Alligator Snapping Turtle vs Snapping Turtle
These two testudines sound similar in their names. However, they are not much similar, they exhibit some interesting differences between them. Their external appearance would be adequate to understand the distinctions about Alligator snapping turtle and snapping turtle. Anyone who has the thirst to be knowledgeable about animals in general and tortoises in particular would find this article interesting and informative. Although they are referred as turtles, these testudines are terrapins, as they inhabit inland aquatic or freshwater habitats.
Alligator Snapping Turtle
Macrochelys temminckii is the scientific name of this turtle. It is one of the largest freshwater turtles. The natural distribution range of alligator snappers is the waters of Southern United States. This is the only living species of the particular genus. Their large and heavy head, long and thick shell, and three dorsal ridges distinguish them from other animals. Their three dorsal ridges are the raised plates of the carapace, which are prominent over many other features, and give a primitive prehistoric appearance for them. Except for the ridges, the rest of the carapace is smooth. In addition, their carapace is usually solid black, brown, or olive in colour. However, algal growths are common on the carapace of each animal as they live in water. There is a yellow coloured patterning in their eyes. Alligator snapping turtles are opportunistic carnivores as well as scavengers according to the availability. The lifespan of this interesting animal varies from 80 to 120 years in wild, but it ranges from 20 to 70 in captivity.
Snapping turtle or common snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentine, is a large freshwater testudine that lives in North amerce. Their natural distribution ranges from Southern Canada through Eastern and Central states up to Florida of the United States. Usually they vary in their bodyweights from 4.5 to 16 kilograms, and the body length is about 50 centimetres. They can live in a range of freshwater habitats including ponds, shallow streams, and brackish environments, as well. Common snappers are omnivorous in food habits, as they feed on both animal and plant matter. Their shell is usually rough, dark brown, and it is covered with algae, more often than not. The head is very large, and they cannot take it into the shell. Therefore, they always keep their heads outside the shell. However, they can threaten others by snapping hardly, which is a defensive measure. Snapping turtle has a tail with saw-toothed keels on it. They have characteristic tubercles on their neck and legs. Their head is dark coloured, but the neck and legs are yellowish in colour. Common snappers live about 30 years in wild and around 45 years in captivity.
What is the difference between Alligator Snapping Turtle and Snapping Turtle?
• The carapace of the common snapper does not have ridges but in alligator snappers.
• Alligator snapper has triangular and pointed head, whereas common snapper has an oval shaped head.
• Common snapper is omnivorous while alligator snapper is carnivorous in feeding habits.
• Alligator snapper has fleshy eyelashes around the eye but not in common snappers.
• Common snappers have a small lifespan compared with that of alligator snappers.
• The lifespan of alligator snapper is longer in wild than in captivity, but it is other way around for common snappers.