Alligator snapping turtle

Sometimes mistaken as the common snapping turtle, the alligator snapping turtle is the largest freshwater snapping turtle. These dinosaur-like turtles have spiky shells and a primitive-like face.

Fast Facts

  • Unlike all other species of snapping turtle, this one has eyes on the sides of its head.
  • They can also actively search for prey by tasting chemicals in the water that are indicative of a particular species.
  • They can go 50 minutes before needing to surface for a gulp of air.

Scientific name

Macrochelys temminckii
Range  Southern United States
Conservation status Vulnerable
Diet Omnivore
Zoo location Off exhibit

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The Amarillo Zoo is located in Thompson Park. Take Hwy 287 North off of I-40, take the N. 24th Ave. exit and go West, turn right into Thompson Park and follow the signs to the Zoo parking lot.

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