Snapping Turtle, Chelydra serpentina serpentina
Chelydridae or Snapping Turtle Family


Snapping Turtle laying eggs

A large turtle, weighing around 20 to 30 pounds when mature, with a powerful build and long claws. It has a long, snake-like neck which gives it its species name serpentina. The jaw is powerful and beak-like.

Will eat almost anything that will fit in its jaws, including dead organisms, plants, and small fish and aquatic animals. Often lies buried in the mud with its head exposed, ready to snap up unwary fish. Has a nasty disposition when out of the water, so, considering the powerful jaws, it is best to leave it alone.

Snapping Turtle face
 

Female will travel quite far from water in search of sandy soil in which to lay her eggs. The photographed lady was laying her eggs in construction sand piled at Wildwood's entrance. Although the city quickly moved to protect that sandpile from humans, the eggs were dug up and eaten by a predator. 

 

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