Florida Snapping Turtle Facts

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The scientific name for the Florida snapping turtle is Chelydra serpentina osceola, according to the Pelotes Island Nature Reserve. Florida snapping turtles are extremely fast swimmers; they live in the shallows of ponds. Unlike most turtles, Florida snapping turtles do not like to rest in the sun; they dig into the mud at the bottom of a pond with only their eyes and nose showing, which allows them to surprise their prey. Florida snapping turtles can tolerate many types of environments with varying water quality and pH levels.

Considerations

  • The Florida snapping turtle is related to the common snapping turtle, according to the Pelotes Island Nature Reserve. Sometimes algae will grow on the shell of the Florida snapping turtle. There are not any common diseases that are specific to Florida snapping turtles. They can be kept in captivity, but when they grow too large they are often donated to local zoos.

Warning

  • The Florida snapping turtle is a dangerous turtle. You should never touch a snapping turtle. One snap from the Florida snapping turtle could bite off your finger.

Diet

  • Snapping turtles are omnivorous, which means they eat both plants and animals, according to Animal-world.com. Florida snapping turtles will eat almost anything including water bugs, fish, lizards, small birds, mice, plants and even dead animals. These turtles eat such a variety of food that they often become overweight. Florida snapping turtles will even eat floating vegetation on the surface of ponds.

Characteristics

  • The Florida snapping turtle has a large powerful head and an extremely strong jaw that snaps very quickly, according to the Pelotes Island Nature Reserve. The tail of this turtle has saws edges; it also has sharp serrated edges running along its shell. The shell of the Florida snapping turtle has a dark brown color. Snapping turtles are tolerant of cold weather, according to Animal-world.com.

Size

  • The Florida snapping turtle can grow up to 17 inches in length and weigh up to 45 pounds, according to the Pelotes Island Nature Reserve. The Florida snapping turtle is only found in Florida and Georgia.

Quick Fact

  • Florida snapping turtles are so aggressive that they will even eat other turtles, according to Animal-world.com. Florida snapping turtles are dangerous animals and people should use extreme caution when near one.

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References

  • Photo Credit common snapping turtle (chelydra serpentina) image by Bruce MacQueen from Fotolia.com
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