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Looking at a picture of a snapping turtle will obviously gives you jitters, they do have a pre-historic and a scary look. Snapping turtles are the surviving members of the Chelydridae family of reptiles. There are two types of snapping turtle found in the world. One is the common snapping turtle and the other is the alligator snapping turtle. These turtles have fast gained worldwide recognition as being exotic pets for many people. Let's look at some details about snapping turtle habitat.

Snapping Turtle Dwelling

Snapping turtles are freshwater turtles that are found in the United States. There are three species of snapping turtle known to man, the common snapping turtle, Florida snapping turtle and the alligator snapping turtle. The alligator snapping turtle is mainly found in north America - in southern US waters and ponds. While the common surroundings consists of lakes and streams from south America to Canada. Snapping turtles can stay submerged in water for more than 3 hours. Female snapping turtles come on open land for nesting. Snapping turtles prefer water bodies with muddy bottoms, with some drifting wood and lots of vegetation. Snapping turtles found in northern parts of America hibernate in winter. People have also found snapping turtles living in icy waters.

Snapping Turtle Facts
  • Snapping turtles are generally considered harmless, but if you meet one on land just step away. It can injure you with its sharp claws and strong jaws. The claws are powerful and dangerous enough to sever human fingers.
  • Snapping turtles are the largest freshwater turtles in the United states.
  • An adult snapping turtle can weigh up to 140 pounds and lives on an average for 40 years. While in captivity it has lived till 70.
  • It can be very defensive when handled, it has a striking speed of a rattlesnake.
  • Snapping turtles can't pull their head and legs in to their shells like other turtles. They are very slow and considered defenseless on land.
  • Female snapping turtles usually lay 20 to 40 eggs. They choose a place which is around 100 feet away from any water body.
  • As they are aquatic in nature, the shells of the snapping turtle are usually covered with moss. They are often mistaken to be flat rocks, when submerged in water. They can remain in water for long hours, so the next time if you are heading out for a swim to a nearby lake or pond. Keep your eyes open for a snout poking out from the water depths.
  • In the wild its main food are fish but if it's hungry it will also eat small turtles and other aquatic animals, they are also known to have a capacity of eating anything when there is a shortage of their favorite food. The alligator snapping turtle also attacks and eats small alligators.
Snapping Turtle Care

If you are thinking of buying snapping turtles as pets, I say think twice. A snapping turtle will need a huge tank or may be a pond, depending on its size. These turtles are big in size and need ample space to move in water and on land. The water used for its new home should be clean. You should fill up the right amount of water, enough to cover it, but not in excess such that it cannot raise its head to breathe. The water should be cleaned once a week, so use a powerful external filter. The water temperature should be around 22º C to 25º C. Fill your tank or water pond with some gravel and driftwood, so that the turtle can climb and rest on land. If you are taking a snapping turtle as a pet it should be exposed to the day and night cycle. In captivity you can feed your pet turtle some vegetables like shredded lettuce, carrots and celery once in three days. Feed him fish, flies, bugs, worm food, crickets etc. You can feed the turtle live or frozen fish, allow the fish to be at room temperature for some time before feeding it. Snapping turtles are also fond of raw liver, beef and heart. Such protein rich foods should be fed once a week.

So this was all the information you needed on snapping turtle habitat. If you are thinking of keeping it as a pet, think of all the hard work you would have to put in, and then go for it.