Alligator Snapping Turtle

Alligator Snapping Turtle

Macrochelys temmincki

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Southern Swamps

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The alligator snapping turtle is the largest freshwater turtle in North America. Primitive in appearance, it can be recognized by its large, heavy head, and the three rows of spiky ridges along its massive shell. It is sometimes confused with the common snapping turtle, which is smaller in size with a much smoother shell. Well-camouflaged under water, this algae-covered turtle is both a scavenger and an active hunter. Lying in wait with its mouth open, it uses a pink worm-like lure on its tongue to entice fish. Frogs, crayfish, snakes, mollusks, plant material, smaller turtles, and alligators are also eaten. An alligator snapping turtle is highly aquatic, emerging from water only for nesting or occasional basking.

Our Animal's Story

Goodyear came to ZooAmerica in 2013 from a zoo in Louisiana. He is believed to have hatched in the 1980's. Goodyear received his name from an ill-fated fishing trip where the fishermen caught only old, discarded tires and an alligator snapping turtle.

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