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Nature & Environment

Gigantic snapping turtles caught in Florida

By T.K. Randall
August 30, 2020 · Comment icon 10 comments

That is one large turtle... Image Credit: Facebook / FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
Wildlife researchers discovered three huge turtles - which belong to a new species - near Gainesville.
Found by members of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the three specimens - which weighed in at up to 100 pounds each - were caught in the New River using large hoop net traps.

"Formerly, the alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) was considered a single, wide-ranging species that extended from the Suwannee River drainage west into Texas," the FWC wrote.

"(E)veryone agrees that the Suwannee species is distinct. The Suwannee alligator snapping turtle has been isolated for at least 5.5 million years, during which time it has undergone sufficient evolutionary changes to differentiate it from other alligator snapping turtles."
Researchers believe that these enormous reptiles can grow up to 2.5ft long, can weigh up to 200 pounds (double the largest of this trio) and are capable of living for over 100 years.

The discovery of these particular monsters in such a relatively small waterway was surprising.

All three were released back into the wild after being examined for the study.

Source: | Comments (10)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by ThereWeAreThen 4 years ago
Holy **** they look like dragons with shells!!! They look flipping awesome!! 
Comment icon #2 Posted by curiouse 4 years ago
I’m hoping that these ancient Giants are not being killed.? 
Comment icon #3 Posted by Seti42 4 years ago
Fun fact: There are Dragon Turtles in D&D, and they are basically just giant snapping turtles with the ability to breathe scalding steam instead of fire.  
Comment icon #4 Posted by Hawken 4 years ago
Though alligator snappers are bigger. There smaller cousin is more dangerous because it has a longer neck and can flex it around to bite.      
Comment icon #5 Posted by XenoFish 4 years ago
It's a baby gamera.
Comment icon #6 Posted by HandsomeGorilla 4 years ago
I saw my first one in a creek by my great aunts house in Missouri. Could have sworn that two foot plus rock wasn't there the day before, then it started moving. Found a little baby not too far away. 
Comment icon #7 Posted by Nnicolette 4 years ago
Wow that is one ugly face. And look at that mouth it looks like it could take a hand off!
Comment icon #8 Posted by Jon the frog 4 years ago
Never swim naked in snapping turtle territory !
Comment icon #9 Posted by ercbreeze 4 years ago
I won't be swimming in the New River in Florida any time soon!
Comment icon #10 Posted by HollyDolly 4 years ago
I recall my dad talking about the great flood of 1927 or 28, along the Ochuita River in Hot Springs,. There is abook about this flood because it involved the Mighty Mississippi and other rivers. Only way you could get into or out of Hot Springs was over the railroad track. People went down by the river to watch debrey he saw trees floating by, with alligator snapping turtles as big around as a wash tub. floating down stream on these trees.They must have been two feet or so. Recall driving out by Ottine and Palmetto State park. Well on the farm to market road, don't recall how many miles from O... [More]

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