If you are thinking Komodo dragons or giant boa constrictors then unfortunately you are wrong - at least when it comes to the worlds largest 'living' reptiles. It turns out that the salt water crocodile is the worlds largest living reptile.

Be that as it may, the largest size that saltwater crocodiles can reach is the subject of some considerable controversy.

The longest crocodile ever measured snout-to-tail and verified was the skin of a dead crocodile, which was 6.2 metres  long. As skins tend to shrink slightly after removal from the carcass, this crocodile's living length was estimated at 6.3 metres, and it could have weighed more than 1,000 kilograms.

However, complete remains (the skull of a crocodile shot in Orissa) have been claimed to come from a 7.6-metre crocodile, but subsequent examinations have suggested a length no greater than 7 metres. There have been numerous claims of saltwater crocodiles in the 9-metre range. In fact,a crocodile shot in the Bay of Bengal in 1840, reported a length of 10 metres!

A crocodile shot in Queensland in 1957 was reported to be 8.63 metres long, but no verified measurements were made and no remains of this crocodile exist.

With the recent restoration of salt water crocodile habitat and reduced poaching, it is now possible for saltwater crocodiles to grow past 7 metres once more.

The Guinness Book of Records has accepted a claim of a 7-metre, 2,000 kg male salt water crocodile living within Bhitarkanika Park in the state of Orissa, India, although, due to the difficulty of trapping and measuring a very large living crocodile, the accuracy of these dimensions has yet to be verified.

In September 2011 a 6.4 metres salt water crocodile was captured alive in the Philippines, making it one of the largest specimens ever reliably measured snout-to-tail. This specimen - nicknamed 'Lolong' and weighing roughly 1,075 kilograms - has a past as a possible man-eater and is being kept alive as an attraction in a local zoo.

So now you know!

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