Alligator Snapping Turtle

on August 31, 2012

The alligator snapping turtle has a fascinating hunting technique.


Alligator Snapping Turtle

The alligator snapping turtle has a fascinating hunting technique. Since this creature eats primarily fish, it spends most of its time in the water. It waits motionless with its mouth open. It then moves its worm-like tongue to entice fish into its mouth. This hunting practice was not part of the original created kind, since all animals were originally vegetarian.


  • The alligator snapping turtle is usually brown, black, green, or gray in color with a distinct yellow pattern around its eyes.
  • The most distinguishing features of this turtle are the three large ridges that run from the front to the back of its shell.
  • The alligator snapping turtle is active both day and night.

Fun Facts

  • This turtle is the largest freshwater turtle in North America; the largest one on record weighed 236 lbs (107 kg).
  • Some people have called the alligator snapping turtle the dinosaur of the turtle world.
  • They must be handled with extreme care because of their powerful bite.

CLASS: Reptilia (reptiles)
ORDER: Testudines (tortoises and turtles)
FAMILY: Chelydridae (snapping turtles)
GENUS/SPECIES: Macrochelys temminckii

Size: Average 26 in (60 cm)
Weight: 155–175 lbs (70–79 kg)
Diet: Primarily fish, but will eat almost anything, including plants
Habitat: Typically in southeastern freshwater river systems of the United States

Aquarium Guide

With fun facts about more than 100 animals, this long-awaited Aquarium Guide includes beautiful pictures and reveals the incredible facts and design features that point to our amazing Creator. This handy size guide is excellent for school field trips and family trips to your favorite aquarium!

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