Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Central American Snapping Turtle

Chelydra rossignonii
Until recently (about 1996), everyone thought that the Central American Snapping Turtle, and its cousin the South American Snapping Turtle were just subspecies of the more widespread and well-known Common Snapping Turtle. But they are different species entirely! (Albeit of the same genus).

As you can probably guess, this particular Turtle lives in the countries of Central America, inhabiting slow moving bodies of water.

These Snappers are solitary animals, and they are nocturnal, which means much is still unknown about their specific behaviors and biology. They are omnivores though, and they feed on different fish, insects, and plant matter. They actually have little barbels around their mouth that they use to lure in prey... and then quickly snap it up.

Central American Snapping Turtles are listed as Vulnerable due to hunting and habitat loss. Theya re now protected in parts of their range, but enforcement is spotty.

IUCN Status : Vulnerable
Location : Central America
Size : Carapace length around 14in (36cm), Weight around 26lbs (12kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Reptilia -- Order : Testudines
Family : Chelydridae -- Genus : Chelydra -- Species : C. rossignonii
Image : Leo7

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