Can a human outrun a crocodile?

BBC Wildlife section editor Sarah McPherson answers your wild question. 

A
a
-
Nile crocodile, Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda

Nile crocodile, Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda © iStock 

 

The short answer is yes. “Most crocodiles can achieve 12–14kph for short periods,” says crocodile specialist Adam Britton, “which is slower than a fit human can run. So if you’re in reasonable shape, you could definitely outrun a croc.”

Crocodiles have three main types of locomotion: the belly-crawl, used over mud; the high walk, in which the legs push the body up off the ground; and the ‘gallop’, where they bound like a rabbit. “Ancient croc-like creatures likely galloped after prey on land, but most modern crocodiles only gallop to escape danger,” says Adam, “taking prey by surprise launches from the water.”

 

Click here to read more of our Wildlife Q&As.

Do you have a wildlife question you’d like answered? Email your question to wildquestions@immediate.co.uk or post it to Q&A, BBC Wildlife Magazine, Immediate Media Company, 2nd Floor, Tower House, Fairfax Street, Bristol, BS1 3BN.

 

We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here