About the Author
Roger Tory Peterson, one of the world's greatest naturalists, received every major award for ornithology, natural science, and conservation as well as numerous honorary degrees, medals, and citations, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Peterson Identification System has been called the greatest invention since binoculars. These editions include updated material by Michael O'Brien, Paul Lehman, Bill Thompson III, Michael DiGiorgio, Larry Rosche, and Jeffrey A. Gordon.
The late Joseph T. Collins was the herpetologist with the Kansas Biological Survey and emeritus at the University of Kansas Natural History Museum, where he worked for thirty years. He was founder and director of the Center for North American Herpetology and author of many articles and books, most recently Amphibians, Reptiles, and Turtles in Kansas (2010; with Suzanne L. Collins and Travis W. Taggart).
ROGER CONANT was an American herpetologist, author, and conservationist.
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ALLIGATOR SNAPPING TURTLE Pls. 3, 9 Macroclemys temminckii IDENTIFICATION: 15–26 in. (38–66 cm); record 311?2 in. (80 cm). Weight 35–150 lbs. (16–68 kg); record 251 lbs. (113.9 kg) for a specimen maintained in captivity for nearly 50 years; 316 lbs. (143.3 kg) for a wild-caught example. Look for the huge head with its strongly hooked beaks, the prominent dorsal keels, and the extra row of scutes on each side of the carapace. Likely to be confused only with Snapping Turtles. Young (Pl. 3): Brown, shell exceedingly rough; tail very long. About 11?4–13?4 in. (3–4.4 cm) at hatching. This gigantic freshwater turtle, our largest and one of the largest in the world, often lies at bottom of lake or river with mouth held open. A curious pink process on floor of mouth resembles a worm, wriggles like one, and serves as a lure for fish. similar species: Snapping Turtle has a saw-toothed tail and a smaller head, and also lacks the extra row of scutes be-tween costals and marginals. range: Sw. Ga. and n. Fla. to e. Texas; north in Mississippi Valley to Kans., Iowa, and sw. Ky.; an isolated record in cen. Tenn.