Southeastern United States. Range extends north to Illinois, south to the Gulf of Mexico, east into Georgia and West into Kansas. Introduced to the island of Puerto Rico (non-native).
Aquatic. Found in still portions of deep rivers, occasionally found in lakes, swamps, and bayous.
Adults may exceed 2 feet in length and reach up to 250 pounds in weight. Distinctively jagged and pronounced ridges/keels running down dorsal surface of carapace. Large head with strong jaws and hooked beak. Skin coloration ranges from grey to brown, lighter on underside. Tail nearly as long as the carapace. Distinguished from common snapping turtles by larger head and more jagged carapace.
Learn more with Schechter Natural History's Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians