11 Facts On How Long Do Crocodiles Live In Captivity?


11 Facts On How Long Do Crocodiles Live In Captivity?

Wondering how long crocodiles manage to live in captivity? Allow us to take you through some key facts.

In captivity, crocodiles may live anywhere between 75 to 100 years, whereas in the wild, their average lifespan is reduced to between 50 to 70 years. The smaller crocodile species have a lifespan of 30 to 40 years. On the contrary, their close counterpart, the alligator, can live up to 70 years in captivity and 30 to 50 years in the wild. 

Key Takeaways:

AspectCrocodile Lifespan
Average Lifespan in Captivity (All Crocs)75 to 100 years
Average Lifespan in the Wild (All Crocs)50 to 70 years
Smaller Crocodile Species Lifespan30 to 40 years
Alligator Lifespan in CaptivityUp to 70 years
Alligator Lifespan in the Wild30 to 50 years
Lifespan of Saltwater Crocodiles in CaptivityUp to 100 years
Saltwater Crocodile Lifespan in the WildUp to 75 years
Duration Saltwater Crocodiles Can Stay in SaltwaterAround 60 minutes
Crocodiles’ Ability to Live in FreshwaterYes, they inhabit freshwater regions
Freshwater Crocodile Lifespan in CaptivityUp to 70 years
Freshwater Crocodile Lifespan in the Wild50 to 60 years
Average Lifespan of Crocodiles (All Species)60 to 70 years (Saltwater crocs may reach 100 years)
Factors Contributing to Long Crocodile LifespanOxygen deprivation tolerance, unique metabolism, minimal aging, formidable predators
American Crocodile Lifespan50 to 70 years in the wild
Crocodile Lifespan in AustraliaUp to 70 years
Dwarf Crocodile Lifespan50 to 100 years (most live 40 to 75 years)

We are sure you have a lot of questions with regards to crocodiles, where they live, and their lifespan. Although it may not be possible to answer all your queries, let us together look at some of the most commonly asked questions.

Image Credits: “Crocodiles” by wwarby is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

How long do saltwater crocodiles live in captivity?

Curious to know how long saltwater crocodiles manage to live in captivity? Let us learn about this together.

On average, most saltwater crocodiles who live in captivity can live up to 100 years. This is because life in captivity ensures that they get all the requirements necessary for their survival and they remain protected from any external danger. On average, most saltwater crocodiles live between 65 to 75 years in the wild, and they happen to be the species that live the longest.

Apart from being the crocodile species that live the longest, saltwater crocodiles are also the largest. They can grow up to 21-23 feet tall and weigh around 2,200 to 2,900 lbs. In comparison to male crocodiles, the female ones are much smaller and, on average, grow up to 10 feet only.

Image Credits: “Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)” by berniedup is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

How long do saltwater crocodiles live?

Wondering how long saltwater crocodiles live in general? Hopefully, we can help you out by telling you more in this regard. 

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On average, saltwater crocodiles only live up to 70 years in the wild, and in captivity, they can live up to 100 years. This is because they have to fight a lot of external circumstances such as the weather, predators, and lack of food in the wild, whereas, in captivity, they are offered utmost protection and do not have to face threats like starvation. 

Although saltwater crocodiles live for long in captivity, they are not immortal creatures and often die due to external circumstances. However, these animals continue to grow in size until their death and often show no signs of wear and tear. We must also add here that crocodiles may die due to stress and loneliness in captivity as well. 

How long can saltwater crocodiles stay in saltwater?

Being semi-aquatic animals, crocodiles need to travel to the land surface for various purposes. But, how long can saltwater crocodiles stay in saltwater? Let us tell you about it. 

Saltwater crocodiles can stay in saltwater for around 60 minutes, and they do this by reducing their heart rate drastically to 2 or 3 beats per minute. As such, most saltwater crocodiles prefer staying in the water until they spot potential prey, and then they move stealthily and attack. They have special eyelids to protect their eyes underwater while also allowing them to see.

We must add here that crocodiles can float with their nostrils and eyes above the water surface and may largely go undetected. This is a huge advantage as it allows them to move toward their prey without being detected. 

Can crocodiles live in freshwater?

Image Credits: “File:Freshwater Crocodile at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.jpg” by Richard Fisher is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Are you curious to know whether crocodiles can live in freshwater? Together, we can delve further into this discussion. 

Yes, crocodiles can live in freshwater, and in fact, they occupy various freshwater regions such as lagoons, pools, rivers, swamps, and billabongs in different parts of the world. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that most freshwater areas in various parts of America, Australia, Asia, and other regions are inhabited by freshwater crocodiles. 

Freshwater crocodiles are primarily found in regions such as Queensland and Western Australia. Needless to say, freshwater crocodiles can occupy spaces that saltwater crocodiles cannot. Sometimes, heavy floods can wash away freshwater crocodiles, and in such cases, they may be spotted in areas where they are not commonly seen. 

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How long do freshwater crocodiles live in captivity?

Wondering how long freshwater crocodiles manage to live in captivity? Here are some interesting tidbits on this topic.

Freshwater crocodiles may live up to 70 years in captivity. It must be mentioned here that they naturally have a shorter lifespan than saltwater species, and this largely has to do with the fact that water in freshwater areas often tends to dry up. Often, freshwater crocodiles have also been spotted in brackish waters, having a salinity of up to 24%.

Broadly speaking, freshwater crocodiles are found in inland areas where saltwater crocodiles are barely found. Besides, they can also be found in coastal areas when there are no saltwater crocodiles around.

How long do freshwater crocodiles live?

We are sure you are curious to know how long freshwater crocodiles live. So, let us learn about it together.

On average, most freshwater crocodiles can live up to 50 to 60 years in the wild. They have a difficult life in the wild and often encounter freshwater bodies that dry up during winter. Freshwater crocodiles rely on a variety of vertebrates and invertebrates for their survival, including frogs, fishes, turtles, snakes, mammals, and birds. 

Freshwater crocodiles also prey on smaller hatchlings, and in captivity, they can be quite aggressive towards one another. In the wild, it is usually the largest male member of the species who dominates the other members and often asserts dominance by attacking or biting the tail of other smaller crocodiles.

How long do crocodiles live on average?

It is a well-known fact that crocodiles have a long lifespan. But, how long do they live on average? Let us find out.

On average, most crocodiles live for 60-70 years, with the saltwater crocodile having the longest lifespan (they may live up to 100 years) and growing up to be the largest (around 23 feet). On the other hand, the dwarf crocodile is said to have the shortest life expectancy, whereas the freshwater crocodile stands somewhere in between the two, with a life expectancy of 50 to 60 years in the wild.

Moving away from crocodiles, we have alligators who have a lifespan of 30 to 50 years, with the oldest alligator living up to 80 years of age. In captivity, alligators may live for slightly longer, but they do not live as long as crocodiles do. 

Why do crocodiles live so long?

Have you ever wondered why crocodiles manage to live for such a long time span? In this section, we will tell you all about this phenomenon.

One of the biggest contributing factors to the long life of crocodiles is their unique ability to survive oxygen deprivation. Besides, they have highly advanced metabolisms and can survive without food for up to a year, with their body fat providing the required nourishment for them. In addition, crocodiles do not age like other mammals, and they continue to grow bigger until their death. 

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Without any wear and tear, the chances of a crocodile having a longer lifespan increases. Besides being fierce predators, crocodiles do not come under attack by other animals often and can easily defeat and overpower any potential prey or predator. Thus, all these factors contribute to their long lifespan.

How long do American crocodiles live?

Image Credits: “American Crocodile” by btrentler is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Curious to know how long American crocodiles live? So are we! Let’s check out.

On average, American crocodiles live up to 50 to 70 years in the wild and occupy prominent rivers, brackish lakes, mangrove swamps, and lagoons of coastal regions such as Southern Florida. In addition to saltwater crocodiles, the American crocodile is one of the largest species growing up to 13.5 feet for males and 12.6 feet for females, and they continue to grow throughout their lifespan.

We must add here that the American crocodile is reclusive and shy and tends to be slightly less aggressive than most crocodiles. Often, they may be spotted in freshwater regions of Florida, but this is largely due to the area’s widespread canal system.

How long do crocodiles live in Australia?

Wondering how long Australian crocodiles live? Don’t worry! We have all the details on this topic.

On average, crocodiles can live up to 70 years in Australia. The climate of Australia is suitable for crocodiles to thrive in, and they have plenty of resources available to feed themselves in various Australian regions. The most common crocodile species found in Australia is the saltwater crocodile (also known as the estuarine crocodile), followed by freshwater crocodiles, which are becoming increasingly rare.

The largest crocodile caught in Australia was around 100 years old, and it was found in the region’s Northern Territory. 

How long do dwarf crocodiles live?

Image Credits: “dwarf crocodile Cleveland Zoo 5.4.19 DSC_0061” by lwolfartist is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Curious to know how long dwarf crocodiles manage to live? Let us tell you more in this regard. 

On average, dwarf crocodiles can live anywhere between 50 to 100 years, with most members of the species living anywhere between 40 to 75 years. This crocodile species grows merely up to 5 feet, and hence they derive their name, but despite their small size, these animals are quite aggressive. 

The population of dwarf crocodiles has reduced drastically over the year.


For crocodiles to live a long life, certain factors need to be in place. For one, they should be living in an environment that is conducive to their health and well-being, and this is becoming increasingly difficult with global warming. As such, crocodiles living in captivity have a better chance of living a long life than those left in the wild. 

In addition to this, loss of habitat is a real threat that most crocodiles face since frequent flooding leads to the displacement of sea animals, which form the primary source of nutrition for crocodiles. 

Lastly, a proper management plan needs to be put in place to ensure the conservation of crocodiles. They must be protected from hunters who seek out their hide for commercial gains.  

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