Common Snapping Turtle
Scientific NameChelydra serpentina
Native To Southeastern Canada
Habitat Freshwater rivers, lakes and ponds
Diet Omnivore: aquatic vegetation, insects, crustaceans, mice and small lizards
Size and Age Average length 20-37 cm (8-15 in); weight 4.5-16 kg (10-35 lbs); average lifespan of 60-100 years
The common snapping turtle is often found lying at the bottom of a shallow body of water, immersed in mud. Despite being capable swimmers, they tend to move by walking along the bottom of a pond. Common snapping turtles are omnivorous reptiles with an extremely varied diet. Juveniles actively forage for food, while adults tend to sit and wait to ambush prey that swim past. Snapping turtles are known for the strength of their bite. This feature assists with the tearing and chewing of prey.
Common snapping turtle habitats are being destroyed by urban development. During their nesting season they have been known to wander to find the perfect place to nest. More often than not, these reptiles wander across streets and get run-over by traffic. Although a turtles shell is strong, it is not nearly strong enough to withstand being run over by a car.
National park protection is a contributing factor to easing the stress on common snapping turtle habitats. Recycling and other forms of environmental cleanup helps in several ways as well, making a positive impact on all wild animals.