See the Massive Size of a Saltwater Crocodile that Encounters a Bull Shark

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Written by Chris Madden

Updated: November 10, 2023

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Saltwater crocodile in water
Willyam Bradberry/Shutterstock.com

Saltwater Croc Swims Directly Past a Big Bull Shark!

In the remarkable wildlife footage visible below, a massive saltwater crocodile gracefully maneuvers through shallow waters. It is captured from a mesmerizing bird’s-eye view by a high-flying drone. Effortlessly gliding along the sandy floor, the crocodile deftly propels itself forward. It uses its powerful tail and keeps its limbs snugly against its body to minimize friction.

Suddenly, the scene takes an electrifying turn as another colossal figure emerges from the depths – a big bull shark. It is swimming just a few feet away in the opposite direction. As the crocodile passes by, the shark senses a potential threat and swiftly darts around to investigate. Is it driven by fear, hunger, or a desire for confrontation? The reason remains shrouded in mystery.

Undeterred by the shark’s sudden movement, the crocodile maintains its determined course. It remains undisturbed and focused on its destination. The tension in the encounter is palpable as the two giants navigate the waters side by side.

Crocodile in salt water

Saltwater crocodile underwater opens mouth and teeth in Chinchorro Banco Mexico, yellow salt water.

As the video reaches its climax, the crocodile’s powerful tail continues to propel it further away from the bull shark. The shark ultimately chooses to follow its own path, leaving the intriguing encounter behind. This extraordinary footage offers a rare glimpse into the fascinating world of these magnificent creatures. It leaves viewers in awe of the wonders that lie beneath the surface of our vast oceans.

How Often Do Saltwater Crocodiles and Sharks Encounter One Another?

Saltwater crocodiles frequently encounter sharks in their shared marine territories. This is exemplified by the near encounter captured in the riveting video above. These formidable reptiles gracefully navigate through shallow waters. They coexist with a diverse range of shark species, creating intriguing dynamics in the underwater realm.

In the coastal waters of Australia, saltwater crocodiles thrive. They may come across various shark species such as bull sharks, tiger sharks, and great white sharks. These interactions are more common in the northern regions of Australia. This includes estuaries, mangrove swamps, and river mouths. Both predators converge in pursuit of prey and territory.

Is This Normal Behavior?

Bull shark facts - mouth of a bull shark

Bull sharks are quick and fierce when they need to be.

While sharks are renowned hunters, saltwater crocodiles are no less formidable. They boast incredible strength and cunning. The outcome of such encounters depends on factors like size and hunger. In some cases, the saltwater crocodile may assert dominance, forcing the shark to yield. On other occasions, swift and agile sharks may escape unscathed, leaving the crocodile to resume its course.

While this particular occasion may be out of the ordinary for both species of marine animals to come so close to one another, the outcome is probably predictable. These two juggernauts will try to avoid a life-threatening battle if they can.

bull shark

Huge bull shark swims through shallow waters, displaying its well-evolved streamlined body.

These enthralling interactions highlight the intricacies of the marine ecosystem. They also showcase the relentless competition for survival among its inhabitants. The coastal waters off Australia’s coast and other areas witness this thrilling dance of power and prowess. It happens between saltwater crocodiles and sharks as their paths intersect.

How Big Is a Saltwater Crocodile?

Saltwater crocodile on shore

Saltwater crocodiles are about 17 feet long and weigh 1,000 pounds.

The biggest crocodile on Earth is the saltwater crocodile. They can be about 17 feet long and weigh 1,000 pounds on average, but some can grow even larger, reaching 23 feet and 2,200 pounds. The largest one ever recorded was found in Papua New Guinea in 1979, measuring 20 feet 4 inches in length. Accounting for shrinkage and a missing tail tip, it was estimated to have been 20 feet 8 inches.

What Do Saltwater Crocodiles Eat? Actually, What Do They Not Eat?

The saltwater crocodile is renowned as nature’s apex predator. It exhibits a diverse and opportunistic diet. These formidable reptiles indulge in a wide array of prey, making them one of the most fearsome carnivores in their habitat.

Their diet predominantly consists of fish, such as barramundi and mullet. They deftly catch them with a swift strike of their powerful jaws. As seen in the video below, saltwater crocodiles share a habitat with many large shark species. The ferocity and strength even allow them to consider some of these sharks as a meal!

Additionally, they skillfully ambush birds near the water’s edge, snatching them in a lightning-quick motion. Larger prey doesn’t escape their keen appetite. They target feral pigs, wallabies, and even other reptiles, displaying fearsome abilities to take down sizable game.

Natural ambush hunters, saltwater crocodiles will patiently wait for the opportune moment to strike. They often employ a stealthy approach to remain undetected by their unsuspecting victims. Their eating habits include tearing chunks of flesh from their prey. They are known for storing large amounts of food in their stomachs, enabling them to endure long periods between meals. Their varied diet and successful hunting techniques underscore their status as the dominant predator.

Saltwater Crocodile

A saltwater crocodile on the river bank shows off its impressive jaws and huge size.

Are Saltwater Crocodiles Dangerous to Humans?

Saltwater crocodiles are indeed highly dangerous to human beings due to their aggressive and predatory nature. They possess massive size and formidable jaws, delivering devastating attacks that pose a significant threat to human life. The most attacks occur in Northern Australia. Saltwater crocodiles are prevalent in the estuaries, rivers, and coastal seas of the area. These reptiles have earned a fearsome reputation as apex predators. Encounters with humans in their territories can lead to tragic consequences.

While it is crucial to recognize their potential danger, it’s also essential to note that saltwater crocodiles generally avoid human contact if left undisturbed. They prefer to keep to themselves and may only become aggressive when feeling threatened or provoked. As a result, respecting their natural habitat and following safety guidelines in crocodile-prone regions can help mitigate the risk of encounters and maintain a safer coexistence with these magnificent yet perilous creatures.


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About the Author

Chris is a lifelong animal lover with a passion for writing and a natural tendency to explore the internet in pursuit of new wildlife and nature facts! He is completing his Bachelors in Political Science at Concordia University in the Spring of 2024 after a science-centric high school career. Aside from studying and writing for A-Z Animals, he has a budding music career and enjoy spending time outside year-round, from swimming to skiing!

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