Alligator Snapping Turtle Skull measures 10.5 inches. The Alligator Snapping Turtle Skull is museum quality polyurethane cast. Made in the USA. California Academy of Sciences specimen. 2-part skull (separate cranium and jaw). Our precise skull can be used as a teaching tool, museum skull exhibit, home decor skull, or office decor skull.

The Alligator snapping turtle or Macrochelys temminckii is a species of turtle in the family Chelydridae. The species is native to freshwater habitats in the United States.

The alligator snapping turtle is characterized by a large, heavy head, and a long, thick shell with three dorsal ridges of large scales.

They have a spiked tail very similar to Stegosaurus. The Alligator snapping turtle or Macrochelys temminckii are a solid gray, brown, black, or olive-green in color, and often covered with algae.

Alligator snapping turtle or Macrochelys temminckii have radiating yellow patterns around their eyes, serving to break up the outline of the eyes to keep the turtle camouflaged. Their eyes are also surrounded by a star-shaped arrangement of fleshy, filamentous “eyelashes”.

The Alligator snapping turtle or Macrochelys temminckii is an opportunistic feeder that are almost entirely carnivorous.

Their natural diets consist primarily of fish and fish carcasses, molluscs, carrion, and amphibians, but they are also known to eat snakes, crayfish, worms, water birds, aquatic plants, other turtles and sometimes even small alligators. They are one of the heaviest freshwater turtles in the world.

The Alligator snapping turtle or Macrochelys temminckii most often hunts at night. By day, it may try to attract fish and other prey by sitting quietly at the bottom of murky water and letting its jaws hang open to reveal its tongue appendage, which looks like a small, pink, worm in the back of its gray mouth, and lure the prey into striking distance.

The vermiform tongue imitates the movements of a worm, luring prey to the turtle’s mouth. The mouth is then closed with tremendous speed and force, completing the ambush.

Although the turtle does not actively hunt its prey, it can detect chemosensory cues from prey, like the mud turtle in order to choose the location in which it is most likely to catch food.

Small fish, such as minnows, are often caught in this way by younger alligator snapping turtles, whereas adults must eat a greater quantity per day and must forage more actively.

Though not a regular food source for them, adult alligator snappers have even been known to kill and eat small American Alligators.

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Additional information

Weight 2 lbs
Dimensions 10.5 in
Alligator Snapping Turtle Facts

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Family: Chelydridae
Genus: Macrochelys
Species: M. temminckii
Binomial name: Macrochelys temminckii
Conservatoin status: Vulnerable