Reptiles

Amphibians

Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)

Description

This large, aquatic turtle is characterized by its relatively smooth shell, sizable head, snake-like neck (hence "serpentina"), and long tail. It has a small plastron and cannot withdraw very far into its shell for protection; in most cases, it's powerful bite is enough to hold off any would-be predators.

This species is often confused with the less common and even larger Alligator Snapping Turtle. The shell of the Alligator Snapping Turtle is more ruggose with a row of 3-5 supramarginal scutes. This extra row of scutes is completely absent in the Snapping Turtle. If visible during defensive displays, the tongue of the Snapping Turtle is flat and fleshy, while that of the Alligator Snapping Turtle has a worm-like lure. In a side-by-side comparison, the head of the Snapping Turtle is more oval and smaller, the beak less pronounced, and the eyes more visible when viewed from above.

The juveniles of the species look similar, but with bumpier shells.

This species is often simply called a snapper.


Habitats

This species is found in practically every kind of body of water, from large lakes, to agricultural ponds, to rivers and creeks. Slower-moving waters with plenty of vegetation and muddy bottoms are preferred.


Habits and Life History


Prey and Hunting Techniques


Temperament and Defense


Conservation


State Distribution and Abundance

This species is found statewide and is very common.

Gallery

Impressively Prehistoric Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle, Carapace Measurement Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping turtle Snapping turtle, Arkansas Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Chelydra serpentina (Common Snapping Turtle) Dead Snapping Turtle Mammoth Spring State Park - Arkansas Snapper2 Chelydra serpentina - Common Snapping Turtle. Chelydra serpentina. Common snapping turtle Common snapping turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Snapping Turtle Common Snapping Turtle Common Snapping Turtle Young Common Snapping Turtle Young Common Snapping Turtle Young Common Snapping Turtle Common Snapping Turtle Common Snapping Turtle Common Snapping Turtle Common Snapping Turtle Common Snapping Turtles in a Hoop Trap Common Snapping Turtles in a Hoop Trap Common Snapping Turtle Common Snapping Turtle Common Snapping Turtle Common Snapping Turtle Common Snapping Turtle Common Snapping Turtle Common Snapping Turtle Common Snapping Turtle Common Snapping Turtle

Snapper Harassed by Dogs

Common Snapping Turtle Being Harassed by Dogs Common Snapping Turtle Being Harassed by Dogs Common Snapping Turtle Being Harassed by Dogs Common Snapping Turtle Being Harassed by Dogs Common Snapping Turtle Being Harassed by Dogs Common Snapping Turtle Being Harassed by Dogs Common Snapping Turtle Being Harassed by Dogs Common Snapping Turtle Being Harassed by Dogs Common Snapping Turtle Being Harassed by Dogs Common Snapping Turtle Being Harassed by Dogs

Contributors


Bibliography

  • Behler, J. L., and F. W. King. 1979 (1987). The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians. 3rd ed. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 743 pp.
  • Conant, R., and J. T. Collins. 1998. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. 3rd ed., Expanded. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. 616 pp.
  • Trauth, S. E., H. W. Robison, and M. V. Plummer. 2004. Amphibians and Reptiles of Arkansas. University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville. 421 pp.

Discussion

< Spiny Softshell | Turtle | Alligator Snapping Turtle >

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Page last modified on January 21, 2012, at 09:11 PM