|Alligator Snapping Turtle|
|Binomial name||Macrochelys temminckii|
|Average Size||26 in|
|Average weight||175.0 lbs|
|IUCN status||IUCN 3.1|
|Distribution of species||Mississippi Region, USA|
The Alligator Snapping Turtle is a large chelonian native to the wetlands of the southern United States.
These turtles are very large. Average specimens can grow to 26 inches (shell length) and between 155 and 175 pounds. They have a spiked shell and a big head.
Alligator Snapping Turtles are carnivorous, feeding on almost anything they can get their mouth around. Their natural diet consists of fish, underwater invertebrates, and amphibians, although adults have been known to eat snakes, other turtles, and even small alligators. They catch this prey by wiggling its worm-shaped tongue around, which fools animals into thinking that it really is a tasty worm. When they get close enough, the turtle grabs its prey with amazing force and speed. This same force and speed means that the snapping turtle can easily snap off human fingers, giving it an infamous reputation in the South.