The common snapping turtle often inhabits water with muddy bottoms that are better for hiding. Discover facts about common snapping turtles with information from a published biologist in this free video on turtles and reptiles.
Here, I have a common snapping turtle. Its scientific name is Chelydra Serpentina. This is the, the snapping turtle lives only in fresh water however, it has been found it brackish water as well. They range from southern Canada, down the east coast of Florida, and into the mid-west United States. There is even a subspecies that is found to inhabit central America. They like to inhabit water that had muddy bottoms because it makes better hiding for them. The snapping turtles carapace is quite big, as it can reach up to eighteen inches in length. Its tail can usually be about half the size of the body and it has these horn-like keels on the tail, giving it a very primitive appearance. Its plastron, which I can't really show you, is quite small, but you can tell it is because it leaves much of its extremities expose, so you really wouldn't see this on other turtles. Very interesting as well is these projections in the back. When a snapping turtle feels threatened, it will usually aim its back end at you and lift this up so you run into these instead. It's interesting to know that this particular turtle has a very interesting carapace. Most of them in the wild won't look, or have quite this brilliant of a red in their shell. However, this turtle was fed a mixture of ground up fish, sweet potatoes, put into red strawberry jello and we believe it has affected the color of his carapace. Mating wise, males will position himself on top of a female and he will clasp, he will hold on to her by these really long, strong claws. A female can lay as many as eighty-three eggs and they will take nine to eighteen weeks to hatch. A very interesting fact about the female of this species is that they can store sperm within their bodies for multiple years so they can have a clutch every season without actually having to mate. As you can see, they look like ferocious carnivores and they are. These guys will eat almost anything that they can fit into their mouths including fish, reptiles, amphibians, and even small mammals.