Alligator snapping turtle

Largest freshwater turtle in North America

Fish and Wildlife Service

They have very large heads and powerful hooked beaks. To hunt, they use an appendage on their tongue that resembles a worm, helping the turtle to lure its prey. These turtles are huge and can weigh as much as 90 kilograms (200 pounds) with a carapace length of up to 80 centimeters (31 in).

The Alligator snapping turtle is also sometimes called the “dinosaur of the turtle world” because of its primitive look and dinosaur-like tail. Right now, they are in trouble. They suffer from habitat loss, water pollution, and over-harvesting and need our help to recover.


Population est.
United States

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No