Hello! I was hoping you could identify the species of my young turtle whom I believe to be an alligator alligator snapping turtle whom I rehomed from an ill suitable environment. I'm not sure of his age, but his shell length is about 2 3/4" long. He has a very large bite span and has spikes on his shell but I'd like to confirm that he really is an alligator snapper. If you can predict his gender that would be awesome as well! Thanks!
Answer Hi Carley,
Based on your picture, I think it's a common snapping turtle. Alligator snapping turtles have supramarginal scutes, a small line of scutes between the marginals (scutes on the edge of the shell) and the costals (scutes between the marginals and vetrebrals). I don't see that in the picture. Turtles can't be sexed until mature; they all look female until then.
Snapping turtles are a pretty specialized species and require very large accomodations. If you're not an expert keeper with extensive knowledge and the room to devote to properly keeping the turtle, I'd suggest contacting a rescue or herp society to help you rehome it. It's a challenging species and definitely not for a novice keeper.
Questions regarding husbandry of Russian tortoises and other Mediterranean species, sulcata, and redfoot tortoises; general tortoise and turtle care; box turtle care. If I can't answer a specific question, I can provide sources for further research.
Disclaimer: My advice is not a substitute for vet care. If I think your tortoise/turtle has a specific medical condition or injury that warrants a vet visit, I'll tell you so, and if possible I'll help you locate a vet. It is neither legal nor ethical for me to provide veterinary advice.
I have kept and bred Russian tortoises for over ten years and have other Mediterranean species plus redfoots and box turtles. I've worked with other tortoise and turtle species while doing volunteer rescue work; mostly sulcata but some leopards, California desert tortoises, yellowfoots, all box turtle species, red-eared sliders, etc. I don't personally keep aquatic species, but have access to a wealth of information and research to help you with any questions you might have.
Education/Credentials My knowledge is based on hands-on experience keeping, breeding, and working with tortoises and turtles.