You’ve probably heard of the Komodo dragon, and undoubtedly you’re familiar with crocodiles. These are two of the largest and most powerful types of reptiles in the world. So, what would happen if they went up against each other in a fight? Keep reading as we compare and contrast the Komodo Dragon vs. the crocodile.
What You'll Learn Today
What is a Komodo Dragon?
Komodo dragons are the largest lizards in the world. They are native to the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia, where they are apex predators.
Not only are these lizards several feet long, but they are extremely heavy and have a powerful bite force. They can also run faster than you might expect.
Komodo dragons are aggressive hunters who tend to ambush their prey. They eat a variety of native birds and animals, but they are especially known for taking down wild boars.
What is a Crocodile?
Crocodiles are some of the largest living reptiles in the world. They are found in many tropical lowland areas throughout the world but are most common in Africa.
Crocodiles can grow up to 20 feet long and have rows of huge, powerful teeth. They can move quickly both on land and in water.
Known as ambush predators, they hunt by taking their prey by surprise. They eat a wide variety of animals, including large mammals such as deer, zebras, and wildebeests.
Komodo Dragon vs. Crocodile: Side By Side Comparison
As you can tell from the above descriptions, both Komodo dragons and crocodiles are intimidating predators. Let’s take a look at how they stack up against each other in categories such as bite force, size, speed, and physical features.
Komodo dragons have rows of sharp, serrated teeth to help them tear into their prey. They have a fairly strong bite force of roughly 300 to 600 PSI.
However, crocodiles have one of the most powerful bites of any animal in the world. Their bite force is as much as 3,700 PSI.
What’s more, their teeth are much bigger than those of Komodo dragons, growing up to 4 inches long. They also have more teeth on average than Komodo dragons do.
So, even though both reptiles have powerful bites, there is no comparison between the two of them. Crocodiles win in this category since they have a much stronger bite force and bite down with larger, sharper teeth.
Komodo dragons are quite large; they can grow up to 10 feet long from nose to tail. They pack a lot of muscle into this length; most Komodo dragons weigh between 150 and 300 pounds.
Again, though, crocodiles have Komodo dragons beat.
Crocodiles average anywhere between 10 and 15 feet, with some species growing up to 20 feet long. On the light end, they may weigh 300 pounds; on the heavy end, they can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds.
So, in the size category, we don’t even have a contest; even small crocodiles are at least as large as the largest Komodo dragons.
Komodo dragons can run quite fast for short bursts. They move in a sort of side-to-side crawling motion and can reach a top speed of around 13 miles per hour.
By contrast, crocodiles can nearly double the top speed of Komodo dragons, running as fast as 22 miles per hour. They move in a similar crawling motion but are simply more quick and agile than Komodo dragons.
What’s more, they can also swim fast. Komodo dragons can swim as well, but they do not move as fast as crocodiles, who can reach speeds of 15 miles per hour in the water.
Once again, crocodiles take the win in this category.
Komodo dragons have a number of physical characteristics to help keep them safe in a fight.
First, they have extremely tough, thick skin. This skin is reinforced with hard scales which serve as an extra layer of armor.
They also have a layer of ridged, bony scales along the tail. This tail is thick and powerful and often used as a weapon.
Finally, Komodo dragons are mildly venomous, and they carry a lot of bacteria in their saliva. Their venom and the bacteria enables them to inflict a lot of damage, as well as risk of infection, whenever they bite a victim.
Meanwhile, crocodiles have plenty of strong physical features of their own.
Their skin is extremely thick and durable, with bumpy scale-like outcroppings all over their backs. This makes them difficult to injure.
Though they don’t always use their tails as weapons, their tails give them added agility, especially in the water. In fact, it is due to the motion of their tails that they are able to swim so quickly.
We already discussed their teeth, but they are worth mentioning again here. Since a crocodile’s teeth are so large and strong, they can tear through even the strongest, toughest flesh.
Komodo dragons may have a slight advantage here due to their venom; however, it is unlikely their teeth would be able to penetrate a crocodile’s skin. On the other hand, a crocodile could not only penetrate a Komodo dragon’s thick skin and scales, but could inflict some serious damage as well.
We’ll call it a draw in this category.
Both Komodo dragons and crocodiles are ambush predators–they prefer to take their prey by surprise. However, they use slightly different methods when it comes to killing their prey.
Komodo dragons tend to rely on their large size to overpower prey. They may also bite them repeatedly in weak areas, causing them to bleed and eventually die of blood loss or envenomation.
Meanwhile, crocodiles can quickly kill prey by delivering lethal blows to vulnerable areas. They use their exceptional strength to drag prey animals into the water, drowning them as well as mortally wounding them.
They can also implement a move known as the death roll, where they twist their bodies around while holding their prey in their mouth to rip away large sections of flesh.
So, crocodiles can kill other animals pretty quickly; Komodo dragons must rely on additional factors such as blood loss and venom poisoning. Once more, crocodiles take the cake in this category.
Komodo Dragon vs. Crocodile: Who Would Win in a Fight?
Crocodiles and Komodo dragons will likely never go up against each other in the wild, as they live in different parts of the world. But, in a theoretical battle between these two predators, which one would come out on top?
The crocodile would easily win this contest.
Based on the factors discussed above, crocodiles outdo Komodo dragons in nearly every way. They are bigger, stronger, more aggressive, more powerful, and have a much greater bite force than Komodo dragons.
In a fight, the Komodo dragon might attempt to use its tail to keep the crocodile away from it; but the crocodile would be quicker and more agile, eventually wearing down the Komodo dragon and finding a way past the tail.
The crocodile would latch on to the Komodo dragon’s neck, penetrating the thick skin and delivering a mortal injury. The Komodo dragon would fight back and would provide quite a challenge for the crocodile; but the crocodile would ultimately prevail by performing a death roll or dragging the Komodo dragon into the water.
Meanwhile, even if the Komodo dragon managed to injure the crocodile, its teeth likely wouldn’t penetrate the crocodile’s tough hide. The Komodo dragon would not be able to finish the job, as even an injured crocodile would manage to deliver lethal blows to the Komodo dragon.
Check out this video to learn more about Komodo dragons and crocodiles, as well as what would happen if they were to fight each other.
Crocodiles are much bigger and more powerful than Komodo dragons. If these two predators were to battle each other, the Komodo dragon would give the crocodile one heck of a fight, but the croc would ultimately prevail.