Killer Whale vs Saltwater Crocodile

What do you think would happen if these two animals met?

Following the popularity of our Great White Shark Vs Saltwater Crocodile video this match-up was highly requested.

The killer whale is one the biggest toothed whale species and possibly the most popular.

Also known as “orcas”, killer whales are impressively smart predators which feed on various prey types.

As killer whales can be held under human supervision and care, thus we carry out more extensive scientific research about them compared to some other whale types.

Saltwater Crocs are also the biggest existing reptiles in the world.

Their length can reach up to 23 feet! These gigantic animals are also known by different names such as saltwater crocodiles, salties, marine crocodiles, Indo-Pacific crocodiles and estuarine crocodiles.

Their Size & Description

Orcas are noticeably marked with a black back and contrasting white chest and sides.

They also bear a white spot above and behind their eyes.

Orcas have a very bulky build and a large dorsal fin with a grayish-black at the fin’s edge that resembles a saddle.

Male orcas’ length ranges from 19 to 26 feet (6-8m) and their weight reaches up to 6 tonnes.

Female orcas are smaller in size, growing 5 to 7 meters (16 – 23 feet), and having a weight of about 5 tonnes.

The orcas’ big size and strength make them the speediest sea mammals, often hitting speeds of 56 kilometers per hour.

Unlike their dolphin relatives, their ventral fins are large and circular and used mainly for paddling.

Measuring around 6 feet (1.8 meters), the tail fin of the male is more than 2X the size of the female’s and has a more triangular and elongated shape, whereas the pelvic fin on the female is shorter and more rounded.

Marine crocodiles are the biggest reptilians alive to this day. Adult males, in particular, reach up to 19-22 feet (6 to 7 meters) in size and their weight can sometimes exceed 2000 Pounds or 900 kilograms.

Their female counterparts are much smaller in size and they do not typically surpass 3 meters.

Adolescent saltwater crocodiles are pale yellow with black streaks and spots throughout their bodies and tail.

This colored pattern lasts for many years until the crocodile reaches maturity.

As adults, crocodiles bear a much darker coloration contacted by gray and lighter tan patches.

Their frontal surface is yellowish-white color-wise.

Their tail is also grayish with dark stripes. Marine crocodiles have a densely set haw line that encloses up to 68 teeth.

What is the natural habitat of the two species?

Killer whales are the most widespread mammals after humans.

They reside in the seas and oceans near coastal countries.

One of their biggest strengths is that they are very adaptable, capable of adapting well to any climate.

For instance, they can be found in the warm salt waters surrounding the equator or the ice-cold waters of the N. and S. Pole areas.

These mammals are rarely found in one area for long as they like to swim long distances, sometimes crossing seas or oceans.

One relevant study has found a group of orcas swimming from the cool waters of Alaska to the heated waters of the Californian central coast.

The range of distribution of saltwater crocodiles extends to a wide territory.

They inhabit the island of Indonesia, New Guinea, Northern Australian coasts, Sri Lanka and Eastern India. Crocodile populations are also found in waterways across Southeast Asia and central Vietnam.

You can also see the Salties in the Philippines, Vanuatu, Borneo, and the Solomon Islands.

During the hot and dry season, saltwater crocodiles are often found downstream at rivers, sometimes residing in the open sea.

Once the wet season approaches, they migrate to freshwater areas, residing in rivers and swamps.

What Do They Eat?

Killer whales are highly successful super predators.

They feed on a wide range of prey such as sea lions, seals, smaller whales, fish, sharks, octopus, sea turtles, otters, river otters and other sea mammals.

They devour their prey whole but they sometimes cut up larger prey before eating it.

Killer whales prefer to hunt in groups and use orchestrated social patterns and signaling to hunt prey that exceeds their size.

Sea crocodiles are also meat-eaters but their diet varies based on their age.

Young crocodiles mainly eat smaller animals such as insects, frogs, crabs, shellfish and small reptiles.

Adult crocodiles feed on larger animals with a strong preference for snakes, turtles, crabs, birds, monkeys and buffaloes.

What is Their Behavior?

Killer whales are renowned for their social skills and their complex social behavior.

They tend to travel in pods of up to 50 whales. Some reports also reveal that their number can sometimes exceed one hundred per group.

Killer whales are often a part of their maternal group and younger whales are always part of their motherly group.

Individual whales swim within a 100-meter range from each other and synchronize their activities.

They may also share their food and rarely leave the group for more than a few hours.

Killer whales guide pod members through initiation. The older and more experienced whales teach their younger ones hunting and parenting by example.
The saltwater crocodiles are considered one of the smartest and most intellectual of all reptile species.

They use their barks to communicate with each other.

The “salties” also spare most of their time regulating their system’s temperature.

Males also share their territory with the opposite sex but do not let other males come close.

Females are also territorial and will not hesitate to defend their nests from other crocodiles and anything else that approaches.

Now, going back to our hot question: who would win the battle? The infamous killer whale or the saltwater crocodile?

Both species are strong and skilled enough to kill a white shark.

There are no reports of these coming together and it’s highly unlikely this will happen as they live in different settings.

One thing we can tell for sure is that crocodiles are highly unlikely to start a fight as they typically attack smaller types of prey they can handle.

A crocodile would probably strike in vengeance if a killer whale attacked the crocodile for prey.

We know already that orcas can kill great white sharks with ease.

One killer whale can strike the belly of a shark so brutally that it paralyzes it instantly. Once the shark is immobilized, its liver especially becomes an instant plate for the group of orcas.

However, unlike crocodiles who tend to move and reside in shallower salt waters, orcas can dive much deeper as the ocean is their home–thus the fate of the crocodile might likely be the same.

In a potential fight between these two, crocodiles will not be able to open up their jaws wide enough to grab and tear an orca’s head. The only thing they can do is to bite their fins off or disembowel their sides.

But, the odds of winning are favoring Orca as it can move and fight brutally in virtually any water depth.

Provided that the water is at waist-level, the killer whale can move swiftly through the water and its build is just too large for the crocodile to strike.

Since one killer whale alone can easily attack and feast on great white sharks and big sea mammals, we bet it won’t struggle much to defeat the saltwater crocodile. Even if the crocodile is just as smart as the orca and has a tougher exterior to tear apart.

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