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Snapping Turtle

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Spotted in Munster Indiana at the top of a hill, next to a stream in Centennial Park
Snapping Turtle
Snapping Turtle
Snapping Turtle
Snapping Turtle
Snapping turtles are large aquatic freshwater reptiles that only live in North America. There are only two species of snapping turtle that still exist, which are the Common Snapping Turtle and the Alligator Snapping Turtle. The Common Snapping Turtle tends to live at higher latitudes than the Alligator.

Snapping turtles enjoy a wide variety of food and are often considered the top predator in their environment. The alligator snapping turtle's diet consists mainly of fish, which they lure using a pink worm-like appendage on the end of their tongue. Common snapping turtles are more active hunters and will eat just about anything.

Snapping turtles do not make good pets, usually, as they will never stop growing. The largest snapping turtles on record have weight records of around 600 lbs. Alligator snapping turtles have been known to grow even larger.

The Snapping turtle's main defence mechanism is their powerful snapping jaws, which enable them to make short work of attackers and small prey. They also have monstrous, thick claws on their front and back legs which they use to tear apart food and to climb hills each year where they lay their eggs (in a similar way to sea turtles).

The alligator snapping turtle is the largest freshwater turtle in North America, where it is generally found in the more southern waters of the United States. The smaller and more aggressive common snapping turtle inhabits lakes and streams from South America to Canada.

Snapping turtles spend nearly all of their lives in water, with typically only nesting females actually venturing onto open land. Snapping turtles can remain submerged underwater for up to three hours at a time.

Alligator snapping turtles and common snapping turtles have a very different looking appearances. The alligator snapping turtle has a long head and almost spiky shell, where the common snapping turtle has a more rounded head and a smoother shell. They are also easily distinguished by size as the common snapping turtle is smaller than the alligator snapping turtle.

Snapping turtle mating takes place once a year generally in the spring time. The female snapping turtle can lay anywhere from 10 to 50 eggs which take 3 or 4 months to hatch. It is thought that snapping turtles are capable of living until they are 150 years old but they typically live until they are between 20 and 50 years old in captivity.

Snapping Turtle Comments (45)



Leonard M. Labashi

"I loved this article about the snapping turtle, it really helped me with my 10 page essay!! But a recommendation for this site is to put a lot more fun facts about the snapping turtle:))"


"this helped me with my 300 word essay its awesome!!!!!!! thank you!!!"

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Snapping Turtle Facts

Five groups that classify all living things...
A group of animals within the animal kingdom...
A group of animals within a pylum...
A group of animals within a class...
A group of animals within an order...
A group of animals within a family...
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species...
The animal group that the species belongs to...
What kind of foods the animal eats...
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is...
47-80cm (18.5-31in)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is...
16-136kg (35-300lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal...
4km/h (2.4mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for...
20-32 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable...
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct...
The colour of the animal's coat or markings...
Brown, Tan, Black
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal...
Favourite Food:Fish
The specific area where the animal lives...
Slow rivers, lakes and marshland
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once...
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from...
Fish, Birds, Frogs
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal...
Human, Raccoon, Alligator
Special Features:Powerful legs and strong jaw

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