Crocodile vs Lion (Strength, Size, Diet, Habitat)

Crocodiles and lions are often in combat against each other due to their similarity of habitats and interests.

A fight between a lion and a crocodile would be evenly matched; a pride of lions would usually beat a single crocodile on land, but a crocodile has a significant advantage over a lion in the water.

Because of their opportunistic nature, lions often come into conflict with crocodiles because they go after the same animal of prey. Since both animals prefer to live in slightly more tropical environments, fights between the two animals are not uncommon. It is hard to predict a clear winner between the two, though.

Crocodile vs Lion

Summary Table: Crocodile vs Lion

Strength (Bite Force)3700 PSI650 PSI
SizeUp to 20 feetUp to 4 feet (height)
Conservation StatusLow risk – endangeredVulnerable

Crocodile vs Lion – Comparison

Now, let’s compare the crocodile against the lion in some crucial categories.

1. Strength

A crocodile has a much stronger bite compared to a lion, but the lion can easily overpower a crocodile if the lion attacks the crocodile in pride. On the other hand, the crocodile is more powerful than a lion and has a stronger bite, and it would easily make a meal out of a lion if the fight happened in the water.

A fight between a crocodile and a lion would usually end in a stalemate. The main reason for that is that crocodiles are very good at defending themselves. Alligators and crocodiles have thick skins that act as an important part of their defense mechanism. It’s not likely that lions would be able to penetrate this skin with ease.

Secondly, crocodiles also have sharp teeth and very large mouths. Due to this, they would be able to react quickly to a lion’s attack and even catch a lion. Once that happens, it is usually game over for the lion.

Lions, on the other hand, are much stealthier and agile than crocodiles. They can ambush a crocodile with ease and bring it down, but the skin of the crocodile would be too much even for the lion. That said, the power of the lion is that they attack in groups, which makes their attacks almost unstoppable.

All that considered, fights between these two animals do happen, although they’re not common. Both would prefer to avoid each other because of the ferocity of both animals and their defense mechanisms. In general, we can say that crocodiles will beat lions in the water but on land, the fight would be evenly matched.

2. Size

The crocodile is much longer than a lion, as it can be up to 20 feet long. On the other hand, the lion is taller than a crocodile but shorter. Generally, crocodiles tend to be slightly larger than lions.

Male lions are larger than female lions. The length of a male lion is up to 8.3 feet, but female lions might only grow to up to 5.7 feet. The largest lions, however, can grow up to 11 feet and might weigh up to 600 pounds and potentially more. There is also great variety when it comes to different lion species.

Conversely, there is also great variety when it comes to different crocodile species. Saltwater crocodiles are the largest crocodile species. The largest specimens of this animal might grow to up to 20 feet in size, while the average size of a crocodile is between 9 and 13 feet.

With that in mind, crocodiles do tend to be slightly larger than lions in general, although the key difference is also the height of both of these two animals. Lions are taller than crocodiles, which gives them a slight advantage when they face up to each other.

Related Article: Do Lions Eat Crocodiles?

3. Diet

Both crocodiles and lions are carnivorous, although their diets vary slightly. Lions prefer to eat slightly larger animals, as they focus particularly on mammals. They will hunt hoofed animals like zebras, wildebeests, and antelopes. They might even hunt larger animals that are hurt or sick or carrions.

The diet of the crocodile can be varied, too. The diet will depend largely on when the crocodile lives. Most crocodiles will hunt smaller mammals and lizards, and they will also hunt fish since they are often in the water. Like lions, crocodiles are also highly opportunistic feeders.

For crocodiles and lions, the majority of the foods are meat-based. If these are kept in captivity such as in a zoo, they need a constant supply of high-quality meat food sources.

Sometimes, there is an overlap in the diets and interests of lions and crocodiles. For example, both of these two might fancy a mammal they both go after, which can create a conflict of interests and might result in a fight between the two animals.

4. Habitat

One of the main differences between lions and crocodiles is in their habitats. Sometimes, these two animals might share the same habitat, as crocodiles prefer a tropical habitat with plenty of water. There are also some African lions that live in the tropical rainforest, although that is pretty rare.

Lions prefer to live in savannas and slightly drier habitats, but they might also come across crocodiles in those types of habitats. Because they are ambushing predators, they prefer areas with a lot of bushes and trees that allow them to hide and rest when it is hot.

Crocodiles and alligators obviously need water sources to survive, as they often go into the water to cool down and wait for their prey. They are capable of living in the water, so they will prefer to live in such areas.

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Lions and crocodiles are two very different groups of animals, but they do have some things in common. They go after similar types of food and they’re both apex hunters, which might create a conflict of interests sometimes. In general, a crocodile would win against a lion in the water but when lions attack in groups, the crocodile would be helpless.

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