Some of the largest animals to have ever lived were reptiles. Although the age of the dinosaurs, plesiosaurs and pterosaurs have gone, there are still some pretty big reptiles today. Listed below are the biggest reptiles from some of the most well-known taxonomical groups of reptiles.
The Largest Snake
Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus)
Whilst the reticulated python (Malayopython reticulatus) at 6.5 metres may be longer than the green anaconda (around 5 metres) the sheer weight of the anaconda makes it the largest snake in the world. The largest green anaconda on record was a female measuring 5.21 m long and weighing 97.5 kg!
Because of the remote location of their South American habitat and their semi-aquatic lifestyle, it’s quite difficult to survey green anacondas. It’s believed that there may be even larger specimens out there!
The Largest Lizard
Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis)
Only found on a few Indonesian islands the Komodo Dragon is a huge lizard from the monitor lizard family (Varanidae). Potentially reaching 90kg in weight and 2.5 metres in length, the Komodo dragon is a true giant.
These carnivorous lizards often eat carrion that they find but do have the ability to ambush and kill large prey such as wild pigs.
The Largest Tortoise
Galápagos tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra)
Weighing in at over 400kg giant tortoises are BIG! They can reach lengths of 1.8 metres as THE large herbivores on the Ecuadorian islands of Galápagos.
The Largest Turtle
Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)
The vast majority of the leatherback turtles’ life is spent in the ocean. As water lessens the pressure of gravity on an animals body, it has allowed the leatherback turtle to grow huge!
Leatherback turtles can grow to over 2 metres long as weigh as much as 700kg making them one of the largest reptiles on the planet!
The Largest Crocodilian
Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)
We’ve saved the biggest until last. The saltwater crocodile is the biggest reptile in the world!
These predatory, semi-aquatic reptiles are truly massive with the potential to weigh 1000kg and be 6 metres long.