Common Snapping Turtle Facts for Kids

Common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) is a large turtle that inhabits in fresh water. It is an aggressive animal on land but not in water. Its jaws are very strong and shaped like a beak. Its head and neck are very flexible and moves like a snake.

The adult snapping turtles can grow as long as 48.7 centimeters in length and weigh around 9.9 to 35.3 pounds. Female turtles are smaller than the males. The heaviest snapping turtle had a weight of 75 pounds.

Common snapping turtles have a maximum lifespan of more than 100 years.

Snapping turtles mature at the age of 15 to 20 years. The peak mating season of these turtles occur between June and July.

The clutch size of snapping turtles ranges from 25 to 80 eggs. The eggs are hatched between 9 and 18 weeks.

It is widely distributed from Canada, Rockies and toward the east in Florida. Typically, the preferred habitat of snapping turtles is the muddy bottom of shallow streams. However, few of these turtles also inhabit estuaries i.e. saline coastal waters.

Snapping turtles are omnivores. They like to feed on snakes, birds, frogs, small mammals, fish and other invertebrates.

In water, snapping turtles are docile creatures and do not attack humans at all. However if caught, they can be dangerous and can inflict injury due to their aggressive nature. Its claws are sharp and happily they are used only for digging. This turtle is used as food in turtle soup.

The eggs of snapping turtles are eaten by raccoons, skunks, crows and foxes. Some of the predators that prey on hatchlings of snapping turtles are black bears, great blue herons, coyotes, owls, bullfrogs, snakes, alligator snapping turtles and hawks.

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