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This article is about the crocodilian enemy that first appeared in the Donkey Kong Jr. game. For the piranha-like enemy of the same name, see Snapjaw (Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest). For the crocodilian enemy from Yoshi's Island DS, see Snap Jaw.
A Snapjaw from Mario vs. Donkey Kong on Nintendo Switch.
A Snapjaw as seen in artwork for Mario vs. Donkey Kong (Nintendo Switch)
First appearance Donkey Kong Jr. (1982)
Latest appearance Mario vs. Donkey Kong (Nintendo Switch) (2024)

Snapjaws[1] are enemies which appear in the Donkey Kong and Mario vs. Donkey Kong series. They are mechanical creatures that resemble a cross between an alligator and a living bear trap. They attack with gnashing teeth and are able to travel along vines.


Donkey Kong series[edit]

Donkey Kong Jr.[edit]

A blue Snapjaw from Donkey Kong Jr.   A red Snapjaw from Donkey Kong Jr.   Sprite of a blue Snapjaw from the Nintendo Entertainment System port of Donkey Kong Jr.   DKJrNESRedSnapjaw.png   Sprite of a Snapjaw from the Atari 2600 port of Donkey Kong Jr.
Snapjaws as they appear in the arcade (blue and red), NES (blue and red), and Atari 2600 versions of Donkey Kong Jr.

Snapjaws first appear in the game Donkey Kong Jr. Here, they are used by Mario in an attempt to defeat Donkey Kong Jr. Like Kong, Snapjaws can climb vines. Whereas blue Snapjaws simply fall off a vine when they reach the end of it, the red variety thrown by Mario can continually climb up and down vines and move on platforms. Snapjaws can only be defeated by dropping fruit on top of them. In this game, they appear as fanged monsters with a chain behind them, similar to Chain Chomps.

Donkey Kong (Game Boy)[edit]


In the Game Boy version of Donkey Kong, Snapjaws appear in Stage 2-4 in the Forest and three stages of the Jungle. They act much as they do in their previous appearance, and Snapjaws thrown by Donkey Kong act like the blue ones of Donkey Kong Jr.; however, as color is unused to differentiate between enemy types, these Snapjaws have spiked bodies and shorter snouts. Snapjaws can be defeated with fruit or a hammer. They are said to have become Donkey Kong's companion and betrayed Mario.[2]

Captain N: The Game Master[edit]

Snapjaws in Captain N: The Game Master.

Snapjaws appear in the episode titled "Queen of the Apes" of Captain N: The Game Master. Like many entities in the series, they are very off-model, being depicted as piranhas with large underbites (incidentally similar to the creature of the same name from Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest).

Mario vs. Donkey Kong series[edit]

Mario vs. Donkey Kong[edit]

Snapjaw artwork from the ending credits.
A Snapjaw in Mario vs. Donkey Kong.

Snapjaws reappear in Mario vs. Donkey Kong. They appear in Donkey Kong Jungle, and have spikes instead of chains. They act similarly to normal red Snapjaws, but move at a less rapid speed when going down a vine, and can change direction in the middle of a vine. The ones that appear in the fifth stage have a red and green coloration, whereas Donkey Kong tosses Snapjaws with a blue and purple palette in the DK stage. These Snapjaws do not fall off their vine; rather, they will climb up a vine approximately twice, at which point they will vanish. Unlike in the Game Boy Donkey Kong, Snapjaws can be defeated with fruit, but not a hammer.

The Nintendo Switch version gives Snapjaws a new design that makes the teeth on the respective upper and lower jaws the same color as said jaws, as well as making them flatter to give them more of a toy-like appearance than the games that came before it. However, their design remains largely faithful to both the original game's sequel and its DSi counterpart.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis[edit]

Artwork of a Snapjaw, as seen in the staff credits of Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis.
A Snapjaw in Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis

Snapjaws reappear in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis floor Jungle Hijinks, having a slightly updated appearance. During levels, they eat leafy vines as they move through them, and if a Mini Mario touches one, the Mini Mario will be defeated. During the boss battle against Donkey Kong, three of them repeatedly travel down and up ropes, and fruit can once again defeat them.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again![edit]

Snapjaws reappear in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! floor Jungle Rumble. They serve a similar capacity in the boss battle against Donkey Kong, except they spawn from the top of the ropes over time.

WarioWare: Move It![edit]

A Snapjaw appears in the WarioWare: Move It! microgame Donkey Kong Jr., where it is seen giving chase. Donkey Kong Jr. should climb up the vines and reach the platform without getting caught by the Snapjaw, because otherwise, it will instantly defeat him, resulting in a loss.

Other appearances[edit]

A Snapjaw is depicted as the SHOW option's cursor in the Game Boy Camera accessory.

Profiles and statistics[edit]

Perfect Ban Mario Character Daijiten[edit]

スナイパー (JP) / Snapjaw (EN)
A Snapjaw from Donkey Kong Jr. andDonkey Kong for the Game Boy.
Original text (Japanese) Translation
出身しゅっしん ビーストぞく Place of origin Beast clan
性格せいかく 天気屋てんきや Disposition Moody person
登場とうじょうゲーム JRジュニアGBゲームボーイドンキー Game appearances Jr., GB Donkey


A large-mouthed crocodile ascending a vine

An crocodile monster that opens its large mouth and chases after you by climbing up and down vines. In Donkey Jr., it worked as Mario's lackey, but in GB Donkey, it became Donkey Kong's companion and betrayed Mario.


Additional names[edit]

Internal names[edit]

Game File Name Meaning

Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis data/data/anims/alligator_anim.bin alligator -
Mario vs. Donkey Kong (Nintendo Switch) Model/Snapjaw.bfres.zs Snapjaw -

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese スナップジョー[3] / スナップジョウ[2]
Kamitsuki Wani

Snapping Crocodile

Chinese (simplified) 猛游食人鱼[13]
Měngyóu Shírényú
Literally "Fiercely Swimming Piranha"

French Mâchoire[5][6]
Mâchoire d'Acier[5]
Steel Jawbone
German Beißer[5]
Italian Mandibola Mangiagorilla[8]
Gorilla-eater Jaw
Spanish Mandibula[5]


  1. ^ Donkey Kong Jr. NES English instruction booklet. Page 5.
  2. ^ a b c 「パーフェクト版 マリオキャラクター大事典」 (Perfect Ban Mario Character Daijiten), page 95.
  3. ^ Japanese arcade instruction card, Famicom manual, and FDS manual for Donkey Kong Jr.
  4. ^ Mario vs. Donkey Kong Shogakukan book
  5. ^ a b c d e Donkey Kong Junior Atari computer version manual (International)
  6. ^ French ColecoVision manual
  7. ^ German ColecoVision manual
  8. ^ Donkey Kong Jr. (NES), back of the Italian box
  9. ^ Donkey Kong Jr. Italian booklet
  10. ^ Donkey Kong II Italian booklet
  11. ^ Donkey Kong Jr. (3DS - Virtual Console) Italian e-manual. Page 8.
  12. ^ Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online - Sali e scendi con liane e catene e destreggiati fra le varie insidie, schivando disgustose bestiole come minicoccodrilli e volatili per arrivare alle chiavi che aprono la gabbia in cui è rinchiuso Donkey Kong.
  13. ^ GAME&WATCH. Retrieved June 27, 2021.