Please Identify this Turtle

gldno1May 18, 2005

I found this beast in my garden yesterday and have never seen one like it in the yard or garden before. It was about 10 inches long, not counting the tail which was about 6 inches. Is it a mud turtle?

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jodonne(z7a AR)

That would be an alligator snapping turtle I belive. It does have a beak looking snout does'nt it?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 9:47AM
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Butterbean_Z8(z8 ar)

I'm going with common snapping turtle because of the smooth shell. They can be dangerous to handle. Neck is more flexible than alligator snapper. I'd recomend letting do its own thing.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 10:40AM
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southerngurl(6 Ark)

Yea, they'll take a finger if you get to close. They can whip their heads back pretty far.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 11:56AM
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I disappeared. The back was very rough the individual shell-like things were pointy and raised, so maybe it was the alligator snapper.

I did not try to touch it!

Thanks everyone. You're the best!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 5:11PM
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I think its a relatively young adult or advanced juvenile common snapping turtle because it has some of the roughness of plastron that a juvenile common snapping turtle has and some of the smoothness than an adult has. The pattern on the plastron looks more consistent with a common snapping turtle too.

An alligator snapping turtle would be very cool though!

But my vote is common snapping turtle.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 5:41PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I think the alligator snapping turtles are protected. I have a common 3 toed box turtle in my yard. I have been helping him find worms. He eats slugs too, yuk and my strawberries. One time this spring when I was digging, my dog tried to bury him. I enjoy the wildlife. Too bad I am going to have to put out tick granules. I hate to do that, but I am getting ticks and I don't want lyme disease.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2005 at 12:30AM
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OH yeah.. It is Alligator snapping turtle! My son Joe's friend gave him a baby Alligator snapping three years ago. He took it with him to AZ when he moved. He said.. it is getting so big now. Joe is crazy over turtles.

Last year, Alligator turtle walked over our driveway. We were so surprised and leave it alone. It was pretty big.. I was too scared to touch it.

Thanks for showing us a picture of it.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2005 at 8:45AM
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Alligator Snapping Turtles are indeed protected in the state of Missouri and it is unlawful to capture or kill them.

Their carapace averages 15-26 inches long and they are very rarely found out of water.

I still think it looks more like a common snapping turtle but if its not, any handling or harassing of the turtle would be a violation of the law.

And of course taking its picture and letting it go on its merry way is the strategy I like to see anyway.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2005 at 4:51PM
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jodonne(z7a AR)

Either way it'll bite the snot out of ya if you get your fingers near it's pie hole!!!!!!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 4:25PM
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I vote for snapper too. I have them occasionally show up in my yard and they are not real close to water unless they are coming from the neighbor's pond. They are usually fair sized. The last one was in the neighbor's driveway and my daughter asked me what it was. It was black (been in the mud somewhere.) and smaller than the others but had an attitude. I think it may have been an alligator. I poked a stick at him trying to get him out of the drive and he snapped it in two. He also threw his head back over his shell. I hadn't seen the others do that! I finally got him into a big flower pot and hauled his carcass down to the river. I did have for a little while 2 baby snappers . I found them in the garden. About the size of a silver dollar. They were cute for awhile but finally I took them down to the river.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2005 at 8:35PM
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wow 2005, guess ya'll wont be reading this,but found a baby turtle, thought was an ally so looked up wikipedia, found site Austin Reptile Service, called them , they said NO. They sd, main way to tell " Does it have a long neck?" and boy does it...Other than that It is black with green moss and three pointed ridges just like the ally. The Austin conservationist also say that alligator turtles can not exist outside of the swamp environment. So they are found in east Texas and Florida mainly. Wikipedia also says they have a cross on the underbelly(plastron) And have long star shaped eyelashes. The one I have looks exactly like the picture on wikipedia, So guess they all look alike.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 10:51AM
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