Prehistoric-looking 'dinosaur of the turtle world' alligator snapping turtle captured in Florida

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No, that's not a living dinosaur. It's a 100-pound alligator snapping turtle.

Researchers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission captured the rambunctious, prehistoric-looking reptile near Gainesville, Fla. The Suwannee alligator snapping turtle, also known as Macrochelys suwanniensis, is a new species the agency helped describe in 2014, according to a Facebook post.

In one trap, the government agency caught a 100-pound male and a 46-pound female. Another trap captured a 64-pound male.

(Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)

"The New River is a blackwater stream with low biological productivity, so finding a large turtle in such a small stream is unusual," the agency wrote in the post.

(Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)

In total, six, 4-foot traps were set, according to Fox 5 New York.

The turtles are estimated to be between 40 and 80 years old, according to FWC. The agency is working with researchers in Florida and Georgia to document the species of turtle, which is considered threatened, the news outlet added.

(Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)

After the turtles were photographed and certain data was collected, they were released back into their natural habitat.

Often referred to as the "dinosaur of the turtle world," according to National Geographic, alligator snapping turtles are the largest freshwater turtles in North America. They have a spiked shell, a beaklike jaw and a "thick, scaled tail."

They can live to be between 50 and 100 years old. Males can weigh 175 pounds on average, though some have exceeded 220 pounds, National Geographic added.

Alligator snapping turtles have no natural predators, except for humans. Their population numbers have dwindled in recent years because of "unregulated harvesting and habitat loss."


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