Habitat & Range
Alligator snapping turtles live in deep waters of large muddy rivers and associated major tributaries as well as lakes, canals, swamps, ponds and bayous.
This species occupies all river systems that drain into the Gulf of Mexico including the Mississippi up to Kansas, Iowa and Illinois. They are also found from northern Florida to southern Georgia along the Gulf coast states to eastern Texas.
Alligator Snapping Turtle
These turtles use chemosensory cues to locate prey. Water drawn in and out of the mouth provides chemical clues given off by potential prey nearby. Using this sensory system, alligator snapping turtles are able to locate prey like mud turtles that have buried themselves in the mud at the bottom of the river.
IUCN Status: Vulnerable
Alligator snapping turtles are vulnerable due to loss of habitat, pollution and pesticides as well as fishing and trapping these animals for a food source. Much of their natural habitat has been drained and replaced by crops. Pollution and pesticides are a continual threat to their aquatic habitat and damming and rerouting of rivers and other waterways are altering their breeding grounds.
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