How far can/will an alligator/crocodile run?

Not how fast. How far?

I was watching a reptile presentation some years ago and the expert brought up the old canard about running serpentine to outrun a gator/croc because they can’t turn corners. He said, “Just run straight, because this is about as far as they are going to run on land,” and he indicated some short distance on the stage.

I bought it, that, despite clever editing on nature documentaries, they’re unable to run for long distances on land, but was curious as to any research as to exactly how far they can run before they’re tuckered out.

Alligators are fundamentally lazy and non-confrontational. The most I have ever seen one run is probably about 10 yards or less. Crocodiles are a lot more aggressive than alligators but I can’t speak to those.

Dont know that i would say lazy or non confrontational
being endothermic and having a metabolism suited to that, energy is a premium commodity
they are not going to waste precious energy on something that does not result in food or saving their life.
They also have a much more limited energy storage capacity for that kind of activity compared to you.

They can not simply manufacture energy seemingly instantly like you can.
But they are also remain extremely dormant for long periods of time and not even breathe, which would cause you to die.

Crocodilian Biology Database:

Don’t believe the lies. They can run for hundreds of miles. Once they lock on your scent, they become indefatigable foes, constantly seeking you out. Do not ever look them in the eyes. Once you do, you imprint as a sworn enemy on their tiny minds and they will not stop until they have hunted you down. No amount of distance will deter them. You may be in the shower, years removed from the encounter and you will suddenly hear the toilet flush and will see the shadow of your nemesis looming over you. In one well-documented case, a crocodile was literally killed and stuffed by a European gentleman who had taken to marauding in the Caribbean. The beast still had enough neural capacity despite being dead for quite some time to bide its time and when the opportunity presented itself, it managed to topple itself from the standing posture in which it was mounted and land its monstrous maw directly upon the venerable sea captain. When the dust had cleared, the captain was nowhere to be found and bystanders attest that a sound resembling a belch came from the Brobdingnagian creature’s throat…

Either that or just a couple of yards, but do you really want to take the gamble?

Baloney, that’s sharks, not crocs! I saw, “Jaws the Revenge”, so don’t try to fool me.

Oh, they do have giant crocs in Lake Placid, so you have to be careful there.

I have had some experience being chased by alligators on land. I think it has happened to me five or six times. In my experience, the only ones that do this are females who are guarding nests. They run about as fast as an average adult human, and they only run 10 to 20 yards from their nest. Their goal appears to be to chase the intruder away from the nest, not to catch and maim.

And just when you thought it was safe to not go back in the water … Australia and the near-Pacific had mekosuchine crocodilians, which were terrestrial, and one possibly arboreal. The biggest got to ~3 metres, and they may have been ambush predators.


This is really it. As I recall, Earl and I both inhabit the land of pain in the ass alligators - otherwise known as South Carolina - and see them frequently.

They’re ambush predators. They chase nothing if they can help it. Mostly they’re content with driving people away.

As well as ursine species with the same hunting habit, at least in Australia.

So if I’m understanding correctly, I don’t have to outrun you, I just have to outrun the alligator?

This thread’s title really needed this ending: “need answer fast”.

Thanks, all!

What a lovely place to live. Ever have any small mammals “disappear”? You know, like a dog or a cat? :eek:

That’s why I adore winter. It kills or drives away just about everything that creeps and crawls and slithers and bites. :slight_smile:

No: as an occasional visitor to Lake Placid I can assure you that they are NOT CROCS. They are giant tennis shoes.