Alligator Snapping Turtle(Macrochelys temminckii)

  • Found in the Southeastern United States.
  • One of the largest freshwater turtle, growing up to 32 inches in length and over 250 pounds. 
  • Feeds on fish, carrion, invertebrates, amphibians, and rarely other reptiles. It primarily hunts by sitting perfectly still underwater and lures prey into its camouflaged mouth using a small, worm-shaped lure on the tip of its tongue. 
  • Females build nests inland (to avoid floods) where they lay up to fifty eggs. The gender of the babies is determined by the temperature at which they incubate, like many other reptiles. 
  • Must be handled with care, as they have a strong bite force (though not as strong as is popularly believed) and a very sharp beak. Their bite is capable of snapping off fingers. 
  • Currently listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN due to habitat loss and hunting for their shells and meat. 
  • Extra Fact: Alligator Snapping Turtles can be incredibly long-lived, with beliefs that older individuals can tip the scales at 200 years, though shorter lifespans are much more common.