Watch: Shark Hunts Massive Saltwater Crocodile in Australia

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Written by Katie Melynn Wood

Updated: November 9, 2023

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What would happen if a shark went up against a crocodile?

Thanks to video footage, we now have some idea of how these two apex predators would square up. A surfer in Australia’s Northern Territories saw the two animals. Drone footage from above captured the hunt as it intensified.

The video begins with the crocodile swimming near the surface of crystal-clear water. You can see the shark below. Its outline is clear. The shark circles the crocodile a few times. Both are swimming near large rocks by the coast. The crocodile doesn’t swim quickly and seems almost lazy as it moves its tail and body back and forth slowly.

On the other hand, the shark is a bit more active. It circles underneath the crocodile and eventually lines up behind the croc. At this point, the crocodile goes down into the water, and both animals speed up. It seems that the hunt is on!

Do Sharks Normally Eat Crocodiles?

Saltwater crocodile in water

It’s entirely possible that a hungry great white shark could go after a crocodile if other food sources are scarce.

Sharks have a diverse range of feeding habits and diets that vary depending on the species, their location, as well as availability of prey. Most sharks are carnivorous predators who feed on fish, squid, and other marine animals. However, some species, such as the whale shark, feed primarily on plankton by filter-feeding through their gills.

Sharks also have an impressive ability to adjust their diet when certain food sources become scarce; they will eat whatever is available in order to survive. This includes items such as coal, oil, trash, or clothing which can make their way into bodies of water. If a crocodile happened to swim past, and it was small enough, a shark certainly may try to eat it.

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Great white shark silhouette

Sharks have been known to target crocodiles, but footage of these attacks is rare.

The shark gets closer and closer. It is only a foot or two away from the crocodile’s long tail before it abruptly turns away. Why did it call off the hunt? The crocodile went for a rock and climbed up. The shark simply couldn’t follow it.

The shark swims off, possibly to find another food source. There aren’t a lot of fish or other marine life in the waters shown in the video but the shark probably knows where it can find a tasty snack.

The crocodile continues to climb and swim among the rocks. Still underwater, the crocodile uses the rocks to stay protected and out of reach. It eventually lifts its snout out of the water briefly and then returns to swimming. Once it is sure that the shark has left the area, the crocodile returns to deeper water and goes on its way.

Shark vs. Crocodile: Who Would Win in a Fight?

Great white sharks are the ocean's apex predators.

Great white sharks are the ocean’s apex predators and have a huge row of strong and sharp teeth.

The great white shark is a powerful predator, with an impressive set of teeth and the strength to take on even the largest prey. Meanwhile, saltwater crocodiles are no less formidable foes; they are incredibly strong and have been known to crush turtles in their jaws.

However, when it comes to a fight between these two deadly creatures, the great white shark has one incredible advantage: speed. This gives them a huge edge when hunting or being hunted underwater. Not only would this animal likely spot its prey first, but its agility and acceleration also allow them to deliver an almost instantaneous attack that can be devastatingly effective.

The shark’s razor-sharp teeth give it the ability to tear through flesh quickly and easily – far faster than what any crocodile could muster up! So while both species are certainly dangerous adversaries when push comes to shove (or bite!), it’s clear who is King of the Sea is – the great white shark!

Is it Normal Behavior For a Shark to Chase a Crocodile?

It was found that tiger sharks were eating estuarine crocodiles in Australia.

Encounters between a shark and a crocodile may be rare, although it is likely, as they do inhabit some of the same areas in different parts of the world but they generally stay away from each other. While they are both apex predators and may often compete for the same prey, they are not considered adversaries and quite often are able to exist side-by-side in the same areas. Although it is believed that because of the differences in their habitats, this is why they rarely meet.

However, there are incidents involving sharks and crocodiles dating back centuries where the shark has reigned supreme. According to research done by James Nifong at Kansas State University, there are crocodile fossils showing predation by ancient sharks and literature touting tiger sharks eating estuarine crocodiles in Australia. This answers the question, yes, it just may be normal behavior for a shark to chase a crocodile.

How Large Are Adult Tiger Sharks Get?

Tiger sharks weigh an average of 850-1,400 pounds but can get as heavy as around 2,000 pounds.

Tiger sharks are one of the largest shark species and the average adult can grow between 11 to 15 feet, although they can grow to 18 feet in length. They weigh an average of 850-1,400 pounds but can get as heavy as around 2,000 pounds.

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About the Author

Katie is a freelance writer and teaching artist specializing in home, lifestyle, and family topics. Her work has appeared in At Ease Magazine, PEOPLE, and The Spruce, among others. When she is not writing, Katie teaches creative writing with the Apex Arts Magnet Program in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. You can follow Katie @katiemelynnwriter.

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