NATURE KNOWLEDGE: Common Snapping Turtle

Snapping Turtle

This lovely lady was in my sister’s backyard a few years ago.

Read about the event in my blog post:

The Rescue.

It’s that time of year folks. Turtles are awakening and looking to lay their eggs.

These reptiles primarily eat carrion. They live in ponds and bury their eggs in dirt and debris in their surroundings.

Several years ago, my friends had a load of dirt delivered in order to level a campsite that they were building. In the dirt, there were , what appeared to be ping pong balls. I realized that they were turtle eggs but we were not sure what kind. I told them to place one in a warm place and see what happened. After a night in their oven (pilot only), a little snapping turtle emerged!

We named him Lucky and released him into a pond. I then read about snapping turtle eggs. Did you know that the surrounding temperatures define the sex of the hatching turtles? Amazing!

Snapping turtles do not have a lower shell and cannot withdraw their heads inside. They are fierce when cornered and FAST! Many folks poke at them (please don’t) with sticks to see them “snap”. I’ve witnessed a snapper lunging forward a whole body length. Their necks and heads are large, long and powerful.

Please be kind to them and allow them their space. Eating rotted materials is their contribution to our ecosystem. They are valuable. Call me crazy…I think they are handsome, like dinosaurs. 🙂

13 thoughts on “NATURE KNOWLEDGE: Common Snapping Turtle

  1. Jude 04/26/2012 / 7:28 am

    Oh she is absolutely beautiful! I wish we had them in France. I’m so glad your friends saved the egg and the baby survived.

  2. Kate 04/26/2012 / 8:38 am

    We have a family friend with a love for turtles. His wife is my daughter’s reading tutor. Thanks for sharing this.

    • sillyfrogsusan 04/26/2012 / 9:09 am

      That really “hits the spot” with me…thanks for the comment! ~ Susan

  3. Deb Platt 04/26/2012 / 11:11 am

    It’s true that snapping turtles scavenge, but if you check out their Wikipedia entry you’ll see they are also active predators. Their is a small pond near me where I knew there was a huge snapping turtle. I watched as dozens of baby ducks disappeared. I’m convinced the snapping turtle was eating them. If you go to YouTube and search for snapping turtles and ducks, you can see videos of snapping turtle preying on ducks.

    • sillyfrogsusan 04/26/2012 / 11:52 am

      Yes, they can be predators…to what level?, people can’t seem to agree. Thanks for adding info to this blog through your comment…all appreciated.

  4. Teresa Cleveland Wendel 04/26/2012 / 2:29 pm

    I love tortoises and turtles. They make great pets……………well…………maybe not a snapping turtle.

  5. vnettum 04/26/2012 / 2:40 pm

    Aw I really like this! It’s so cute 🙂

  6. H2O by Joanna 04/26/2012 / 4:08 pm

    I too think they are pretty, there is just something about them… 😀

  7. Forrest 04/26/2012 / 5:38 pm

    They look very much like dinosaurs.

    I can’t believe anyone would need a warning to stay back and leave these guys their space … but I can’t believe all sorts of things in the world. When I was little, the grown ups would tell us horror stories about people in canoes who lost a finger or toe to a snapping turtle that swam by and saw an easy meal. Now that I’m an adult myself, I realize it must have been bunk, and my parents and uncles probably had a good laugh at my expense. But they’ve instilled a healthy respect for turtles that haven’t been ruled out to snap, and I’ll have it all my life.

    By the way, I somehow got the idea that snap dragons could also take your finger off if you messed with them…

    • sillyfrogsusan 04/26/2012 / 6:09 pm

      LOL…Gosh, what we do to kids! True, I had some weird ideas and fears too. Thanks for the giggle.:-)

      • Forrest 04/26/2012 / 6:16 pm

        I’m not still wary of snap dragons, though. In fact, I bought eight six-packs of them lately … but still haven’t planted them all. 😀

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