Alligator snapping turtle
By: Nick Williamson
The head of the Alligator snapping turtle is very large and heavy. They have three dorsal ridges on their large scales. Many believe that this is a prehistoric look that resembles that of dinosaurs. They are often confused with the Common Snapping Turtle but you can tell them apart based on their shell. They can be brown, gray, or olive. They are often found covered with algae. They have yellow colors around the eyes that help them to continue their camouflaged look. That combined with the algae allows them to be well hidden even when they are in plain sight. The Alligator snapper is found in many locations around the United States. The common areas are Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri, and Texas. They are also known to live in Asia and Europe but that is due to humans transporting them for the exotic pet trade. In Japan there is a huge center where this species of Turtle is breed and research takes place. The males are larger than females with a weight of about 175 pounds. They can range in length from 16 to 32 inches with the males being longer. Their overall size often depends on location and the availability of food. Fish make up most of the diet for the Alligator Snapping Turtle. The inside of the tongue offers an appendage that is very similar to that of a worm. The fish are drawn to it thinking they are getting a meal but they actually about to become a meal. They are both carnivores and scavengers though so they will take just about any opportunity that they can get to feed. The Alligator Snapping Turtle is being hunted and killed at an alarming rate in Louisiana. Although the animal is considered endangered in many states, Louisiana still allows them to be hunted and killed. Protections are to be put in place to ensure this animal survives.
Williamson, Nick. "Alligator Snapping Turtle." Animal Facts and Information. 10 Dec. 2015. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.