Alligator Snapping Turtle
Bill Boesenberg with “Guillitine,” an Alligator Snapping Turtle he had for 12 years. Though an impressive animal and never a calm one, it could be handled very safely by someone who knows how, like Bill.—(Photo maybe used without permission. Please credit Snakes-N-Scales and link back to this page. TX)
Considered an endangered species in many areas, it is now believed that the Alligator Snapping Turtle maybe 3 different species!
The Alligator Snapping Turtle can be extremely aggressive, but only for food and self defense. They are not attackers of people or pets.
They lure turtles and fish into their mouths through the use of a “finger-like” boney portion of their tongue, which wiggles like a worm. The unsuspecting fish swims into the cave to catch the worm, only to see, too late, it’s no cave and no worm. SNAP!
Once killed by the hundreds for meat and an imagined sense of revenge. The Alligator Snapping Turtle is endangered nearly everywhere it still survives.
Though it looks like a monster these amazing turtles are only dangerous to the fish and turtles that share it’s lake. It hunts by use of a lure on it’s tongue, which looks like a red worm. The prey see food hiding in a cave and in they go, never to return!
This demonstrates the proper way to handle a 40 pound Alligator Snapping Turtle. Never lift any turtle by it’s tail! You can sever the nerves for the bladder, condemning it to a long and painful death.
This illustration shows how vulnerable they are from below. Many think that turtles simply hide in their shells and all is well. Not so, these turtles must defend themselves from being flipped over where they are nearly defenseless.
That maw of a mouth can break other turtles shells into bits. In 2013 it was shown that 80% of what these turtles consume is other turtles.
Bill, early in his career, with Guillotine. Not the easiest travelling partner!
Even the babes mean business!
Author Bill Boesenberg