Out of all of the things that most turtles have as a stereotype including, harmless, slow, and cute, The Common Snapping Turtle has to be the one to break all of the commonalities. Like the “Fish to Avoid” Article this is the “Turtle to Stay Avoid” article. Unless you have a fascination with turtles or are the adventurous type I would have to suggest you not try and find one of these prehistoric looking beasts.
These “Common” turtles occur throughout the whole of North America, from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and from the Atlantic Coast to the Rocky Mountains. The Snapping Turtle that is widely known to be aggressive is not normally so unless it is taken out of its natural watery habitat. For the most part Snapping Turtles do not leave they’re underwater habitat only rarely to bask on nearby banks or rocks.
Easy to identify these dinosaur aged creature haven’t changed much from the time they first appeared way back in prehistoric ages. With its large head and brown, olive, and black shell which has many sharp looking edges and almost spikes, it is hard not to know what it is when you see one. The underside of its shell is very small and is yellowish in color with the rest of the turtle’s skin being a gray or tan. Its legs are often heavily scaled along with long claws and webbed feet. Then you have the very long tail which has three rows of scales which is normally the same length as the shell.
Living in streams, slow moving rives and creeks, and sometimes ponds Snapping Turtles are omnivorous and live on insects, fish and crestations, and a lot of their diet is made up on local vegetation.
Mating and Egg lying can take place over a long span of time anywhere between April and November, with hatchling numbering from 20 – 40 per female. Although most hatchlings succumb to birds or other Snapping Turtles as prey.
The Common Snapping Turtle really has no natural predators besides Humans who mainly will kill it for its use in turtle soup (can’t say I have tried it myself!) but they can also fall victim to Coyote, Bear and Alligators. In the wild if able to avoid Humans and predators Snapping Turtles have been known to live upwards of 40 years, but people who do keep these creatures as pets notice not nearly this span of years.