Animal Facts
Common Name:
Alligator Snapping Turtle
Scientific Name:
Macrochelys temminckii
  • Live alone in swamps, canals, rivers, and lakes
  • Can stay underwater for 45 minutes before taking another breath
  • Use a worm-like projection on tongue to "fish" for prey
175 lb
2.5 ft
Life Span:
50 yrs
Gestation Period:
90 days
Number of Young:
25 eggs
  • Aquatic (freshwater)
Fun Facts:
  • Their life span may reach or exceed 100 years.
  • May remain so still underwater that algae grows on the shell.
  • Males are much larger than females and may be over three feet long and weigh more than 200 pounds.
  • Habitat Loss
  • Poaching / Over Consumption
  • Pollution
Endangered Status
Endangered Status
  • Extinct in Wild (EW)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Not Evaluated (NE)

Their Zoo habitat reflects a river bottom and lets the snapping turtle wait patiently on the bottom, luring a fish in close before striking.  Although the turtle will respond to keepers when cued to feed, it often simply sits and waits.