Feature photo by Sherry Taylor, Daytona/NSB Discovery Map
Did you know alligator snapping turtles laugh so hard, no sounds come out? Just kidding! The fact is these guys do not have vocal cords. Also like most turtles, they make a range of hissing sounds (think air escaping a balloon).
So, why are their mouths agape all the time? Because alligator snapping turtles are ambush predators. Sure, they are slow and clunky, but ambushing prey is about strategy. Alligator snapping turtles wriggle a worm-shaped appendage on their tongues to lure you in for a bite. Worms might not be your thing, which is good, since this guy could cleanly snap off your finger with a 1000 PSI bite force!
See Local Wildlife on Volusia County Eco-Tours
You can find this alligator snapping turtle near the inky waters of the Central Florida Everglades at Airboat Rides at Midway, located just west of St. John’s National Wildlife Refuge on the St. John’s River.
Marine Discovery Center’s special three-hour Island Adventure Eco-Tour is guided by boat and foot by a certified Florida Coastal Naturalist.
A shorter 90-minute excursion style eco-tour offered by Ponce Inlet Watersports explores the wilder side of the intracoastal’s most popular shoal island known as Disappearing Island.
Learn the history of Ponce Inlet while following wild dolphin pods during a sunset eco-cruise aboard Manatee Scenic Boat Tours or head north for a more remote, self-guided experience by paddling down densely palm tree laden banks of the Tomoka River State Canoe Trail.
Situated on a pristine aquatic preserve, Tomoka Outpost serves as a launch site for the state canoe trail whose surrounding parklands were once inhabited by hundreds of Native Americans belonging to the long lost Timucua tribes.
Find more info on local activities by following Daytona/NSB Discovery Map at: Facebook.com/discoverDAYTONA.NSB