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The Mississippi Turtle: Facts, Habitat, and Conservation Efforts

“It almost looks like the fish is smiling,” the post reads.

For this achievement, Herrington received the “Outstanding Angler Award,” given by TPWD for a catch that does not qualify for other categories, but still deserves recognition.

Herrington then released the armadillo into the 1,442-kilometer-long Trinity River to continue swimming.

The Mississippi turtle (Atractosteus spatula) is one of the largest freshwater fish in North America. According to TPWD, these fish can grow up to about 2.4 meters and weigh more than 300 kilograms, writes “Newsweek”.

This species ranges from southwestern Ohio, southeastern Missouri, and Illinois to part of the Gulf Coast and a small portion of northeastern Mexico.

It is the largest species of its genus and is easily distinguished from its relatives by its long, slender, cylindrical body, long snout, and interlocking diamond-shaped scales.

The upper body of the Mississippi turtle tends to be brown or olive, while the underside is a few shades lighter. Adult Mississippi armadillos have two rows of large teeth on either side of the upper jaw.

Mississippi turtles are often referred to as “living fossils” because the fossil record of these prehistoric fish goes back nearly 100 million years. Mississippian turtles have retained several primitive characteristics inherited from their early ancestors.

These fish have adapted to a variety of habitats, including large reservoirs and coastal bays. But as a result of habitat destruction and overfishing, the Mississippi turtle has disappeared from most of its historic range.

Although the population remains relatively large in Texas, studies show that the species is declining or extinct in many areas of the southeastern United States, according to TPWD.

Mississippi turtles can live for decades. In 2011, the Mississippi-caught armadillo, the winner of the world record title, which weighed 148 kilograms, was probably 95 years old at the time.

2023-09-12 21:00:00
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