There are two types of snapping turtles: the common snapping turtle and the alligator snapping turtle, both of which are relatively large predatory freshwater turtles. Alligator snapping turtles are the larger of the two species, weighing up to 180 pounds, making them the largest freshwater turtles in the world. They have powerful and sharply hooked jaws for catching prey and defending against predation.Know More
The common snapping turtle and alligator snapping turtles are both ambush predators, hiding and remaining still underwater until prey comes within range. Alligator snapping turtles have a gray-green coloring in general, but their tongues are pink and resemble worms. They use these tongues as bait, waiting for fish or other prey to literally swim into their jaws. Alligator snapping turtles often stay still at the bottom of a body of water for nearly an hour at a time, remaining so motionless that algae grows on their back, enhancing their camouflage.
Common snapping turtles often bury themselves in mud to conceal themselves while hunting, but are generally more active than their larger cousins. At night, they emerge onto land and eat anything they can catch. They are even known to decapitate other turtles, although it is unknown whether this is a method of predation or a territorial behavior.Learn more about Turtles
According to the California Turtle and Tortoise Club, it is nearly impossible to accurately estimate the age of a tortoise or turtle, unless it was acquired from an early age. The practice of counting growth rings, while helpful with trees, is only partially accurate with smaller tortoises and turtles.Full Answer >
Snapping turtles bite. They are bad-tempered and should only be handled by experts. The common snapper can grow to 18 inches long and weighs between 25 and 35 pounds. Its cousin, the alligator snapper, can be nearly 3 feet long and weighs up to 150 pounds.Full Answer >
To find the age of a snapping turtle, very carefully count the rings around one section of his shell while staying away from his powerful jaws. It is best to start counting the outer ring first and work toward the center. The number of rings is equal to the turtle's age.Full Answer >
The average turtle can swim at speeds of 10 to 12 mph and walk at 3 to 4 mph. Sea turtles are faster in water, reaching maximum speeds of 20 mph, but they are very slow on land and must drag themselves along with their flippers.Full Answer >