That's a direct quote from the Peterson Field Guide - Reptiles and Amphibians Peterson.
Again: "Large freshwater turtles with short tempers and long tails." Back off Peterson!
You'd be short-tempered too
if you were being pursued
for the chief ingredients
in turtle soup or stew!
The Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) is immediately recognizable:
- large head
- thick, long, flexible neck
- small plastron (lower shell)
- long tail; which is saw-toothed along the upper side
I'm satisfied to know their omnivorous (eats plants and animals) diets consist of: small aquatic invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, carrion, and a large amount of vegetation.
This is the busy season for turtles' egg-laying. A few days ago I discovered two Snappers within a half-hour. Each one was laying eggs at the very edge of the road.Today I saw evidence of two more, freshly covered-up snapper egg caches. These were along the "Lake Trail" in the Pickerel Lake Preserve. (Pickerel)
I frequently see them laying eggs along our officially-designated "Natural Beauty Road". We are fortunate to have three lakes, two streams, Saul Lake Bog (owned by the Nature Conservancy) (Saul Lake Bog) and six wetlands within a mile of our house. Snapping Turtle resorts.
Did You Know:
- Snappers rarely "bask"
- They often pee in this pit to soften the hard-packed dirt, for easier digging
- The females lay 24-30, spherical, 3/4" dia., white eggs, with a thin, leathery shell
- Back in 2001, according to my Journal, I uncovered 26 Snapping Turtle eggs in our front yard perennial garden. This is about 50 yards from our wetland, and 300 yards from McCarthy Lake. Don't worry, I reburied them immediately, and later that summer, saw them ambling straight south toward the lake.
- Does her left side look smarter than the right side?
- How would you rank her attractiveness on a scale of 1-10? (You know what a "10" is)
- Disposition? I know you've had exciting encounters, especially as kids when you were "testing" its jaw strength.
- Can you believe my lens was only 8" from its jaw? My fingers were safely 12" from danger, although I was belly-down on the pavement in the eastbound lane. (little traffic on Conservation Ave. near Ada).