Appearance''Chelydra serpentina'' have rugged, muscular builds with ridged carapaces . The carapace length in adulthood may be nearly 50 cm , though 25–47 cm, is more common. ''C. serpentina'' usually weighs 4.5–16 kg. Any specimen above the afforementioned weights are exceptional, but the heaviest wild specimen caught reportedly weighed 34 kg. Snapping turtles kept in captivity can be quite overweight due to overfeeding and have weighed as much as 39 kg. In the north part of its range, the snapping turtle is often the heaviest native freshwater turtle.
NamingIn Italy in recent years large mature adult ''Chelydra serpentina'' have been taken from bodies of water throughout the country. They were most probably introduced by the unwise release of pets. In March 2011 an individual weighing 20 kilograms was captured in a canal near Rome; another individual was captured near Rome in September 2012.
BehaviorSnapping turtles have "fierce" dispositions; however, when encountered in the water, they usually slip quietly away from any disturbance. Snapping turtles have evolved the ability to snap because unlike other turtles, they are too large to hide in their own shells when confronted. Snapping is their defense mechanism. However, these turtles rarely bite humans; they usually flee when threatened.
The snapper is an aquatic ambush hunter, capturing its prey with its beak-like jaws.
HabitatCommon habitats are shallow ponds, shallow lakes, or streams. Some may inhabit brackish environments, such as estuaries. Common snapping turtles sometimes bask—though rarely observed—by floating on the surface with only their carapace exposed, though in the northern parts of their range they will also readily bask on fallen logs in early spring. In shallow waters, common snappers may lie beneath a muddy bottom with only the head exposed, stretching their long necks to the surface for an occasional breath . Snapping turtles are omnivores, consuming both plant and animal matter, and are important aquatic scavengers; but they are also active hunters that prey on anything they can swallow, including many invertebrates, fish, frogs, reptiles , unwary birds, and small mammals.
Snappers will travel extensively overland to reach new habitat or to lay eggs. Pollution, habitat destruction, food scarcity, overcrowding and other factors will drive snappers to move overland; it is quite common to find them traveling far from the nearest water source. This species mates from April through November, with their peak laying season in June and July. The female can hold sperm for several seasons, using it as necessary. Females travel over land to find sandy soil in which to lay their eggs, often some distance from the water. After digging a hole, the female typically deposits 25 to 80 eggs each year, guiding them into the nest with her hind feet and covering them with sand for incubation and protection. Incubation time is temperature-dependent, ranging from 9 to 18 weeks. In cooler climates, hatchlings overwinter in the nest.
Although designated as "least concern" on the IUCN redlist, the species has been designated in the Canadian part of its range as "Special Concern" due to its life history being sensitive to disruption by anthropogenic activity.
Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.