I’m bringing you some of the most wonderful alligator snapping turtle facts including alligator snapping turtle diet, habitat, and reproduction. The alligator snapping turtle (Marochelys temminckii) is one of the largest freshwater turtles that are frequently associated with the common snapping turtle. These species are characterized by their prehistoric look that ultimately gives it a reputation as ‘dinosaur of the world of turtles’. They have powerful sharp jaws together with the grooved upper shell offering a I’m bringing you some of the most wonderful alligator snapping turtle facts including alligator snapping turtle diet, habitat, and reproduction. The alligator snapping turtle (Marochelys temminckii) is one of the largest freshwater turtles that are frequently associated with the common snapping turtle. These species are characterized by their prehistoric look that ultimatelyperfect camouflage to these species. The length of the tail is almost the same as that of shell. They have a distinctive way of attracting their prey. Alligator snapping turtles weigh around 155 – 175 pounds (70 – 80 kg). They spend their whole life underwater with only females are known to come on land for nesting. These types of turtles become motionless underwater so much so that algae begin to surface on their back making them almost disappear.
Amazing Alligator Snapping Turtle Facts
- The alligator snapping turtles are recognizable by their thick scaly skin together with the dorsal ridges thereby giving it a primitive look. Unlike common snapping turtles, alligator snapping turtles have prominent rows of spikes that are obvious on their carapace.
- These turtles are olive-green to gray and brown in color. The greenish color may be due to the algae which begin to appear on their shell.
- Alligator snapping turtle has large-sized eyes.
- The largest alligator snapping turtle was found in Chicago in 1999, averaging 113 kg (250 lb) but it shortly died after being sent to the Tennessee State as a part of the breeding loan. According to an unverified report, one of the specimens weighing almost 183 kg (400 lb) was found in Kansas back in 1937; however, there had been little evidence to support this argument. Another larger alligator snapping turtle was found in the Brookfield Zoo, measuring at 107 kg (240 lb).
- The alligator snapping attain the maturity age at a length of about 38 cm (15 inches) and weigh around 16 kg (35 lb).
- They employ a unique hunting technique in that they lie motionless in the water while opening their mouths. The tongue contains a vermiform that imitates the movements of a worm thereby attracting prey to the turtle’s mouth.
- Alligator snapping are also known to have the second largest bite force amongst all animals. They have a bite force of 158 ± 18 kilograms-force.
- These types of turtles generally do not make good pets. They are more likely to feed with live fish and vegetables but hand feeding should be avoided as they can remove your finger with an errant bite.
- The population of these turtles is facing drastic decline perhaps due to habitat destruction and excessive hunting. They are mainly hunted for their carapaces. In some countries, people make soup of these turtles.
What Do Alligator Snapping Turtles Eat | Alligator Snapping Turtle Facts
Alligator snapping turtles are carnivorous opportunistic feeders. These species primarily hunt fish especially minnows. They are scavengers and will prey on dead fish carrion, amphibians, snakes, young turtles, and invertebrates. While turtles consume invertebrates in the wild, they can also be fed with meat, pork or chicken in captivity. Alligator snapping turtles will not survive under extreme temperatures.
The alligator snapping turtles attain maturity at 12 years of age. The mating season begins in the early spring especially for those residing in the southern range. The clutch size comprises 10 – 50 eggs. The females build nests at least 50 yards from the water’s edge. The incubation period lasts for 100 – 140 days. The average lifespan of alligator snapping turtles is about 80 – 120 years; however, they are capable to survive up to 200 years. The lifespan in captivity is about 20 – 70 years.