Snapping Turtle
Chelydra serpentina

The head and limbs of the Snapping Turtle are so large and its lower shell so small that the animal cannot fully retreat into its shell. Its powerful jaws are its defense. Opportunistic feeders, Snappers eat a wide variety of aquatic plants and animals. They are usually seen floating lazily just below the water's surface. Females occasionally come on land to seek out sites for laying their eggs, and can be very aggressive at that time.

The overall length of a Snapping Turtle is about 20 inches. The head is big, with powerful jaws, carapace brown, often covered with algae or mud; long tail. Its preferred habitat is quiet mud-bottom waters.



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