Alligator Snapping Turtle Uses Worm-Like Tongue To Lure Fish

This incredible footage shows the wormlike tongue of a massive alligator snapping turtle which is used to suck fish into the gaping mouth of the underwater creature.

Once in range of the alligator turtle’s large and powerful jaws, the fish has no chance, as can be seen in these shots, which show the entire creature in a tank at the Ikeda Zoo in Japan.

The zoo is currently closed because of the risk of a highly pathogenic outbreak of avian flu in the area, but the zoo has been keeping followers content by sharing images of their favourite zoo animals.

@LOVE_IKEDAZOO/CEN

The fascinating creature with its wormlike tongue is the largest freshwater turtle in the world based on weight, capable of exceeding 250 lb or 113. They also have a lifespan that can last up to 200 years, although a lifespan of between 80 and 120 is more normal.

In captivity, they rarely seem to live more than around 70 years.

The zoo in Kyoyama, in Okayama City, was the first privately run zoo in Japan and has been in existence for over 70 years.

The alligator snapping turtle ( (Macrochelys temminckii) is native to freshwater habitats in the United States and is described as an opportunist fee that is almost exclusively carnivorous.

It uses its wormlike appendage in its mouth to catch the food but will also happily feed on carrion.

Many eat fish but they also eat birds, insects, snails and snakes, and also anything seen swimming in the water which reportedly in the parties included opossums, raccoons and armadillos. Larger snapping turtles have also been known to kill and eat alligators.

Its worm-like appendage is its main method of catching its prey though, which looks like a small pink worm in the back of its mouth and is used to lure prey to within striking distance.

Picture shows an Alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) at Ikeda Zoo, in Okayama City, Japan, undated. The Zoo shared the video asking people to gusess what it was based on one unusal part of its body. (@LOVE_IKEDAZOO/CEN)
Picture shows an Alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) at Ikeda Zoo, in Okayama City, Japan, undated. The Zoo shared the video asking people to gusess what it was based on one unusal part of its body. (@LOVE_IKEDAZOO/CEN)

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Michael LeidigSub-EditorMarija Stojkoska, Agency: Central European News

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