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20220217 Virtual Outreach 07

Alligator Snapping Turtle

Reptiles / Macrochelys temminckii
Length "
Weight Up to 250 lbs
Conservation Status

Alligator snapping turtles live in rivers whose water drains into the Gulf of Mexico. The adults hunt in the deep water of rivers, lakes, swamps, ponds and bayous where plants and algae enhance their camouflage. Best known for an adaptation that allows it to lure fish into its mouth, the alligator snapper is a bottom dweller that surfaces to breathe. To catch a fish, the turtle will sit very still in the depths of a pond or river for up to 50 minutes. There it waits patiently, holding its mouth open and wiggling the small, pink, worm-like appendage on its tongue to lure passing fish. And if a fish sees the fake worm and swims in to eat it...Wham! The fish becomes the dinner instead of the diner!

Gulf of Mexico drainage basins of the southeastern United States
Large rivers, bayous and lakes
Freshwater mollusks, fish, turtles, small vertebrates and carrion

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