Alligator snapping turtles are throwbacks to the dinosaur age, and they look the part.

Although they live most of their life in water, females lay eggs on land, often traveling a distance before laying eggs in soft soil. This is a time when many people encounter them and wonder, “Do they really snap?” or “I’ll bet my reflexes are faster than it.”

This video shows a large snapping turtle taking a bite of a watermelon. Match your reflexes and see if you’d get your fingers back.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.


  1. We came across one in Shalotte N/C. We are from the dessert. And you can pick them up. And help them across the street. We tried to pick this one up. And it tried to attach my husband. He turned on a dime. He stuck his butt up in the air and turned every turn my husband did. Scary Won’t do that again.. Thanks for letting us know what type it was.