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This article is about the crocodilian enemy first featured in the game Donkey Kong Jr.. For piranha-like enemy of the same name, see Snapjaw (Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest).
A Snapjaw as seen in artwork for Donkey Kong Jr.
First Appearance Donkey Kong Jr. (1982)
Latest Appearance NES Remix (2013)

Snapjaws[1] (also spelled Snap Jaws[2][3]) are enemies which resemble small alligators. They attack with gnashing teeth and are able to travel along vines.


Donkey Kong Jr.[edit]

Red and blue Snapjaws in 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 the ape, 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.

Donkey Kong[edit]

DKGB Snapjaw.png
A manga scene featuring Snapjaws, from Super Mario Encyclopedia: Complete Edition.
Artwork from Perfect Edition of the Great Mario Character Encyclopedia.

In Donkey Kong for the Game Boy, 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 not used to differentiate between enemy types, these Snapjaws have spiked bodies and shorter snouts. Snapjaws can be defeated with fruit or a hammer.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong series[edit]

Mario vs. Donkey Kong[edit]

A Snapjaw in Mario vs. Donkey Kong.
MvsDK Snapjaw.png

The next appearance of Snapjaws was in Mario vs. Donkey Kong. They show up in Donkey Kong Jungle, and have spikes instead of chain. 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. Like in the Game Boy Donkey Kong, Snapjaws can be defeated with fruit or a hammer.

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

A Snapjaw in Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis.

Snapjaws appeared in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis floor Jungle Hijinks, having a slightly updated appearance. They rapidly patrol vines, and if a Mini Mario touches one, the Mini Mario will be defeated. They do not fall off vines, and fruit can once again defeat them.

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

Snapjaws reappear in Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! in similar capacity. They are found in Jungle Rumble, in which they serve as shields for Donkey Kong.

Yoshi's Island DS[edit]


The Snapjaw returned in Yoshi's Island DS. These alligators are much more organic-looking than their mechanical counterparts. In this game, Snapjaws were usually found in levels where vines are abundant, and where Baby DK is the primary baby (such as in World 3). Snapjaws usually climb up and down on short vines, apparently clinging to them with their huge jaws. They sometimes fall from their vines, attempting to knock Baby DK from the Yoshi's back.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese スナップジョウ[4]
Kamitsuki Wani

Snapping Crocodilian

Crocodilian onomatopoeia with kun


  • The original appearance of Snapjaws, that of a fanged monster with a chain dragging behind it, is similar to the appearance of another creature encountered later in the Mario series, the Chain Chomp.
  • Klaptraps, small alligators introduced in Donkey Kong Country, may be based off Snapjaws.
  • A Snapjaw makes a cameo appearance in the Game Boy Camera accessory for the Game Boy handheld system, as the SHOW option's cursor.


  1. ^ Donkey Kong Jr. NES instruction booklet, page 5
  2. ^ Yoshi's Island DS Prima guide, page 134
  3. ^ Get Ready For Mini Mario-Mayhem Throughout The World! press release
  4. ^ Mario character book, page 95
  5. ^ Mario vs. Donkey Kong Shogakukan book
  6. ^ Yoshi's Island DS Nintendo Dream Book, page 16.