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Alligator Snapping Turtle

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The alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) is one of the largest freshwater turtles in the world. It is not closely related to, but is often associated with the common snapping turtle. They are the sole living member of the genus Macrochelys--while common snappers are in the genus Chelydra. The epithet temminckii is in honor of Dutch zoologist Coenraad Jacob Temminck.

The largest freshwater turtle in North America, the alligator snapper keeps to primarily southern U.S. waters. They are found in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.Typically only nesting females will venture onto open land.

Due to the exotic pet trade and other factors the species has found its way to Asia and Europe with a breeding/research center found in Japan.

The alligator snapping turtle is characterized by a large, heavy head, and a long, thick shell with three dorsal ridges of large scales (osteoderms) giving it a primitive appearance reminiscent of some of the plated dinosaurs. They can be immediately distinguished from the Common Snapping Turtle by the three distinct rows of spikes and raised plates on the carapace, whereas the common snapping turtle has a smoother carapace. They are a solid gray, brown, black, or olive-green in color, and often covered with algae. They have radiating yellow patterns around the eyes, serving to break up the outline of the eye and keep the turtle camouflaged. Their eyes are also surrounded by a star-shaped arrangement of fleshy filamentous.

Alligator Snapping Turtle
Alligator snapping turtle
Snaping turtle in Grass.

Range

Throughout north america in freash water lakes and streams.

Size

Weight: 175 lb (80 kg)

Length: 16-32 inches (40.4-80.8 cm).

Diet

Mostly fish but will eat anything they can catch.

Weapons and Traits

Powerful jaws, has a shell which it can retract back into, is a good swimmer and is good at camoflarge.

Battle Status

On hold will compete against the Reticulated Python.

Alligator snappers are opportunistic carnivores more often at a young age, but are also scavengers. Fishermen have glorified the species' ability to catch fish and to deplete fish populations. Minnows are usually the main source of meat for the species at a young age. They will eat almost anything they can catch.

Their natural diet consists primarily of fish and dead fish carcasses (usually thrown overboard by fishermen), invertebrates, carrion, and amphibians, but they are also known to eat snakes, and even other turtles. In captivity they may consume almost any kind of meat provided, including beef, chicken and pork although these are not always healthy on a day to day basis.They will refuse to eat if exposed to temperature extremes. Though not a primary food source for them, adult Alligator snappers have been known to kill and eat small alligators that they have been confined with, such as in a net, small bog, or poorly planned aquarium display.

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