Great White Shark vs. Crocodile: Who Would Win?

There’s no contest when it comes to a crocodile versus great white shark battle; the shark would win every time. Continue reading to learn why.

Jul 8, 2024byDonna Hobson
great white shark vs crocodile who would win
Composed image of a great white shark and crocodile


Great white sharks and crocodiles are two of the most fearsome attackers in the world; both experienced apex predators in their own environments. And neither has changed much since the prehistoric era of the dinosaurs because their unique characteristics make them expert survivors.

But what if a saltwater croc came face-to-face with a great white shark? Let’s find out.


Statistics of Great White Sharks and Crocodiles 

great white shark with jaws open
Credit: Image by New York Post


Great White Shark


Max Length6.4 meters (21 feet)6.1 meters (20 feet)
Max Weight1,800kg (4,000 lbs)900kg (2,000 lbs)
Speed19.9 – 34.8 mph14.9 mph in water

7.5 – 8.7 mph on land

TeethUp to 300 teeth

4 – 6 inches long

66 teeth

4 inches long

Bite Power4,000 PSI3,700 PSI
HabitatCoastal and offshore waters

(USA, South Africa, Japan, Oceania, Chile, and the Mediterranean)

Mangrove swamps and river deltas (India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, Australia, and Vanuatu)
Predatory StyleOpportunistic and ambush predator

Usually attacks prey from below

Ambush predator

Waits in the water for prey to approach


Shark vs. Crocodile: Size and Weight

saltwater crocodile basking
Credit: Image from Yahoo


The size and weight of a great white shark and a saltwater crocodile can be remarkably similar. Still, on average, the shark is bigger, with a length of 15 to 16 feet and a weight between 1,146 and 1,698 pounds. In comparison, the average saltwater croc extends 14 – 16 feet in length and weighs around 992 pounds.

While the lengths are similar, the mass of the shark overpowers the crocodile. This is also highlighted by the largest recorded member of their species. The largest official saltwater crocodile on record is Lolong, who measured just over 20 feet and weighed 2,370 lbs. The largest great white on record is Deep Blue, who also measured 20 feet but had an estimated weight of 4,500 lbs.

Deep Blue was recorded in 2014 when she was around 50, but she would continue to grow for another 20-30 years, meaning that she is likely to be even bigger today. One of the reasons for the magnitude of a great white is that they continue to grow throughout their lives (even after they reach maturity).

Advantage: Great White Shark


Shark vs. Crocodile: Speed and Movement

great white shark leaps from water
Credit: Image from Instagram


The saltwater crocodile is fast and can reach speeds of 14.9 mph in the water, but they are no match for the great white, whose perfectly adapted body glides through the water at up to 34.8 mph. While crocs rely on ambush tactics to secure their prey, the great white can use its speed to launch a surprise attack on its victim and attack the animals’ most vulnerable areas.

Both animals use their tails to increase speed. Still, the crocodile’s body isn’t as streamlined for the ocean, and it is more suited to moving through shallow, coastal waters, which would pose a significant disadvantage if these two faced each other. Great whites are fast marine animals, so the only way the two could ever meet would be in open coastal waters, making things more difficult for the saltwater croc.

Contrary to popular belief, crocodiles cannot run faster on land; at most, a belly run will achieve speeds of around 10.6 mph, but they’re more likely to travel about 7.5-8.7 mph.

Advantage: Great White Shark


Shark vs. Crocodile: Senses

saltwater crocodile in shallow water
Credit: Image by Brigitte Werner on Pixabay


Like the closely related alligator, crocodiles have amazing senses which have allowed them to survive since the time of the dinosaurs. These nocturnal hunters have well-developed senses of sound and vision to hunt for prey. A keen sense of smell helps them track on land, while their scales help detect vibrations around them, which alerts them to the presence of creatures in the water.

Sharks also have good night vision thanks to the tapetum lucidum – a reflective layer of cells behind the retina that improves vision in low-light conditions, such as those in the ocean’s depths. They possess acute hearing and are particularly drawn to the sounds emitted by wounded prey.


shark attacking rope
Credit: Image from Wikimedia Commons


But the shark also has some distinct advantages over the saltwater croc. Their sense of smell is unmatched, with up to two-thirds of their brain weight dedicated to this sense. They are so sensitive that they can smell one drop of blood within a million drops of water. Sharks also have an extra sense known as electroreception, which allows them to detect electrical fields. They can use Earth’s geomagnetic field to track their own location, or the small electrical fields generated by muscle contractions to locate their prey.

Crocodiles have impressive senses, but they are no match for the shark who would approach them at speed from the best angle of attack before the crocodile had a chance to prepare.

Advantage: Great White Shark


Shark vs. Crocodile: Who Wins?

great white shark swimming through ocean
Credit: Image from Hakai Magazine


Crocodiles may feed on smaller species of shark in the wild, but when it comes to a contest between the saltwater croc and a great white shark, we can see that there is no comparison.

For starters, if this fight ever took place, it would be in the shark’s natural environment, placing the fish at a significant advantage. And things would only get worse for the crocodile. These apex predators patiently wait to launch surprise attacks on passing prey. Still, the highly evolved senses of the shark mean it would know precisely where the croc was positioned and would, therefore, never “pass it by.”

Instead, the shark would launch a fast-paced attack on the vulnerable areas of the crocodile. The crocodile would put up an impressive fight, and its bite could do some severe damage. But, the great white would be too big for the croc to death roll, its signature defense mechanism.

After a battle, the great white would bite enough from the crocodile to overpower it, and the shark would emerge as the victor.

Donna Hobson
byDonna Hobson

Donna believes that keeping a pet is the key to a happy life. Over the years, many creatures have passed through her home - Sooty the cat, Millie the rabbit, Stuart (Little) the guinea pig, and Trixie the tortoise, alongside her pet goldfish, Zippy, who lived to the grand old age of 24 years! She currently resides with her black kitten Jinx and an aquarium full of fish and snails to entrance them both. When she is not looking after her pets, Donna enjoys researching and writing the answers to all your pet-related wonders.