Alligator Snapping Turtle Facts for Kids

Alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) is one of the world’s heaviest turtles to live in fresh water. It has very powerful jaws and a flexible neck. On its thick upper shell, there are roughly raised ridges just like an alligator’s skin which is why it is named as such. It has a large head and stout body. Its carapace has brownish, black or greenish-gray background. The yellow streaks circle its eyes and the eyes are supported by chubby eyelashes.

On average, alligator snapping turtles grow from a length of 35 to 80.5 centimeters and weigh around 19 to 176 pounds.

Alligator snapping turtles can live as long as 200 years. However, this is the maximum age and the normal age range falls between 80 to 120 years.

These turtles mature at the age of about 12 years. Mating season occurs in early spring.

Female turtles lay a clutch size of 10 to 50 eggs. It takes about 100 to 140 days for the eggs to hatch

These turtles occupy the coasts of southeastern part of U.S.A. They are located from Northwest Florida to East Texas; and Missouri, Illinois and all the way up to Tennessee.

These turtles are carnivorous creatures. They are opportunistic feeders and eat whatever is available. They readily feed on dead fish, snakes, aquatic plants and birds, carrions, worms, mollusks and crayfish. Occasionally, they may also eat aquatic rodents and other mammals.

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