Common Snapping Turtle


Common snapping turtles are habitat generalists and are found in lakes, farm ponds, shallow wetlands, small streams and river systems.

Snappers, of course, derive their common name from their tendency to snap or strike defensively when they feel threatened, and they are indeed capable of delivering a serious bite.

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Hatchling and juvenile snapping turtles are interesting and docile animals. They seem to acquire the adult aggressive at age 3 or 4. However, common snapping turtles grow rather quickly and a small juvenile will soon become too large for the typical household aquarium. Adults do not make good pets and can inflict a painful bite.

Juveniles can be kept in aquariums with shallow water. They are not particularly strong swimmers and should be given some structure to hide in, such as small logs or branches. They rarely bask, but will benefit from a multi-spectrum lighting system.

Common snapping turtles are actually quite omnivorous, eating aquatic plants, as well as aquatic insects, tadpoles and crayfish. Adults will scavenge dead fish, but are unlikely to capture healthy game fish, a crime they are often accused of. Juveniles will consume turtle pellets in captivity.


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