’ – The Largest Crocodile In The World, And As Big As A Rhino

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Written by Kirstin Harrington

Updated: November 10, 2023

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estuarine crocodile

The largest crocodile in the world, the estuarine crocodile, or “saltie,” is 22 feet long and can weigh up to 2,200 pounds. Other crocodile species include the dwarf crocodile, which is less than six feet long, and the saltwater crocodile.

The warmer tropical waters of the Southern Hemisphere’s wetland ecosystems are home to a range of crocodile species. Because they are unable to control their body temperature inside, they rely largely on the sun to rewarm their bodies after they have submerged themselves in water to chill them.

The Land Down Under

That brings us to the beautiful country of Australia. While the country down under is known for animals such as koalas and kangaroos, one crocodile seems to stand out. Meet Dominator. Dominator, a 20-foot crocodile that weighs more than a metric ton, is reputedly the second-largest crocodile ever seen. 

Australia’s saltwater croc populations are expanding, and the Adelaide River is one of the nation’s densely populated regions. Images of a massive crocodile ripping a pig in half before eating it made headlines throughout the world last year.


Once you see Dominator, it’s easy to understand why saltwater crocodiles are considered the largest reptiles on earth.

©Willyam Bradberry/

In comparison to Lolong, who is held captive in the Philippines, he is only three inches shorter. He was caught in 2011, and at 20 feet three inches long from nose to tail, he is the largest living crocodile ever recorded.

This big croc lives in the murky waters of the Adelaide River and likes to show off for tourist boats. While this giant croc will have your jaw on the floor, he’s not the only one in the area. His rival is named Brutus and is ever so slightly smaller than Dominator. One thing’s for sure – you won’t catch me swimming in the Adelaide River. 

Crocodile Rivalry

Crocodiles are extremely social creatures that assemble in sizable, mixed groups of adults and young ones. The males, though, become extremely territorial towards the beginning of the mating season and defend their particular stretch of river bank from the competition by raising their massive heads high in the air and howling at intruders.

Proof of dominance can be spotted in how Dominator and Brutus interact with one another. It’s safe to say that these two guys don’t like each other. Dominator will often sneak up behind Brutus and begin chomping on his tail, leaving Brutus thrashing in the water for his life. 

Crocodiles are social creatures that often bask in the sun together.

©Adam Jones Adam63 / CC BY-SA 3.0 – License

There is a myriad of videos online that show just how large Dominator is. Tourist boats use fresh meat on a long stick to tempt the croc to come close to the boat. Some videos show the apex predator launching its one-ton body out of the water to catch a snack. Either way, you just have to check out how large this creature is to fully grasp what he’s capable of! 

How Long Do Crocodiles Live?

Heaviest Animals: Saltwater Crocodile

Saltwater crocodiles are the largest crocodile species and also the largest living reptile in the world.


In the right conditions, some crocodiles’ lives can be up to 70 years in the wild, with the Saltwater crocodile being the longest-living type.

That said, depending on which species of crocodile it is, lifespans can range from 25 to 70 years. As noted, with ideal conditions, these creatures can live very long. In fact, crocodiles in captivity have been known to reach 100 years old. Additionally, crocodiles actually don’t die of old age. They do not die from biological aging. Instead, they continue to grow and grow until some external factor causes them to die.

The oldest crocodile ever recorded was named Mr. Freshie, a saltwater crocodile that lived to 140 years old!

How Big Do Crocodiles Get?

Dominator is quite large, even for his species. Typical estuarine crocodiles grow to be between 10 and 16 feet long. Males are usually considerably longer than females. That length is made up of bony-plated skin, a long powerful tail, a crocodile’s signature slim snout, and up to 67 teeth embedded in jaws that are reportedly strong enough to rip through metal!

Crocodiles vs. Alligators: What’s The Difference?

Because both creatures come from the Crocodilia order, it’s easy to see why many people confuse the two animals but in fact, crocodiles and alligators are different species.

american crocodile vs american alligator

Alligators have more of a U-shaped snout.

© Proxmire

While there are many differences between the two animals, one of the easiest ways to tell them apart is by the shape of their snouts. Alligators have U-shaped snouts, while crocodiles have longer, skinnier, V-shaped snouts. More subtly are the animals’ feet. Alligators have webbed feet that allow for better swimming, while Crocs’ feet are not webbed but rather have a jagged edge. Alligators also have slightly more teeth (around 80!), while crocodiles have 66.

Where Exactly Does ‘Dominator’ Lurk?

Dominator lives in the Northern Territory in Australia. While the area is very large, it is very sparsely populated, with a population of less than 300,000 people.

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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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