The American alligator is one of the apex predators in the southeast United States, and as such, it is at the top of the food chain. Very few animals are not on the alligator’s menu. Not even hard-shelled turtles are safe from the alligator’s jaws. With a bite force of 9,452 newtons (2,125 lbf), the American alligator has one of the strongest bites on the planet, and it can crush a turtle shell like an egg. In the video below, watch as a hungry alligator easily crunches through a helpless turtle’s shell.
This interaction perfectly demonstrates that, no matter how armored you are against predators, there’s always a bigger and badder predator that can obliterate your defenses. Turtles aren’t always on the alligator’s dinner plate, but it’s obvious that they are not safe around them. They both share the same environment, and they both have a high likelihood of bumping into each other.
Thus, alligators eating turtles is not, in the least, a rare occurrence. Here’s another video of an alligator chowing down on a very large turtle. The scene is rather bloody, so viewer discretion is advised.
Imagine if that had been your hand! This is why you should always respect alligators and other crocodilians. They will mess you up in ways you didn’t know were possible.