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Alligator Snapping Turtle



Alligator Snapping Turtle
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.32

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    deceitful, undetectable, triangular-shaped, parental, hatchlings, worm-like, incubation, enticement, clutch, flesh, southeastern, unsuspecting, pointed, virtually, whose, passerby
     content words:    United States


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Alligator Snapping Turtle   

1     Alligator snapping turtles are the largest of all freshwater turtles. They may also be the most deceitful of all turtles! Found in the United States, they live in southeastern states from Florida to Texas and as far north as Kansas to Illinois.
 
2     Alligator snapping turtles are very easy to identify. They have the three large ridges that run from front to back on their shells. Their heads are pointed and triangular-shaped with powerful jaws. A full-grown alligator snapping turtle can measure about 30 inches long and weigh over 200 pounds.
 
3     Alligator snapping turtles feed on fish, frogs, snakes, and other small animals, as well as water plants. They are smart hunters whose secret of success can be summed up in three words -- camouflage, perseverance, and enticement. First, their rough shells look like rocks, allowing these ferocious predators to blend in well with their surroundings. Second, their ability to stay motionless makes them virtually undetectable. Third, they have a small bit of pink flesh on the tip of their tongues that resembles a worm. So, when alligator snapping turtles are hungry, they stay still in the bottom of a river, lake, or swamp, keep their mouths wide open, and wave their worm-like tongues. The wriggling lure catches the attention of a passerby. Sensing no danger, the unsuspecting fish swims near to claim the reward. Just as the fish is ready to swallow the "worm", alligator snapping turtles close their mouths immediately. The fish is either swallowed whole or cut in half by the tips of the alligator snapping turtles' sharp, powerful jaws!

Paragraphs 4 to 5:
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Animal Themes
             Animal Themes


Reptiles
             Reptiles


Freshwater
             Freshwater



Animals
    Amphibians  
 
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    Fish  
 
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    Insects  
 
 
    Invertebrates  
 
    Mammals  
 
    Oceans  
 
    Polar Regions  
 
    Rain Forest  
 
    Reptiles  
 


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