Alligator Snapping Turtle
Macrochelys temminckii

Size:  3 - 3 1/2 ft (along carapace)
Distribution:
Limited to very few river systems in eastern part of the state.  A very patient ambush predator, the alligator snapping turtle uses a worm-like "lure" on its tongue to attract fish to within strike range.  Status has been elevated to Species of Special Concern due to efforts to protect this species by captive breeding and reintroductions.  Growth rate is approximately one pound per year and some alligator snapping turtles can weigh close to 300 pounds.  These can be distinguished from common snapping turtles by a pronounced hook on the tip of the beak, and a double row of marginal scutes (the scales on the edge of the carapace).
Close-up of worm-like lure on tongue.