Jaw-Dropping Speed: Alligator Snapping Turtle’s Remarkable Swimming Capability

The Alligator Snapping Turtle, scientifically known as Macrochelys temminckii, is one of the heaviest freshwater turtles in the world, which can swim up to 12 miles per hour. The Alligator Snapping Turtle is native to the freshwater habitats of the United States. Let’s take a deep dive into this fascinating creature’s speed in water and on land.

Alligator Snapping Turtle

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Alligator Snapping Turtle (In Water)

In their native aquatic environments, Snapping Turtles are capable swimmers. Although a top speed has never been officially recorded for this species, they are estimated to paddle along at around 4 to 5 miles per hour. Other sources suggest a swimming speed of 8 to 12 mph, indicating that they are faster in water than on land.

Their swimming speed, combined with their ability to stay submerged for up to 50 minutes, makes them formidable predators. They are well adapted to their swampy habitats, able to pick up on odors while underwater and unearth hidden delicacies.

Alligator Snapping Turtle (On Land)

Despite their bulky appearance, Alligator Snapping Turtles are surprisingly fast on land. They can move up to 2.5 miles per hour, covering a lot of ground quickly. This speed varies, with some reports suggesting a range of 0.5 to 4 mph. This is relatively slow compared to other turtles, who can reach speeds up to 6 mph or more.

Their movement on land is not just about speed, but also about endurance. They can maintain their pace for extended periods, enabling them to traverse significant distances when necessary. This ability is particularly useful during nesting season when females venture onto open land.

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