Photograph from AP
Published July 2, 2012
Lolong has hit the big time—at 20.24 feet (6.17 meters) long, the saltwater crocodile is officially the largest in captivity, the Guinness World Records announced recently.
The Guinness listing is based on data by experts including crocodile zoologist Adam Britton, who measured the beast in his home, the new Bunawan Eco-Park and Research Centre. (Read more about Lolong's Guinness World Record listing.)
Initially wary of claims of record-breaking size, Britton blogged his congratulations to Lolong "for amazing the skeptic in me."
"I didn't expect to ever see a crocodile greater than 20 feet long in my lifetime, not an experience I will forget easily," wrote Britton, senior partner of the Australia-based crocodilian research and consulting group Big Gecko. (See pictures of alligators and crocodiles.)
The previous captive record-holder was a 17.97-foot-long (5.48-meter-long) Australian-caught saltwater crocodile.
What's more, Britton noted, the 2,370-pound (1,075-kilogram) Lolong may have a sizable impact on crocodile conservation in the Philippines.
For instance, the Philippine Senate recently introduced a resolution to strengthen laws protecting the saltwater crocodile and the Philippine crocodile, a species deemed critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
As Britton wrote on his blog, "this is excellent progress."
How to Feed Our Growing Planet
National Geographic explores how we can feed the growing population without overwhelming the planet in our food series.
The Innovators Project
After achieving nuclear fusion at age 14, Taylor, now 19, is working with subatomic particles for solutions to nuclear terrorism and cancer.
These embryonic fish are transparent, making it easy to watch their brain cells in action. by Virginia Hughes
Latest News Video
The nation's most complete Tyrannosaurus rex specimen is taking a 2,000-mile road trip from Montana to its new home in Washington, D.C.