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What's the World's Largest Crocodile?
This is not the world
Credit: Ruth Elsey / Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Get ready for some nightmares. The world’s largest crocodile was caught this year, at a whopping 20.24 feet, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Lolong, as he’s known, is a saltwater crocodile caught in the Bunawan province of the Philippines.

It took three weeks to hunt down this biggest known crocodile and about 100 people to take him out of the water. The monster croc, which twice broke free of his ropes, had to be rolled on a cart to a bridge weighing station to determine his reptilian bulk: 2,370 pounds.

Lolong, estimated to be 50 years old, is a major-crimes suspect in two disappearances. He could be linked to a young girl's death in early March 2009, and later the disappearance of a fisherman close to Bunawan Village. In the examination of the stomach contents after his capture, remnants of water buffaloes reported missing before Lolong's capture were found, but no human remains. [Images: Alligators vs. Crocodiles]

Crocs should be more afraid of humans than humans are of them. Saltwater crocodiles have been deemed endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. They live in salty marsh areas near rivers, and are the largest living reptiles on earth.

Lolong may not have been the biggest of the bunch – villagers who carefully captured him said they saw another, even bigger, crocodile in the marshy waters around their home. Other remains found, including skeletal remains, have suggested that crocs can be up to 27 feet long – bigger than many powerboats.

Saltwater crocodiles are not picky eaters and may gobble up anything that comes into their range, from monkeys and domestic livestock to humans and even sharks – how’s that for an apex predator? There are some animals they haven’t been known to kill, including elephants and rhinoceroses. Crocs mainly kill with the incredible snapping force of their jaws, closing on a victim. They then shake their heads violently to snap the necks of the unfortunate. One study estimates that 20 to 30 humans are attacked by crocodiles each year.

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