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Alligator Snapping Turtle bite force

The alligator snapping turtle has a jaw of incredible force and has been hailed as a legendary fish-catcher by a U.S. fisherman. It lures passing fish with its tongue appendage and snaps its jaws as fast as the speed of light. 

Other prey items include mollusks, crayfish, worms, amphibians, aquatic plants, and decaying carcasses. Despite their formidable jaws, alligator snapping turtles can also eat other turtles and small alligators.

The bite force of an alligator turtle is as high as two hundred and twenty-six newtons. This force is enormous, and an alligator snapping turtle’s bite could send a human to the hospital if it were to bite the person. 

These creatures are stronger than humans, and their bite force is higher. Hence, keeping a distance is the best way to avoid a snapping turtle attack.


What is Bite Force?

The bite force is the amount of force an animal can exert with its jaws when biting down. It is usually measured in pounds per square inch (psi) or newtons (N). The bite force is influenced by several factors, including the size and shape of an animal’s jaw, the strength of its muscles, and the structure of its teeth or beak.

The bite force is important for many animals because it allows them to catch and eat prey, defend themselves against predators, and break down tough materials like bones or shells. Animals with stronger bite forces are often better adapted to their environment and have a competitive advantage over those with weaker bite forces.

Measuring bite force can be challenging and requires specialized equipment, such as force sensors, to accurately measure the force exerted by an animal’s jaws. Bite force can also vary depending on an animal’s age, sex, and physical condition. Nonetheless, bite force measurements provide valuable information for understanding animals’ feeding ecology and behavior.


How big is Alligator snapping turtles?

Alligator snapping turtles are larger than the common snapping turtle and are the largest freshwater turtles in the western hemisphere. One recorded alligator snapper weighed 183 kg (403 lb), and a monstrous four hundred and thirty-three-pounder was caught in Kansas during the Great Depression. Both species generally avoid contact with humans and will try to evade human contact.

A human should never approach a snapper without proper training. A trained professional should handle the animal and never attempt to pick up a turtle. If it is caught, you should immediately release the hand or finger. Do not try to tear the turtle’s mouth open. Otherwise, the bite will cause infection. If you’re ever in a situation where an alligator snaps your hand or finger, remember to get help immediately.

The force of an alligator snapping turtle bite is usually less than a teaspoon, and the maximum strength of the bite is approximately ten pounds. Snapping turtles can be aggressive both on and off the land. The turtle’s jaws can crush hard bones, but they are unprotected on land. A human who tries to handle a snapping turtle in captivity can suffer severe injuries.

The alligator snapping turtle’s head and body are large and heavy. Their head is made up of three rows of large, spiky scales. The carapace is covered in algae, making the turtle more difficult to spot.

The alligator snapping turtle jaws size

The alligator snapping turtle has jaws as large as a human hand and an incredible amount of force. Its beak is a major part of this incredible bite strength. The beak can tear flesh and kill its prey. This bite force may be the most frightening part of its attack. The bite force of an alligator snapping turtle is 1,200 pounds per square inch.

A snapping turtle can cause serious injury to humans, and some states have banned the practice of collecting them from the wild. While alligator snapping turtles are not endangered, some myths exist about their aggression. Unlike crocodiles, alligator snapping turtles are not prone to attacking humans. However, a 1000-pound alligator snapping turtle’s jaws are strong, and it’s best to never approach an alligator in the wild.

Despite their large size and fearsome jaws, alligator snapping turtles can survive in extremely cold weather. Some alligator snapping turtles can spend the winter months active under ice. Because alligator snapping turtles can reach huge sizes, you should ensure a large outdoor area and a non-meat diet to avoid being attacked.

Alligator Snapping Turtle Bite Force PSI & Newtons


The alligator snapping turtle has one of the strongest bites of any animal, with a bite force that can exert over 1000 pounds per square inch (psi) or 4,448 newtons (N). To put this into perspective, the average human bite force is only about 160 psi or 712 N.

It’s worth noting that measuring an animal’s bite force can be difficult, and there can be variations in the reported values depending on the method of measurement and the individual animal being tested. 

However, studies have consistently found that the alligator snapping turtle has one of the strongest bites in the animal kingdom.

The strength of the alligator snapping turtle’s bite is partly due to its unique anatomy. They have a large, muscular tongue that they can use to lure prey close to their mouth. 

When the prey gets close enough, the turtle will snap its jaws shut with incredible force, using the sharp beak to deliver a crushing bite.

Alligator snapping turtles are considered a threatened species due to habitat loss, overhunting, and collection for the pet trade. 

They are also sometimes hunted for meat, considered a delicacy in some parts of the world. Conservation efforts are underway to protect these turtles and help their populations recover.


Alligator snapping turtles’ lifespan

Alligator snapping turtles can reach sexual maturity between eleven and thirteen. In captivity, their lifespan is between 20 and 70 years. While they do not have natural enemies, humans have hunted them for their carapaces and meat. Their long lifespan results from their comparatively low reproduction rate and habitat destruction. While the species can be found in captivity, most live for only 20 to 70 years.

While the alligator snapping turtle’s body weight is much higher than a human’s, its bite force is still significantly lower than the strength of an alligator’s jaws. That is why the bite force of an alligator snapping turtle is incredibly hard to determine, and an expert is required to evaluate the severity of an attack. While alligator snapping turtles were once considered extinct in the United States, they are now found worldwide.


Alligator snapping turtle bite force vs crocodile

An alligator snapping turtle is a massive freshwater reptile that resembles a crocodile but is actually a little smaller than a crocodile. Its jaws can crush fruit, broom handles, and human fingers, and they can deliver up to 1,550 N of force. Alligator snapping turtles typically feed on carrion and self-acquired prey, but they can also catch whatever they see swimming by.

A common snapping turtle’s bite force is between 208 and 216 Newtons, which is much lower than the average adult human bite force. It can break a human finger, but will not be able to sever an arm. Snapping turtles are also smaller than crocodiles, so their bite force is not as strong. Still, the bite force of an alligator snapping turtle can be very damaging to human beings.

While alligators are not aggressive, they can break up their prey, destroying it completely. Turtle shells are a much weaker material than alligator jaws, and an adult alligator can exert nearly three times that force. If you compare these two species, you will see that alligators are far more powerful than crocodiles.

Crocodile Compare with Black piranha

A black piranha has 450 PSI of bite force. But an alligator snapping turtle can snap off a finger with only one bite, despite its tiny size. However, if the crocodile were to attack a human, it would likely kill the person. If the bite force is greater than a crocodile’s, it would be easier to kill a human.

Alligators are big enough to kill small American alligators. In the wild, alligators can grow to be more than two feet long and weigh more than a thousand pounds. They can also crush turtle shells with their jaws, making them impossible for the turtle to escape. A crocodile’s jaws have pressure receptors in the dome and are transparent in comparison to an alligator’s. Crocodiles can osmoregulate in more salinity than a gator, but their habitats are similar. They tend to live in marshes and swamps, while alligators prefer lakes and low-flow rivers.

Alligator snapping turtle feeding.

The Alligator Snapping Turtle is a versatile reptile that eats various types of food. While they prefer to feed on fish, they will also eat clams, frogs, snakes, aquatic plants, and berries. In addition, you can feed the Alligator Snapping Turtle pellets and live minnows or worms to help provide a varied diet.
You can also use small containers, such as a shot glass, medicine cup, or bottle cap, to feed your turtle. Fill the container with food until it is complete. Do not overfeed your turtle. This can cause pyramiding, and your turtle may not get enough food.
It would be best if you feed your turtle once a day or every other day, depending on its size. Feeding an adult turtle requires more food than a hatchling or juvenile turtle. A good rule of thumb is to provide your turtle half with the amount it usually eats in a single day.
The Alligator Snapping Turtle is one of the giant freshwater turtles in North America. The male Alligator Snapping Turtle can weigh as much as 175 pounds and is nearly two feet long. It has a scaly shell and powerful jaws. These reptiles are not very tame and don’t like people pointing at them, so be sure to keep your distance when handling them.