Snapping Turtle

The above are a few pictures of a snapping turtle that was in the road on Plum Tree Lane the evening of July the 4th.  She was probably looking for a place to lay her eggs.  This is the time of the year we see them out of the water since they lay their eggs in soft soil somewhere away from the water.  The shell of this one was about 14 inches long.  They are rather large and heavy.

Something you might not have known, the incubation temperature plays a role in determining the sex of the turtle eggs.  Eggs hatched at cooler temperatures tend to produce males, and those at higher temperatures, females.  A couple of degrees can drastically change a generation of turtles.

Most turtles withdraw into their shell as a defensive posture, but a snapping turtle can’t.  Its defensive mechanism is snapping with its powerful jaws.

They provide a valuable service in helping to keep our ponds and rivers clean since they eat the foliage and the weaker small animals and ducks.  The baby snappers also are one of the favorite foods of the herons.

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