Alligator Snapping Turtle

Macrochelys temminckiiAlligator Snapping Turtle Mouth

House Name: Kraken

Description: Alligator snapping turtles have a rough, brown or gray carapace (upper shell) with three high keels. An adult’s shell length may reach 31 inches, with a record weight of 251 lbs.

Range: Mississippi River valley from Kansas, Iowa, and Illinois to the Gulf and from southeastern Georgia and northern Forida to east Texas

Habitat: Alligator snapping turtles are mostly found in the deep water of rivers, lakes, and canals but are sometimes found in ponds or brackish water.

Diet:
Wild
: Fish, worms, crustaceans, insects, frogs, snakes, turtles, and aquatic plants
Zoo: turtle pellets, earthworms, crickets, minnows

Reproduction: Alligator snapping turtles breed from Feb. to May. Nesting takes place from Apr. to July  with females laying a single clutch of 8-52 eggs up to 50 meters from the water. These eggs hatch in about 100-140days.

Fun Fact: This turtle ambushes its prey by lying on the river bottom with its mouth open wiggling a pink, wormlike appendage on its tongue.  As fish enter the mouth to prey on the apparent worm, the turtle snaps its jaw shut with incredible force.