Featured Turtle Pictures  -  August 9, 2006

Alligator Snapping Turtles (Macroclemys temminckii) nest mates

Straight Carapace Length (SCL) = 7.25"
Maximum Carapace Width (MCW) = 6"
Weight =  ca. 2 lbs
Gender = TYTT (Too Young To Tell)
Named: Alli and Gabe
   - from captive-bred clutch

   - acquired as hatchlings ca. Mar-05

   - safe handling technique:
     use gloved hands to improve grip and protect from claws
     grasp carapace (upper shell) firmly just forward of hind legs
     keep your face and everyone else's body parts well away from the turtle's head

   - never pick a live turtle up by the tail:
     unnecessary, and compromises control of animal and handler's safety
     likely to cause severe injury
     causes extreme stress and agitation


Things to remember:
fast-growing & powerful
adult size upwards of 150 lbs.
crankiness increases with size
can inflict severe tissue damage
require pond or large aquarium
will scrap with each other
will eat smaller turtles


Note worm-like tongue that serves as a lure to entice fish into the turtle's mouth.
Note the opening of the trachea, or windpipe, in the floor of the oral cavity.

RELEASE: Since Alligator Snappers are not known to be indigenous to Ohio County, Kentucky, these turtles will either remain in perpetual captivity for study and class-room presentations or will be relocated to a more traditional geographic setting for re-introduction.