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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 as seen in artwork for Donkey Kong Jr.
First appearance Donkey Kong Jr. (1982)
Latest appearance Ultimate NES Remix (2014)
Snap Jaw
Chain Chomp
Vine Eater

Snapjaws[1] are enemies 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 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. In this game, they appear as fanged monsters with a chain behind them, similar to Chain Chomps.

Donkey Kong (Game Boy)[edit]


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. 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.

The next appearance of Snapjaws is in Mario vs. Donkey Kong. They show up 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.

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.

Profiles and statistics[edit]

Perfect Ban Mario Character Daijiten[edit]

種族しゅぞく ビーストぞく
性格せいかく お天気屋てんきや
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

Tribe: Beast clan
Disposition: Moody person
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.


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[5]
Měngyóu Shírényú
Literally "Fiercely Swimming Piranha"
French Mâchoire[6][7]
Mâchoire d'Acier[6]
Steel Jawbone
German Beißer[6]
Italian Mordimordi[6]
Mandibole Mangiagorilla[10]
Gorilla-eater Jaws
Spanish Mandibula[6] Mandible


  • 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. ^ 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. ^ GAME&WATCH. Retrieved June 27, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d e Donkey Kong Junior Atari computer version manual (International)
  7. ^ French ColecoVision manual
  8. ^ German ColecoVision manual
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Donkey Kong Jr. (NES), back of the Italian box
  11. ^ Donkey Kong Jr. Italian booklet