Portraits of the Florida
Snapping Turtle

These images were captured at dusk as two "resident" snappers moved around the submerged steps of a large dock. Only the very tops of their heads or snouts occasionally podpped up above the surface of the water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Closer Look Out of Water...

A red arrow (above) points to an infestation of leeches on the turtle's head. The freshwater leech is a parasitic worm that feeds on the blood of its favorite host, snapping turtles. It also commonly infests fish and frogs in the lakes, marshes and slow-moving streams that it inhabits.

Find out more about how freshwater leeches HERE.

 

The Florida snapping turtle has powerful jaws and strong neck muscles, and it can extend its beak around to the side at least half the length of its shell (carapace). Its legs are large and powerful and webbed with sharp claws. Its snout is more pointed than that of a common snapper.

 

Professor Meylan with a giant Snapper!

 

EDUCATIONAL LINKS

Ecology of the snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina, in northwestern Florida
http://fl.biology.usgs.gov/posters/Herpetology/Snapping_Turtles/snapping_turtles.html

Chelydra.org - Snapping Turtle
http://www.chelydra.org/snapping_turtle_identification.html

Tortoise Trust: Snapping Turtles
http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/snappers.htm

Florida Turtles
https://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/herpetology/florida-amphibians-reptiles/turtles/

Common Snapping Turtle
http://eol.org/pages/795409/overview

ATP World of Turtles - U.S.A. Freshwater Turtles - Chelydra serpentina osceola
http://austinsturtlepage.com/world_of_turtles/Florida_Snapping_Turtle_-_Chelydra_serpentina_osceola/index.html

 

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