Common Snapping Turtle

This is a very large turtle. Its name is Common snapping Turtle. You can recognize them by their size. They have alluring tails which give them a unique look. To know more about them read this blog.   

Common Snapping Turtle

  • The largest freshwater turtle in North Carolina is the snapping turtle.
  • Common Snapping Turtle has a long neck, a long tail that is saw-toothed along the top, and a very huge head.
  • It can be recognized by its size, long saw-toothed tail, short plastron with a cross form, huge head, and sharply curved beak.
  • The huge carapace has three low keels around the middle and a sharply serrated posterior border.
  • They have fully webbed feet and large strong claws.

Scientific Name

Chelydra serpentina 

Physical Description 


  • They measure 8-12 inches on an average adult. 


  • They weigh between 10-35 pounds. 


  • It can be green, brown, or black, and occasionally it has moss growing on it.
  • Snapping turtles have a long, bony-plate-covered tail that is frequently as long as or longer than the carapace( top of shell).

Food & Diet

  • Common Snapping Turtle is omnivorous.
  • They’ll consume almost anything that fits in their mouths.
  • Their diversified food includes fish, reptiles, birds (including ducklings), animals, carrion, water vegetation, and aquatic invertebrates.
  • They regularly consume dead or dying animals for food.


  • One of the state’s most Aquarian freshwater turtles is this one.
  • On the other hand, people of all sizes can be seen on land, particularly females who are laying eggs.
  • While swimming in the water, snapping turtles frequently stroll around the bottom.
  • Rarely do these turtles bask on logs, although on occasion they’ll float at the water’s surface and do so.

Habitat & Range 

  • You can find them in nearly all permanent water bodies, but they like those water bodies which have soft bottoms and abundant aquatic vegetation.
  • Native to the Nearctic area, snapping turtles.
  • Their range spans south to the Gulf of Mexico and into central Texas, and it starts in southern Alberta and goes east to Nova Scotia in Canada.


  • Snapping turtles typically mature between the ages of 8 and 10 and have a lifespan of at least 40 years.
  • Depending on the size of the wetland, they typically live in areas ranging from 4 to 22 acres.


  • Throughout the late spring and summer, they lay from 11 to 83 spherical eggs.
  • Females may travel a long way to deposit their eggs away from water, and they regularly are hit by cars as they cross roadways.
  • These turtles can mate at any time between April and October, and the female can carry eggs from single fertilization for up to three years.
  • In West Virginia, the time for nesting is around June. Up to 30 white, golfball-sized eggs may be laid in the nest, which is excavated by the female to a depth of 5 to 7 inches.

Snapping Turtle Eggs

  • They can lay up to 100 eggs per nest, but they often lay 20 to 40.
  • The eggs resemble ping-pong balls in that they are perfectly spherical and white.
  • Because of the vulnerability of the nests to predators, over 80% of nests are destroyed each year. 
  • Depending on the species and the environment, the eggs hatch after three to six months.

Baby Snapping Turtle

  • Even though snapping turtles are aquatic turtles, they won’t always fit in a tiny tank or a typical aquarium.
  • Baby snapping turtles require a lot of maintenance, so only seasoned keepers should consider keeping them as pets.

Common Snapping Turtle Bite

  • The most well-known feature of snapping turtles is their powerful bites.
  • According to Mental Floss, alligator snapping turtles have a somewhat less forceful bite than common snapping turtles, with an average biting force of roughly 158 Newtons.

Interaction With Humans

  • Typically, snapping turtles travel to land to find fresh rivers, mate, or lay eggs
  • Conflicts may arise at this time because it is when people come into contact the most frequently.
  • The length and flexibility of these animals’ necks are frequently underestimated by those who have never handled them.
  • Their jaws have the force to seriously hurt a finger.
  • The likelihood of infection from such a wound is very high given the various germs that exist in their surroundings. Give a snapping turtle some room if you see one; it will probably continue on its path.
  • If the turtle needs to be moved, consider using a shovel to do it.

Difference Between Alligator Snapping Turtle & Common Snapping Turtle

  • There are two distinct sorts (species) of snapping turtles, and both are enormous creatures.
  • They don’t weigh the same or measure the same, though. Additionally, males and females in each species weigh differently.
  • The male snapping turtles are bigger than the females in the same way that alligator snapping turtles are bigger than common snapping turtles.

Baby Alligator Snapping Turtle

  • The head of the alligator snapping turtle is triangular.
  • The alligator snapper, for one, has a crimson lure in its mouth that resembles a worm.
  • Baby alligator “snappers” eat aquatic invertebrates, crayfish, snails, and tiny fish. 


  • It depends on foods, including plants, animals, frogs, fish, small turtles, birds, crayfish, small mammals, and carrion. 


  • Other large turtles, great blue herons, ravens, raccoons, skunks, foxes, bullfrogs, water snakes, and large predatory fish, such largemouth bass, may consume snapping turtle eggs and hatchlings.
  • But after snapping turtles get bigger, there aren’t many creatures that will eat them.

Population & Threats 

  • Due to pressure from the pet trade and habitat loss, populations of these turtles have considerably decreased.
  • To reach new habitats or lay eggs, common snapping turtles travel a great deal overland.
  • Snappers frequently move far from the nearest water source because of issues such as pollution, habitat degradation, food scarcity, overcrowding, and others.

Reference Link


  • The Common Snapping Turtle’s conservation status in the US is classified as “Least Concern.”
  • They are common in North Carolina. 

Common Snapping Turtle-FAQ

What does a Snapping Turtle look like?

Snapping turtles can be identified by their short plastron (bottom shell), which does not entirely enclose the animal’s flesh, and its dark carapace (top shell), which has a sharply serrated back margin. 

How to pick up a Snapping Turtle?

Avoid picking the turtle up by the tail because you risk breaking its back and tail bones. Try to gently slide the turtle into a box or container from behind if you have one that is the right size.

How big can a Snapping Turtle get?

Adults can weigh up to 45 pounds, and the length of its carapace can reach 8 to 14 inches (20 to 36 cm) (16 kg). Snapping turtle males can grow to be larger than females.

How long does an Alligator Snapping Turtle live?

It has a median life range of 11 to 45 years in the wild, however captive animals have reached 70 years of age. Due to habitat destruction and overharvesting for their flesh, alligator snapping turtle populations are in decline.

Can you keep baby Snapping Turtle as a pet? 

Even though snapping turtles are aquatic turtles, they won’t always fit in a tiny tank or a typical aquarium. Baby snapping turtles require a lot of maintenance, so only seasoned keepers should consider keeping them as pets.