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Exotic ‘dinosaur-like’ turtle that can bite through bone found in Cumbria

Exotic ‘dinosaur-like’ turtle that can bite through bone found in Cumbria

A dangerous turtle capable of biting through bones has been found in a tarn in Cumbria.

An alligator snapping turtle, which is usually found in swamps and freshwater rivers in Florida, Texas and other southern parts of the United States, are known to have extremely powerful jaws.

The creature was spotted by Great Urswick residents in the tarn – a small lake – on the edge of the village.

After it was identified, parish councillor Denise Chamberlain took it to Wild Side Vets in Barrow.

The alligator snapping turtle was discovered in a small lake outside a Cumbrian village (Wild Side Vets)
The alligator snapping turtle was discovered in a small lake outside a Cumbrian village (Wild Side Vets)

“It was starting to look quite sorry for itself. I rang various agencies who were unhelpful. Everyone thought it was a terrapin - it’s not,” she told the Westmorland Gazette.

They have a powerful bite and have been known to sever human fingers (Wild Side Vets)
They have a powerful bite and have been known to sever human fingers (Wild Side Vets)

The turtle is now in the care of the local vets, who have been described as the “heroes” of the story.

The animals are known for their stocky armoured carapace, which gives them a prehistoric appearance that often draws comparisons to dinosaurs.

Unlike other species of snapping turtles, their eyes are located on the sides of their head rather than their front, while their tails are long and thick.

They usually grow to some 80 to 100cm and weigh between 70 to 90kg, and live to around 45 years.

According to the Britannica website, they are capable of exterting a force of several hundred newtons, and can easily break bone and have been known to sever human fingers.