common snapping turtle

(Chelydra serpentina)

Conservation Status
common snapping turtle
 
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

S3 - Vulnerable

     
  Minnesota

Delisted

High levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were found in common snapping turtles in the Mississippi River in 1983. In 1984 the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources listed common snapping turtle as a special concern species. In 2013 it was removed from the list.

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Common snapping turtle is the largest turtle species in Minnesota. The tail is almost as long as the upper shell (carapace).

 
     
 

Size

 
 

8 to 18

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Lakes, ponds and marshes, streams and rivers

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Behavior

 
 

 

 
     
 

Lifespan

 
 

30 to 47 years

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

 

 
     
 

Food

 
 

Opportunistic feeders. Plant matter, carrion, and any living thing.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 11, 14, 24, 29, 30, 72.

 
  8/29/2021      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Reptilia (reptiles)  
  Order Testudines (turtles and tortoises)  
  Suborder Cryptodira (hidden-necked turtles)  
  Superfamily Testudinoidea  
 

Family

Chelydridae (snapping turtles)  
 

Genus

Chelydra (typical snapping turtles)  
       
 

Three subspecies have been described in the past. Two have been raised to full species and the third is now considered a synonym. There are currently no subspecies recognized.

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Chelydra emarginata

Chelydra lacertina

Chelydra laticarinata

Chelydra osceola

Chelydra sculpta

Chelydra serpentina osceola

Chelydra serpentina serpentina

Devisia mythodes

Testudo serpentaria

Testudo serpentina

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

common snapping turtle

North American snapping turtle

snapping turtle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

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Dan W. Andree

 
 

A large Snapping Turtle...

8-23-21 at a shrinking pond in Norman Co. Mn. It has been raining this past week so maybe it will come back up a little. The big turtle was just kind of hanging out in that spot relaxing but alert. Pretty neat big turtle.

  common snapping turtle  
           
 

Snapping Turtle...

I came across this snapping turtle on a county highway between Twin Valley and Ada, Mn. on May 28, 2019. It just sat on the road and I seen a couple vehicles go around it. I pulled into an approach and decided to try get it off the road so it wouldn’t get ran over. I figured it could possibly be a female heading to a certain spot to lay its eggs. Though not sure. Anyway all the while watching for any vehicles coming I gave a slight nudge to the turtle near its tail end. I just tried to slowly turn around toward me. I knew not to try pick one up and not having any luck getting it to move looked in the ditch and found a sturdy stick. I still had a time getting it off the road and at times pushed it a little with the stick. Anyway got it off the road into the ditch it was heading to. Snapping turtles kind of remind me of a reptile of back in the dinosaur days.

  common snapping turtle  
 

Kirk Nelson

 
 

Snapping Turtle, Carver Park Reserve

Snapping turtle next to the bike path

  common snapping turtle  
           
 

Fort Snelling State Park. On the trail along the west side of Snelling Lake; I gave it a wide berth.

 
    common snapping turtle   common snapping turtle  
           
 

Nerstrand Big Woods State Park

 
    common snapping turtle      
 

Lynn Rubey

 
  A young Snapping Turtle along the side of the auto tour road in The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge, it didn't try to escape from me. So I was able to get more pictures of it.   common snapping turtle  
    A front view or face to face with the Snapping Turtle. I gently picked it up and turned it over, it just lied there while I took my photos then turned it over. I stood guard while vehicles drove on by. Then I gently carried it to the side of the road and set it in the grass. I stopped on my way out to check on it and it was no longer there.   common snapping turtle  
    A photo of the front foot.   common snapping turtle  
    A photo of its tail and hind foot.   common snapping turtle  
           
  This Common Snapping Turtle was sun bathing on rocks across from the docks in The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge. Its' head was up when I approcahed the dock then it lowered it then raised it again it seemed to ejoy the warm sunny day.   common snapping turtle  
           
        common snapping turtle  
 

Vinje, Shari

 
 

Sunning itself.

 
    common snapping turtle   common snapping turtle  
 

Jane Johnsen

 
    common snapping turtle   common snapping turtle  
 

Jenny Stevens

 
    common snapping turtle      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
    common snapping turtle   common snapping turtle  
           
    common snapping turtle   common snapping turtle  
           
    common snapping turtle   common snapping turtle  
           
    common snapping turtle   common snapping turtle  
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
Snapping Turtle
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Snapping Turtle  
 
About

Chelydra serpentina

NH Conservation Status: Not listed

State Rank Status: Widespread and secure.

Distribution: Throughout state, less common in northern New Hampshire.

Description:A large turtle measuring 8-14 inches and weighing up to 70 pounds. A rough carapace ranges in color form black to light brown. The head is large and the tail is long with a distinct saw-toothed edge.

Commonly Confused Species: Juveniles may be confused with musk turtles and wood turtles.

Habitat: Any permanent water body such as lakes, ponds, swamps, bogs, streams, and rivers, especially aquatic habitats with muddy bottoms and abundant submerged logs and aquatic vegetation. Use terrestrial habitats while searching for appropriate nesting sites and traveling among wetland habitats.

Life History: Lays 20-40 eggs in soil banks or sand and gravel piles in fields or lawns and may be several hundred feet or more from water. Hibernates in mud bottom or under logs or other submerged debris, sometimes communally.

Conservation Threats: Water pollution, road mortality, habitat loss.

source: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Wildlife/Nongame/turtles/snapping_turtle.htm

 
     

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

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Other Videos
 
  The Snapping Turtle (Chelydridae: Chelydra serpentina) Locomotion
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Dec 26, 2009

A contemplative look at the Common Snapping Turtle, which is a surprisingly common but seldom seen species that is found in rivers, ponds, and lakes in the upper midwest of the United States. Specimens shown here were photographed in North Dakota during the summer of 2009.

 
  Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)
WisCBMnetwork
 
   
 
About

Published on Mar 13, 2013

No description available.

 
  Snapping Turtle (Chelydridae: Chelydra serpentina) on Road
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on May 30, 2010

Photographed near the Rydell NWR, Minnesota (27 May 2010).

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this reptile.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.
 
  Dan W. Andree
8/23/2021

Location: Norman Co. Mn.

A large Snapping Turtle 8-23-21 at a shrinking pond in Norman Co. Mn. It has been raining this past week so maybe it will come back up a little. The big turtle was just kind of hanging out in that spot relaxing but alert. Pretty neat big turtle.

common snapping turtle  
  Lynn Rubey
10/28/2019

Location: Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge

A front view or face to face with the Snapping Turtle. I gently picked it up and turned it over, it just lied there while I took my photos then turned it over. I stood guard while vehicles drove on by. Then I gently carried it to the side of the road and set it in the grass. I stopped on my way out to check on it and it was no longer there.

common snapping turtle  
  Lynn Rubey
8/9/2019

Location: Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge

This Common Snapping Turtle was sun bathing on rocks across from the docks in The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge. Its' head was up when I approcahed the dock then it lowered it then raised it again it seemed to ejoy the warm sunny day.

common snapping turtle  
  Kirk Nelson
6/8/2019

Location: Carver Park Reserve

Snapping turtle next to the bike path

common snapping turtle  
  Shari Vinje
6/4/2019

Location: Esko, MN. My driveway near Midway River and Midway Creek.

Sunning itself.

common snapping turtle  
  Dan W. Andree
5/28/2019

Location: between Twin Valley and Ada, Mn

I came across this snapping turtle on a county highway between Twin Valley and Ada, Mn. on May 28, 2019. It just sat on the road and I seen a couple vehicles go around it. I pulled into an approach and decided to try get it off the road so it wouldn’t get ran over. I figured it could possibly be a female heading to a certain spot to lay its eggs. Though not sure. Anyway all the while watching for any vehicles coming I gave a slight nudge to the turtle near its tail end. I just tried to slowly turn around toward me. I knew not to try pick one up and not having any luck getting it to move looked in the ditch and found a sturdy stick. I still had a time getting it off the road and at times pushed it a little with the stick. Anyway got it off the road into the ditch it was heading to. Snapping turtles kind of remind me of a reptile of back in the dinosaur days.

common snapping turtle  
  E. Martell
9/2/2018

Location: east shore of Clark Lake, Nisswa

30' up on a bluff above water's edge. 1 and 3/8" shell length, no sign of where it came from.

 
  Carol Naber
9/11/2017

Location: Rice Creek North Regional Corridor, east of Prairie Ridge Dr. where Rice Creek Fields lead to Rice Creek

total of 4 approximately 1 inch snapping turtles observed 9/10 and 9/11 on black top walk path. Slightly sand covered and headed toward Rice Creek.

 
  Kirk Nelson
5/29/2017

Location: Fort Snelling State Park

On the trail along the west side of Snelling Lake; I gave it a wide berth.

common snapping turtle  
  Jenny Stevens
7/6/2015

Location: Inver Grove Heights

common snapping turtle  
  Kirk Nelson
5/31/2014

Location: Nerstrand Big Woods State Park

common snapping turtle  
  Kirk Nelson
Fall, 2013

Bass Ponds in the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

   
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

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