Wednesday, 18 April 2012

...There's Such a Thing as an Alligator Snapping Turtle.

I came across this animal after reading an article from National Geographic. The author was just on a hike by himself and had a seat next to a lake. He felt something graze across his boot and this turtle had popped out of the water to have a look at him. The hiker then took his time to slowly back away from the turtle for fear of its ferocious bite.

Away, vile reptiles!!
Mr. Macrochelys temminckii is the largest North American fresh water turtle and is found mostly in the southern USA. Mt is a frequent victim of the black market exotic pet trade, which is having an effect on animal populations more than most people realize. The Japanese are crazy for it, not only as a pet but a culinary delight as well. There's an unverified account of a 400 lb turtle found back in 1937 but the biggest known (for sure) is about 250 lbs. Most go about 2 feet in length and weigh 175 lbs. So for the hiker it must have been a shock to see one with its front feet on your boot. Their bite however only measures the same as a human (well below a number of turtle species), but that can pack a serious punch.
Say hello to my little friend.
Their hunting techniques are interesting to note as well. The inside of their mouth is camouflaged and its tongue has an extra appendage on it that mimics a worm. It sits motionless on the lake bottom with its mouth open and tongue out luring minnows. They are carnivores and eat most types of meat including chicken or pork. There are also cases of them eating other turtles and small alligators but this all happened when confined with these other animals.
Say ahhhhhh
 And that is what I learnded today.

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