Pearson said the head was roughly the size of a basketball and his shell had a maximum length of 28 inches. "We had already caught 26 alligator snapping turtles that day," said researcher Luke Pearson. Biologist Todd Craighead said the alligator snapping turtle’s size is not even close to being a record: “Nothing uncommon. 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"That trap was completely still," Pearson said. One of them was 138 pounds. "We'd been on the boat 12 hours. It turns out a 65-pound alligator snapping turtle (yes, that’s a thing) was inexplicably roaming the streets of the Washington, DC, suburb. They don't rebound in 20 years. The alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) is a large freshwater turtle native to the United States.The species is named in honor of Dutch zoologist Coenraad Jacob Temminck. The name comes from the fact that the shell is very scaly like that of an Alligator. Macrochelys temminckii (Troost, in Harlan, 1835) The head of an Alligator Snapping Turtle specimen in Louisiana. Pearson, along with fellow USM graduate student Lucas Haralson, are researching freshwater turtle populations in Mississippi. Aside from their sheer size, they have powerful jaws, a sharply hooked beak, bear-like claws, and a long, powerful tail. It is not closely related to, but is often associated with the common snapping turtle.They are the sole living member of the genus Macrochelys--while common snappers are in the genus Chelydra.The epithet temminckii is in honor of Dutch zoologist Coenraad Jacob Temminck. Contact Brian Broom at 601-961-7225 or bbroom@gannett.com. Although uneasy about it, Conner decided to catch it. The largest freshwater turtle in the world. They can range in length from 16 to 32 inches with the males being longer. That brought a mixed reaction. "They're not deer. It has a spiked, dark-brown carapace. Please help support the work we do at the Clarion Ledger by subscribing. One of the largest turtles in the world that thrives in fresh water is the Alligator Snapping Turtle. The issue came up at a Labette County Commission meeting last month, when a photocopy of a newspaper story … It is found in southern and central regions and is a sedentary turtle with three prominent longitudinal ridges on the upper shell. These reptiles can grow to be two-and-a-half feet long and weigh more than 200 pounds! "Next year, they will determine if it needs to be listed as a threatened or endangered species.". The alligator snapping turtle is a species of turtle, oftentimes referred to as the largest freshwater turtle in the world. It is said that a 400-pound (180-kilogram) alligator snapping turtle was caught in Kansas in 1937, but there isn’t sufficient evidence to confirm the claim. They can hold their breath for approximately an hour. Researchers share alligator snapping turtle finds, 'I got a wicked awesome scar and a story to tell', Northern snakehead numbers growing in Mississippi. Fish and Wildlife Service," Pearson said. Phillips. "He's the biggest common snapping turtle you will ever see, by quite a bit," Korth said. "We pulled up one trap with four turtles in it. (260 kg), according to the San Diego Zoo. Now according to unverified reports the largest alligator snapping turtle ever caught was snagged on the Neosho River in Kansas in 1937. Because the Facebook photo shows the underside only, it’s possible we’re not looking at an alligator snapping turtle at all. "All of that is going to be put together and sent to the U.S. Researchers said the turtle is a new species, known formally as Macrochelys suwanniensis, that live in the Suwanee River. Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. Populations in other areas are on a slow road to recovery. The back of the shell is distinctly jagged and the top of the shell (carapace) has three rows of "spikes" or knobs running lengthwise along entire length o… Those they found last … Key Characters: Wormlike lure on tongue; three prominent keels on upper shell; extra set of marginals (= supramarginals) separates true marginals 4-7 from pleural scutes. "We had pulled up so many turtles that day and seven 100-pounders. Follow Clarion Ledger Outdoors on Facebook and @BrianBroom on Twitter. "It took four years to catch one that size. The alligator snapping turtle is one of the largest freshwater turtles in the world and the largest found in North America. When you're catching turtles literally as big as some adult humans, that's crazy.". The Fairfax County Police reported that … So, this is a very large turtle. Although the photo shows quite a mean little guy, the reports vary between 50 and 100 pounds. Alligator snapping turtles have long, narrow tongues equipped with an appendage that looks like a worm to attract prey. Its size and appearance give this creature a prehistoric likeness. M. temminckii is a solid gray, brown, black, or olive-… The alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) is one of the largest freshwater turtles in the world. Looking like an algae-covered boulder—adults can be more than a 2 feet long and weigh 175 pounds—this ambush hunter hides in plain sight of its prey. The largest alligator snapping turtle ever caught weighed many times more than the famous Facebook photo that has been spreading around recently. Bare-handed alligator snapping turtle catch. Caught by a fisherman on the Missouri River 25 years ago, Big … THE biggest ever snapping turtle weighing 100 pounds was caught last week by stunned wildlife conservationists in a Florida river. In a related report by The Inquisitr, the alligator snapping turtle photo shows a catfish angler holding a 100 pound specimen that he accidentally snagged with his reel while fishing at Lake Eufaula in Oklahoma. The alligator snapping turtle is the largest species of freshwater turtle. Four years of trapping produced only one alligator snapping turtle over 100 pounds until July 10. "I can't believe I caught a turtle almost 150 pounds," Pearson said. The turtle gets its common name from the ridges on its shell that resemble the rough skin of an alligator. All content © 2008 To put this in perspective, adults typically reach between 155 and 175 pounds, while a common snapping turtle usually only reaches around 30 pounds in the wild. He said some of the larger turtles recently captured, estimated to be between 50 and possibly 80 years old, were likely protected from harvest by the remoteness of the location where they were found. Now according to unverified reports the largest alligator snapping turtle ever caught was snagged on the Neosho River in Kansas in 1937. It was just completely still. With so many different types of turtle, there is no average size. "Most of them were adults. Pearson said his research, along with that in other states, could bring greater protection for the species. Often referred to as the "dinosaur of the turtle world," according to National Geographic, alligator snapping turtles are the largest freshwater turtles in North America. The alligator snapping turtle's defining characteristics are its large head, strong jaws and hooked beak. But let’s put it this way… the largest confirmed specimen of an alligator snapping turtle weighed in at 236 pounds, so this means the Facebook photo depicts a snapper that is less than half the size! The largest freshwater turtle in the world, the alligator snapping turtle has many distinguishing characteristics. The prehistoric-looking alligator snapping turtle is the largest freshwater turtle in North America and among the largest in the world. It literally takes them hundreds of years.". The alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys (or sometimes Macroclemys) temminckii, is the largest freshwater turtle in the United States. "The largest that was recently found by researchers came out of Texas," Pearson said. Average adult size is 15 to 26 inches in carapace length. Go Fish Largest Alligator Snapping Turtle in Record FWC has been studying the Suwannee alligator snapping turtles since 2014. "It takes them a long time to rebound. The alligator snapping turtle is the largest freshwater turtle species in North America, yet also one of the best camouflaged. Maximum weight can reach nearly 250 pounds. The alligator snapping turtle is characterized by a large, heavy head, and a long, thick shell with three dorsal ridges of large scales (osteoderms), giving it a primitive appearance reminiscent of some of the plated dinosaurs, most notably Ankylosaurus. So the Facebook photo either shows a very big common snapping turtle or a relatively small alligator snapping turtle. Four years of trapping produced only one alligator snapping turtle over 100 pounds until July 10. It’s a big turtle, but they’re everywhere.”. It can be immediately distinguished from the common snapping turtle by the three distinct rows of spikes and raised plates on the carapace, whereas the common snapping turtle has a smoother carapace. (272 to 680 kilograms) and is about 4.5 to 5.25 feet (139 to 160 centimeters) long, according to the World Wildlife Federation (WWF). photo by C.A. ", 'If you catch one, kill it': Northern snakehead numbers growing in Mississippi. Species Information. The males are larger with a weight of about 175 pounds. Some exceptionally large alligator snapping turtles can also weigh as much as 183 kg. "That's the thing about turtles," Pearson said. The difference between the common snapping turtle, or Chelydra serpentina, and the alligator snapping turtle, or Macrochelys temminckii, is that the alligator version has a row of nasty-looking spikes running down their spine while the common snapping turtle has a more normal-looking smooth shell. That's when University of Southern Mississippi graduate students captured 10 of them over 100 pounds in three days in the South Delta, including a massive 146.6-pounder they nicknamed Goliath. It is said this monstrous beast weighed at least 400 pounds, but scientists never confirmed this estimate. Alligator snapping turtle weigh between 8.4 kg to 80 kg and measure lengthwise between 35 cm to 80 cm. ", Want to harvest more mature bucks? 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