about alligator snapping turtles
snappers are the largest freshwater turtles in North America,
and typical adults weigh 35-150 pounds. Weights up to 316 pounds
have been reported, but have not been substantiated.
alligator snappers are considerably smaller than males and rarely
exceed 50 pounds.
alligator snapping turtle has three pronounced ridges, or keels,
on its carapace or shell. These keels, along with a strongly
hooked jaws and fleshy projections on the head, neck and limbs,
give the turtle a striking prehistoric appearance.
alligator snapper can live to a considerable age. A male alligator
snapping turtle at the Philadelphia Zoo lived for 70 years.
freshwater behemoths are found only in the southeastern United
States, in rivers that drain into the Gulf of Mexico.
snappers are some of the largest predators of the southeastern
rivers. Other large predators include the blue, channel and
flathead catfish; the American alligator; and the alligator
typical alligator snapping turtle diet includes a wide variety
of foods: fish, crayfish, mussels, crabs, clams, snails, snakes,
small alligators, other turtles, mammals and birds. The turtle
might also dine on tupelo and palmetto fruits, wild grapes and
turtles can detect the presence of alligator snapping turtles
by smell and will avoid areas occupied by the alligator snappers.