Alligator Snapping Turtle One Step Closer

mike taylor

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I've lived in the Houston area my whole life an I've only seen maybe four or five wild ones after floods .
 

mike taylor

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I'd like to know how they get their numbers . Snapping turtle aren't really an easy turtle to find . They're masters at camouflage.
Yes, alligator snappers range a good portion of the way up the mighty Mississippi River. Their range runs into nearly the top third of Illinois and portions of Iowa. They go surprisingly far north!

As far as the split, it is mostly the southern portion of the range that got split up into the two new ones. There is now M. temminckii, M. appalachicolae, and M. suwanniensis.

If anyone is interested, I have a PDF of the paper outlining the changes I can add in to this thread or send to you.

--Berkeley
Add it here please .
 

cdmay

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They are hard to spot but once you get the search image in your head even the little guys can be found regularly.

DSCN4133_zpszty9p2ws.jpg

DSCN4000_zpsnbbty6r6.jpg

DSCN3190_zps031b92ff.jpg


As for the captive keeping of a Macrochelys, well in my mind you need one of those big indoor setups like they have at the Outdoor Sportsworld and Bass Pro Shops. A stock tank for an adult? Please...that's a sin. Adult alligator snappers are surprisingly active river dwellers that live a very long time. Keeping one in a plain stock tank or kiddy pool just seems wrong to me.
 

Big Ol Tortoise

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Came within an inch of coming home with an AST hatchling this weekend. Came across one at a local reptile expo. We are regulars and I have never seen one there before. If I hadn't been dumb enough to tell my girlfriend "no new animals" before walking in I would have walked out with it.

I actually have a 40g breeder tank all ready and set up specifically for it sitting out in my tort shed which is already heated to the perfect temperature! It made walking away extremely hard, but we are weeks from moving to a new house, so funds are a little tighter than I'm used to right now.

This close though. I keep thinking about digging up the guys info and getting a hold of him...
WOW! Getting one of those is truly a dinosaur. Making them friendly is also super cool! Seeing people with AST or regular ST and they're TAME! you can hold them and "pet" them and everything and they don't bite!
 

saginawhxc

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WOW! Getting one of those is truly a dinosaur. Making them friendly is also super cool! Seeing people with AST or regular ST and they're TAME! you can hold them and "pet" them and everything and they don't bite!
I have seen videos of people and their tame snappers, and yes they are cool. Every time I watch a video like that though I think "That is somebody who is going to lose a finger one of these days." I'm afraid taming one of these turtles is a path way to getting complacent around it, and that to me sounds like a very bad idea.

But like we both agreed... they are cool... but they are a little misleading to those who don't know better too.
 

Big Ol Tortoise

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I have seen videos of people and their tame snappers, and yes they are cool. Every time I watch a video like that though I think "That is somebody who is going to lose a finger one of these days." I'm afraid taming one of these turtles is a path way to getting complacent around it, and that to me sounds like a very bad idea.

But like we both agreed... they are cool... but they are a little misleading to those who don't know better too.
Oh don't get me I wouldn't want to be handling an AST anymore than I had to. Him being tamed would be nice but I'd still have my guard up.
 

saginawhxc

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They are hard to spot but once you get the search image in your head even the little guys can be found regularly.

DSCN4133_zpszty9p2ws.jpg

DSCN4000_zpsnbbty6r6.jpg

DSCN3190_zps031b92ff.jpg


As for the captive keeping of a Macrochelys, well in my mind you need one of those big indoor setups like they have at the Outdoor Sportsworld and Bass Pro Shops. A stock tank for an adult? Please...that's a sin. Adult alligator snappers are surprisingly active river dwellers that live a very long time. Keeping one in a plain stock tank or kiddy pool just seems wrong to me.
I knew what I was looking for in the first picture and it still took me a few seconds to find it.

Addressing your comment about the stock tank though please let me clarify a couple of things because I feel like that was likely directed at me.

An 800 gallon stock tank and a kiddie pool are two completely different things. I feel like it is a little disingenuous to use both of them in the same sentence like you did. Is an 800 too small? Probably, and I already acknowledged as much. It depends on the size of the adult snapper in question, at the bigger end there is little doubt that an 800 is too small, but average or smaller than average turtle would probably be okay, but even then I agree it's not ideal. So I think "sin" might be a little of a broad statement here.

(As I'm typing this I'm trying to dig up the dimensions on a 800g and I'll be damned if I can even find one. 600 and 1000, but now I can't even find one. I swear though that the one I was basing all of this off was in the 10x3x3 range even though that only comes out to 700g now that I think about it.)
 

saginawhxc

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Oh, and one more thing I have no plans on ever keeping an adult turtle in a stock tank, though I will likely always have one on hand in case of emergencies. My plans are much more grand. Closer to what you were actually thinking yourself.
 

cdmay

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I knew what I was looking for in the first picture and it still took me a few seconds to find it.

Addressing your comment about the stock tank though please let me clarify a couple of things because I feel like that was likely directed at me.

An 800 gallon stock tank and a kiddie pool are two completely different things. I feel like it is a little disingenuous to use both of them in the same sentence like you did. Is an 800 too small? Probably, and I already acknowledged as much. It depends on the size of the adult snapper in question, at the bigger end there is little doubt that an 800 is too small, but average or smaller than average turtle would probably be okay, but even then I agree it's not ideal. So I think "sin" might be a little of a broad statement here.

(As I'm typing this I'm trying to dig up the dimensions on a 800g and I'll be damned if I can even find one. 600 and 1000, but now I can't even find one. I swear though that the one I was basing all of this off was in the 10x3x3 range even though that only comes out to 700g now that I think about it.)


Oh no...that was NOT directed at you per se. My description of a 'stock tank' is the old galvanized tubs that I knew many a keeper who maintained their AST in years ago. In some instances the animals literally couldn't turn around in them. So when I read 'stock tank' my mind automatically goes to those galvanized things.
You're right in that there are now new versions of stock tanks that are considerably larger and better than those old ones I was referring to. I should have been more clear. Sorry.
Nevertheless, these turtles do get big and contrary to popular belief they are not inactive sedentary animals. Even the big males will move around a lot at night unless it's winter.
 

saginawhxc

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My grand vision is for a personal billiards room with the whole end of a room being a gigantic tank that will undoubtedly set me back several small fortunes. Considering an average nine foot pool table is about 5.5ft wide and I need a minimum 5ft on both side I am envisioning a massive tank.

The hold up for me is this room or tank doesn't exist yet. It's easy for me to say it will by the time it's needed, but we all know how things like that sometimes go.

Anyways I think I have taken this thread off track. I just knew that we discussed keeping captive turtles briefly in this thread and I ran back here to mention I came super close to getting one this weekend.

I may or may not ever end up pulling the trigger on one someday, and if I ever do I promise everyone there will be a thread all about that turtle and discussing set ups and progress.

(I'm also not really sorry for taking it off topic either, it revived an old thread on an important topic.)
 

cdmay

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My grand vision is for a personal billiards room with the whole end of a room being a gigantic tank that will undoubtedly set me back several small fortunes. Considering an average nine foot pool table is about 5.5ft wide and I need a minimum 5ft on both side I am envisioning a massive tank.

The hold up for me is this room or tank doesn't exist yet. It's easy for me to say it will by the time it's needed, but we all know how things like that sometimes go.

Anyways I think I have taken this thread off track. I just knew that we discussed keeping captive turtles briefly in this thread and I ran back here to mention I came super close to getting one this weekend.

I may or may not ever end up pulling the trigger on one someday, and if I ever do I promise everyone there will be a thread all about that turtle and discussing set ups and progress.

(I'm also not really sorry for taking it off topic either, it revived an old thread on an important topic.)

I'm with you. My future plans are to enclose a large portion of my back porch and make it a pond that then extends out into my back yard. I'd love to have a Chipola River Macrochelys living there. With a bunch of guppies too.
 

Berkeley

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Add it here please .

Mike and Saginawhxc, I've got two related papers attached below. They describe survey methods for alligator snapper populations, at least in Georgia. I helped with many of those actual surveys and most of them involved snorkeling in groups down stretches of creeks and rivers to find them in their underwater hiding spots. It is pretty awesome, I gotta say.

In regards to the paper describing the newly separated species, the forum won't let me attach it here. It says it's too big. Send me your emails via Private Message and I'll get those over to you.

And also, since we'd discussed it a bit previously, here are some range maps showing alligator snapper distribution I pulled from the web. (One from NatureServe, the other from the Savannah River Ecology Lab herpetology program)

GetImage.gif mactem2.gif

--Berkeley
 

Attachments

  • CaseStudyofAlligatorSnappingTurtles_Spring Creek.pdf
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  • GA StatusDistributionAlligatorSnappingTurtleFlint_2014.pdf
    994.6 KB · Views: 0

cdmay

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Mike and Saginawhxc, I've got two related papers attached below. They describe survey methods for alligator snapper populations, at least in Georgia. I helped with many of those actual surveys and most of them involved snorkeling in groups down stretches of creeks and rivers to find them in their underwater hiding spots. It is pretty awesome, I gotta say.

In regards to the paper describing the newly separated species, the forum won't let me attach it here. It says it's too big. Send me your emails via Private Message and I'll get those over to you.

And also, since we'd discussed it a bit previously, here are some range maps showing alligator snapper distribution I pulled from the web. (One from NatureServe, the other from the Savannah River Ecology Lab herpetology program)

View attachment 193631 View attachment 193632

--Berkeley
Thanks Berkeley.
 

Berkeley

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I meant to type previously, if others are interested in the paper that's too big to post, you are welcome to it as well. Just send me a message with an email address, and I'll send it to you.

--Berkeley
 

tortoise5643

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Mike and Saginawhxc, I've got two related papers attached below. They describe survey methods for alligator snapper populations, at least in Georgia. I helped with many of those actual surveys and most of them involved snorkeling in groups down stretches of creeks and rivers to find them in their underwater hiding spots. It is pretty awesome, I gotta say.

In regards to the paper describing the newly separated species, the forum won't let me attach it here. It says it's too big. Send me your emails via Private Message and I'll get those over to you.

And also, since we'd discussed it a bit previously, here are some range maps showing alligator snapper distribution I pulled from the web. (One from NatureServe, the other from the Savannah River Ecology Lab herpetology program)

View attachment 193631 View attachment 193632

--Berkeley
I disagree with this range. I used to live on several acres near Dallas, Texas and we would find them in our ponds sometimes. I guess it could just be a small area that had them, but I really thought there was some sort of population in the Dallas area.

We found a alligator snapper once when our pond dried almost all the way up about 10 years ago. Both my brothers and I spent a whole day one summer extracting it from the muddy water (I'm sure it didn't need help). Then we put it in a huge ice chest that it still hung out of. We brought it up to our house and built a cage 2 Cinder blocks high for it. It was a very bad cage, with no water in summer heat, but we were going to let it go later that day. But it managed to knock down the cinder blocks and went back to the pond (I assume) which was about 200 feet away. A couple years later we moved, and I drove by that house a few months ago and the pond was filled in with dirt, but another near it wasn't, so I hope it's alive. This guy was a monster. We measured him 48 inches from tip of nose to tip of tail. I was 6 so I didn't think to take a picture. I don't know why my parents and older brothers didn't, though. Truly an amazing species.
 

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