The Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) is one of the largest freshwater turtles in the world, the largest wild specimen on record was 96 kg (211 lbs)! These iconic turtles are easily identified by their signature beaks and large size. Despite its menacing appearance, this species is not aggressive, but will actively display a gaping mouth when threatened. You still wouldn’t want to mess with it though – the large, powerful jaws of this species are estimated to exert a bite force of up to 1000 PSI! This turtle also features a unique trait: to feed, they often sit motionless under water with their mouth agape, and using the worm-like appendage in their mouth as a lure, they attract unsuspecting prey to bite down on.
Turtle Survival Alliance North American Freshwater Turtle Research Group (TSA-NAFTRG) works towards the advancement of this vulnerable species. Conducting population surveys and monitoring in their home range in Texas, cataloging results, and advocating for their protection are some of the things we do for this American turtle.
This work is made possible with the support of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, TC Energy, SWCA Environmental Consultants, and Memorial Park Conservancy.