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An alligator snapping turtle (left) and also a common snapping turtle. (Photos via Shutterstock)

The sight of a snapping turtle is enough to give most world pause, offered their reputation for being able to inflict damages with your powerful, snapping jaws.

You are watching: Difference between snapping turtle and alligator snapping turtle

The world is home to just two varieties of snapping turtle —common snapping turtles and also alligator snapping turtle — and both live in Illinois.Even despite both varieties live in the state, odds are if you've watched one, it's a typical snapping turtle.

How can we it is in so sure? First, since alligator snapping turtle live mostly in the southeastern united States, back their selection does extend into southerly Illinois, follow to the Illinois News Bureau. However, they execute not live as far north as will County. That means if you watch a snapper in our area, it's a common snapping turtle.

And together their name would imply, common snapping turtle are fairly common, while alligator snapping turtles are fairly rare across most of their range. In fact, alligator snappers are detailed as endangered or threatened in many of the says where castle live, according to national Geographic. In Illinois, the alligator snapping tortoise is one of five turtleslisted together endangered, in addition to Blanding's turtles, spotted turtles, yellow dirt turtles and also river cooters.

Physically, the is rather easy to tell the difference between a typical snapper and an alligator snapper, because alligator snappers watch prehistoric, with large spikes on their shells and primitive faces, while typical snapping turtles have actually smooth shells, the national Wildlife Federation reports.

Alligator snapping turtle are also quite a little bigger than typical snapping turtles. In fact, they are the largest freshwater turtle in the world, National geographical reports. Masculine alligator snapping turtles commonly weigh around 175 pounds, back they deserve to weigh as much as 220 pounds. Females are lot smaller, weighing about 50 pounds. Common snapping turtles frequently only weighbetween 10 pounds and also 35 pounds, follow to the pet Diversity Web.


Both are long-lived animals, with usual snapping turtle living about 30 years and also alligator snapping turtle living between 10 and 45 years. Castle both will certainly live much longer in bondage than in the wild, pet Diversity web reports.

Both varieties spend virtually their whole lives in water, with females comes on soil to build nests and lay eggs. Alligator snapping turtles live in new water, and they usuallyremain in the deepest water in their habitat area, pet Diversity net reports. Usual snapping turtles commonly live in fresh water yet will additionally live in brackish water. They favor muddy-bottomed waters because it supplies a means for them to conceal themselves.

Snapping turtles space most well-known for their strong bites. Common snapping turtles have actually an mean bite force of about 209 Newtons that force, when alligator snapping turtles have a little less forceful bite, averaging about 158 Newtons that force, psychological Floss reports. How does that compare to her bite? Surprisingly, humans deserve to exert 1,300 Newtons of force between their 2nd molars.

Still, though, a snapping turtle's bite shouldn't it is in underestimated. Your bite isstrong enough to breakthrough bone, the nationwide Wildlife Federation reports. And because snapping turtles space aggressive, they need to never be handled.

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