Alligator Snapping Turtle

Alligator Snapping Turtle

Alligator Snapping Turtle
Macroclemys temminckii


CLASS
Reptilia
ORDER
Chelonia
FAMILY
Chelydridae

Range

Southeastern United States


Habitat

Prefer deep water of large rivers, canals, lakes, and swamps


Diet

Fish, frogs, snakes, snails, worms, clams, crawfish, turtles, and aquatic plants

Weight

Can reach over 200 lbs.

Length

Up to 2.5 ft. long

Incubation

3.5 - 4.5 months

Clutch

8 to 52 eggs

IUCN Status

Vulnerable

Facts

  • Alligator snapping turtles are so motionless under water that algae may cover their backs and make the turtles almost invisible to fish.
  • They lure fish into their mouth by wiggling their tongue, which has a special attachment shaped like a worm.
  • When a curious fish or other unwary prey tries to eat the decoy "worm," the turtle's massive jaws close on the prey.
  • They are the largest freshwater turtles in North America.
  • It can stay submerged for up to 50 minutes before it needs to come up to the surface to breathe.

 

Conservation

They suffer from habitat loss, water pollution, and over-harvesting. These turtles have been heavily trapped for meat for consumers both inside and outside the United States.

Vulnerable

Open Daily 9 am - 5 pm

Closed only Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Year's Day

Address

Alexandria Zoo
3016 Masonic Drive
Alexandria, LA 71301
P: (318) 441-6810

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