Monday, October 24, 2011

Really Big Reptiles Looking Like Best Friends

 Tennessee Aquarium docent Pete Rittenberry gets credit for these cool images of our alligator and three alligator snapping turtles looking like best friends. The Delta Swamp exhibit is a favorite with our guests and these guys are among the Aquarium's most photographed and perhaps loved creatures. It's a fitting image to show right in the middle of "Thrills, Gills and Chills" since both species are somewhat feared and misunderstood.
Many people think the female American alligator is Queen of this exhibit, but she must know how the male alligator snapper has powerful jaws. While they are sometimes seen in close proximity, as seen in Pete's pictures, the big turtle sometimes chases the alligator out of the water.

One frequently asked question is, "How long can the alligator snapping turtles stay underwater?" Depending on water temperature, these prehistoric-looking turtles can stay submerged for nearly an hour. This video shows how alligator snapping turtles "fish" for a meal.

The Delta Swamp is transformed into a spooky place during the Aqua-Scarium Halloween Party. Come join us on Friday, October 28th.

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