May 25th 2010 By Tom Cullen
One of the planet's rarest and oddest-looking creatures has surfaced, thousands of miles from the only place it's known to live.
A fisherman in China caught the alligator snapping turtle
that looks like a cross between a turtle and some sort of cartoon dinosaur.
The man discovered the funky beast in Weishan Lake, in southern China's Anhui province on the other side of the world from his North American home.
It is thought he was probably someone's pet before being dumped in the lake. Keep reading for more info and photos of the scary-looking beast.
Fisherman Sun Yongcheng, understated that he was "surprised" when he netted the chubby chap, which measures 29 inches long and 11 inches wide and weighs 15 lbs.
Despite its name, the alligator snapping turtle is less aggressive than its close relative, the common snapping turtle. There are unverified reports of a giant, 403-lb. alligator snapper being found in Kansas in 1937, but they can definitely weigh up to 249 pounds.
The animals are endangered thanks to humans taking their habitat. Some are hunted for their carapaces -- the plastron of the turtle is valued because of its shape as a cross -- while soup made from their meat is considered by some to be a delicacy.