Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Subphylum Vertebrata
Class Reptilia
Order Testudines
Genus Chelydra
Family Chelydridae
Scientific Name Chelydra serpentina
Common Snapping Turtle
Common Snapping Turtle ©

Common Snapping Turtle Description

  • The common snapping turtle continues to grow all its life.
  • Males are larger than females.
  • They travel great distances in search of suitable habitats.
  • Common snapping turtles are at the top of the food chain in their native habitat.
  • They do not make good pets as they are pretty aggressive.
  • After laying eggs (in a hole) the female covers the eggs with sand.
  • The northern snapping turtles hibernate 6 months a year because of ice.

Size & Weight


  • TOTAL LENGTH: 25–47 cm (9.8–18.5 in)
  • WEIGHT: 4.5–16 kg (9.9–35.3 lb)


  • LENGTH: 5 cm (11.2 in)
  • WEIGHT: 6 kg (13 lb)


Shallow streams, ponds, estuaries


Southeastern Canada, Rocky Mountains, Florida, Nova Scotia


Invertebrates, reptiles, frogs, small mammals, fish, unwary birds, snakes, smaller turtles


25 to 80 eggs

Mating Season

April – November

Egg-laying Season

June – July

Incubation Period

9 to 18 weeks

Sexual Maturity

15 – 20 years


100 years max.


Crows, raccoons, minks, foxes, great blue heron, skink, bullfrog, snakes, large fish, northern river otter

Conservation Status

Least Concern