The sight of a snapping turtle is enough to give most people pause, given their reputation for being able to inflict damage with their powerful, snapping jaws.
Both species spend almost their entire lives in water, with females coming on land to build nests and lay eggs.
Are snapping turtles and alligator snapping turtles related?
The alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) is a species of turtle in the family Chelydridae. The species is native to freshwater habitats in the United States. It is often associated with, but not closely related to, the common snapping turtle, which is in the genus Chelydra. …
Which is bigger snapping turtle or alligator snapping turtle?
Alligator snapping turtles are also quite a bit bigger than common snapping turtles. In fact, they are the largest freshwater turtles in the world, National Geographic reports. Male alligator snapping turtles typically weigh about 175 pounds, although they can weigh as much as 220 pounds.
Although most folks are familiar with the Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina), few except experienced fisherman and river rats have encountered alligator snappers (Macrochelys spp.). By comparison, Common Snappers, although growing very large (up to 15 inches and 40 pounds) are nowhere near as big as larger gator snappers. They also lack the three prominent keels on the upper shell and have eyes positioned on the side of the head such that they are visible from above. The enormously-broad head of the alligator snapper comes with strongly hooked jaws and laterally-positioned eyes, which are not visible from above.
As you probably already know, there are two groups of turtles that belong to the superfamily Chelydroidea: common snapping turtles and alligator snapping turtles. Both groups have that distinct prehistoric look and feel to them and are quite often confused for each other. However, there are significant differences between the two which are easy to spot, even to an untrained eye.
The shell of the common snapper seems to be quite smooth, especially in larger individuals, while the alligator snapper’s shell has easily distinguishable individual scutes with a distinctly bumpy feel. One of the most distinctive features of the alligator snapping turtle is the fleshy lure located at the bottom of its mouth, easily spotted when the turtle opens its jaws.
With its jaws open the turtle fools fish into believing its lure is a live worm. Alligator snapping turtle – easily visible red fleshy worm-like lure in the mouth