One of the worlds oldest species! The Snapping turtle was found in the exact same form as it is today in the Cretaceous period, 50 Million years ago. It can be considered a living dinosaur.
Note that Snapping turtles are top predators in the water and can be surprisingly gentle when in water- they are more interested in eating dead fish and smelly things than a large live human. Human's have swam with them in lakes for hundreds of years. Also their bite force is surprisingly weak- many large ones cannot even break a large carrot in half. For more information on their behaviour visit our page: Snapping turtles and your lake
- Rough brown-olive to dark green carapace (upper shell)
- Largest Turtle-unmistakable features- large thick legs and toes with sharp claws
- This is the only turtle with a very small plastron (under-shell) so they cannot pull their legs and arms in to hide- thus the snapping on land to protect themselves
- Pointed jaw-tooth
- Rough ridges on tail and carapace
- Very tolerant of many diverse habitats from lakes, to ponds and marshes
- Prefers dead decaying fish and amphibians
- Will eat live small fish, snails, and mussels
Snapping turtles are prolific and found throughout most of southern and central Ontario, and extending northwards too.