Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys Temminckii)

Conservation status

IUCN: Red List: Vulnerable

Key Descriptions

Alligator Snapping Turtles are the dragons of the deep which originate from the south-eastern waters of the United States. It shares its name with the alligator due to the ferocious power in its beaklike jaws as well as its ridged spiky exterior which encompasses its entire carapace. Their dark solid appearance additionally lends itself to being a master of camouflage in the deep murky waters it resides in. It has a unique worm-like appendage in its tongue which draws curious fish looking for a quick meal only to be snapped by the jaws of this prehistoric dinosaur.


This turtle spends its time almost exclusively in river bottoms lying in wait for its prey. As the largest freshwater turtle in North America and one of the largest in the world, these snappers have established themselves as the apex predator of their eco systems.

Social Life

They are solitary creatures that show little to less parental care. While adult alligator snappers reside in rivers, swamps and canals, the hatchlings stay near small streams.The mating season for Alligator snapping turtles begins in early spring in the southern part of the continent like Florida and late spring in northern ends like Mississippi Valley. The species is polygynandrous which means both male and female snappers mate with more than one partner.

Fun Facts


Fish & other small aquatic animals

Key Information

Origin:North America
Size:Up to 31 inches
Weight:Up to 90kg
Lifespan:Up to 100 years


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