What Are the Predators for Snapping Turtles? | Sciencing
Learn about the alligator snapping turtle's habitat, diet, life history, and more. by the turtle's tongue will swim right into the range of the hungry predator's jaws. The alligator snapping turtle does eat some aquatic plants, but it's mostly a fooled by the turtle's tongue will swim right into range of the hungry predator's jaws. ABSTRACT—We found alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys cannibalism observed in a study of diet of adult alligator snapping turtles, these are the first reports of . relationship between size and predation risk is .. enough to be a predator of G. oculifera is the northern river otter (Lutra canadensis).
There are many different species of turtles, and we have different relationships with and recipes for each of them. That species is now federally threatened in Louisiana, Mississippi, and western Alabama, and is under protection everywhere it occurs.
Diamondback terrapins, the beautifully patterned turtles inhabiting brackish waters along the East Coast, were harvested so heavily for food that the U. Advertisement Any species could end up in soup or stew, but in this country turtle soup is synonymous with the alligator snapping turtle. Interestingly, you would never know of our long history with alligator snapping turtles from reading the Saveur magazine piece, because it never even mentioned the species.
Alligator snapping turtles are the largest freshwater turtle in North America. Formerly considered one species, there are now two or three different kinds of alligator snapping turtledepending on whom you ask.
They are quite impressive: Big old alligator snappers can reach well over pounds. In the s and s we almost wiped out alligator snapping turtles because so many adults were harvested for soup.
That river is the Flint River, which I lived next to from to Despite having lived near excellent alligator snapping turtle habitat, I have seen only a few of these animals in my life. It is hard to imagine the Flint River crawling with literally tons of giant alligator snapping turtles. Fortunately, alligator snapping turtles are now afforded some protection in every state in which they occur, and at this very moment the federal government is under pressure to protect them under the Endangered Species Act.
Even Louisiana, once the hub of the turtle soup industry, outlawed commercial collection of this species in Given that these animals received protection only recently, it will be a long time before populations rebound to their historic levels, if ever.
Turtle soup disappeared because people ate too many turtles.
In some restaurants you can still find traditional turtle soup that contains alligator snapping turtle, but these days the animals come from farms and were not collected from wild populations. Even if you can legally eat a snapping turtle, there's another good reason why you shouldn't. The turtle hunters from the Saveur article were in Virginia, and their quarry was a different kind of snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina.
This species is still relatively abundant in Virginia, but commercial collection is illegal.
- Why Don’t People Eat Turtle Soup Anymore? It’s Not a Mysterious Mystery.
Commercial collection of even relatively common turtle species has recently been outlawed throughout much the southeastern United States in response to an increasing demand from Asia. This alarming and increasing demand had started to put an unsustainable strain on our turtle populations.
Top 10 Weird Turtle Facts
But in some states, depending on the species, you can still take a couple for personal use. Mutagen-enhanced turtles are larger, tastier, and healthier than their non-ninja counterparts, but the scaremongers would have you believe that it's somehow wrong to eat them.
Join In Even if people are allowed to eat a few turtles every once in a while, there is another important reason why we may not want to: Remember how turtles can live for decades? Well, if that turtle is sitting in polluted water, it is going to be absorbing and consuming contaminants for many years. This unfortunate habit has made the snapping turtle Chelydra serpentina —the same species that features heavily in the Saveur article—a model organism for studying how pollutants persist in wetlands.
By day, they may try to attract fish and other prey by sitting quietly at the bottom of murky water and let their jaws hang open to reveal their tongues, which look like small, pink, worm-like lures in the back of their gray mouths, and lure the prey into striking distance. They will refuse to eat if exposed to extreme temperatures.
The female builds a nest and lays a clutch of 10—50 eggs  about two months later.
8. Alligator Snapping Turtles Lure Prey With Their Tongues | Call of the Wildman | Animal Planet
The sex of the young depends on the temperature at which the eggs are incubated. Nests are typically excavated at least 50 yards from the water's edge to prevent them from being flooded and drowned. Incubation takes from to days, and hatchlings emerge in the early fall. Due to their potential size and specific needs, they do not make particularly good pets for any but the most experienced aquatic turtle keepers.
Alligator snapping turtle
Hand feeding is dangerous. Extreme temperatures are known to affect the turtle's appetite and would result in the turtle refusing to feed until it has been remedied.
Due to their sheer size, handling adult specimens can pose significant problems. Small turtles can be held by the sides of the shell with relative safety, but large individuals must be held by grasping the turtle's shell just behind the head and in front of the tail. Despite their reputation, alligator snapping turtles are typically not prone to biting. However, if provoked they are quite capable of delivering a powerful bite which can easily amputate fingers or cause other significant injuries.
S states where alligator snapping turtles do not naturally occur such as California prohibit them from being kept as pets by residents. Invasive species[ edit ] Some alligator snapping turtles were released or escaped into waters of the Czech Republic and Germany. In Bavariaone turtle caused injury to a child, but was not caught. Both are member states of the EUwhich has laws against invasive species. It was captured and euthanized by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, which considers alligator snapping turtles to be an invasive species.