This is a very large turtle, 25-30 inches long and weighing upwards to 200 pounds. The carapace is brown or gray with three knobby ridges. The head is big, with strongly hooked beak. The tail is long. Its preferred habitat is lakes, sloughs and deep rivers.
The Alligator Snapping Turtle is the world's largest freshwater turtle. More sedentary than its relative the Snapping Turtle, it lies submerged and half buried in the mud, wiggling the pink worm-like projection on its tongue. When a fish is lured by the bait, the turtle's jaws snap shut (turtles are toothless but have sharp edges on their jaws). The hefty reptile also feeds on worms, snails, mussels, carrion, and other kinds of turtles.
The Alligator Snapping Turtle is on the Threatened Species List.
(Image from the Web. Author unknown)
Newly hatched Alligator Turtle (© D. N. Searcy)