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

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

Adults:

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

Carapace

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

Habitat

Shallow streams, ponds, estuaries

Range

Southeastern Canada, Rocky Mountains, Florida, Nova Scotia

Diet

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

Reproduction

25 to 80 eggs

Mating Season

April – November

Egg-laying Season

June – July

Incubation Period

9 to 18 weeks

Sexual Maturity

15 – 20 years

Lifespan

100 years max.

Predators

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

Conservation Status

Least Concern