Alligator Snapping Turtle

Macroclemys temmnicki

The alligator snapping turtle is the largest freshwater turtle in the world. It lies practically motionless on the bottom of a lake or river. A thick layer of algae grows on its shell to help it blend in with its habitat. Opening its mouth, it wiggles a pink worm-like tongue to lure in passing fish and—SNAP!—dinner is served.

More info

  • The alligator snapping turtle can stay underwater for 40 to 50 minutes before coming up for air.
  • With its ridged shell and huge size, the alligator snapping turtle is referred to as “the dinosaur of the turtle world”.

Fact File

Species @ Risk Image
lengthLength: 1.3 to 2.7 ft
weightWeight: More than 220 lbs
habitatHabitat: Wetlands, lakes, and rivers
dietDiet: Fish
exclamationRisk Status: Species at Risk (IUCN—Vulnerable)


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