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Free images of Turtles - Snapping Turtle

Note on large files:  Very large files may be bigger than your screen.  
Right click on any portion of the image showing and chose "save as". 

 

Snapping turtle walking.Snapping turtles [Chelydra serpentina] are the largest freshwater turtles found in North America. Other common names include "Common Snapping Turtle, Snapper" and "Mud Turtle".  Beware, these creatures have very powerful beak-like jaws and a very mobile head.  

The images below were taken at Grundy Lake Provincial Park in Northern Ontario. Under the Ontario Endangered Species Act, the Snapping Turtle is currently listed as a species of Special Concern and has been designated as a Specially Protected Reptile under the Ontario Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. 

Their lifespan in the wild is believed to be well over 100 years! While appearing to be slow, I have seen a snapping turtle dash for a fishing lure with lightning speed. Snapping Turtles have powerful peak-like jaws and a very mobile neck and head. They can lunge quickly and snap its jaws shut with enough force to remove your finger.

 

What happened to this turtle's nose?

Female turtle with torn snout.

Female "A"

Face of snapping turtle.

Female "B"

Look carefully at these two images.  What is different about the two females?  It would appear that female A has had a serious injury to her snout.  Her upper beak, lip and nostrils seem to have been torn off.  In a fight perhaps?  getting Snapping turtle tracks on beach. her beak stuck into something she bit?  Not being an expert in these matters and failing to find any research on the matter, I wonder how she holds her breath and manages to swallow her food.  Nonetheless, her wounds seemed to have healed nicely and she seems healthy, so she has adapted well.

Snapping turtles mate from April through November. In North America (Ontario)  their peak laying season is in June and July.  At the age of about 17-19 years, the female will breed and lay a "clutch" of about 25 eggs, although as many as 80 eggs are possible, in a hole she digs in the sand.

Females are known to be picky and spend quite a bit of time searching for an optimal laying site.  The sandy beach right had the tracks of Female A's search for the perfect spot.  She criss-crossed the entire beach before selecting a spot near the water's edge.

 

Snapping turtle tracks on sand. Snapping turtle tail markings on sand.

 

Looking for turtle tracks?  Look for a swiggly line with claw marks on either side.  The line is created by the turtle's dragging tail.  Look carefully and you can see the turtle's claw marks as she pulls herself along the sand.

After laying her eggs, the female covers the eggs with her hind legs and leaves them in the warm, sun-baked sand for incubation. Incubation time depends upon the temperature and ranges from 9 to 18 weeks. In cooler Northern climates, hatchlings spend the winter in the nest. The incubation temperature of the eggs will determine the gender of the hatchlings. Eggs at a temperature of 23-28C will be male, other temperatures turn into females. Eggs usually hatch in about 80 to 90 days.

In the photos below, the female was so intent on laying her eggs, she seemed oblivious to everything else around her and didn't seem to mind me taking pictures.  Typically, they have a combative disposition. The photographs are of two separate females, laying eggs in the same location two years apart. 

 

 

Snapping turtle laying eggs on the beach.

Snapping Turtle laying eggs. - 1  Female "A"
Photographed in late June at a northern Ontario lake.

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Large - 3498 x 2623  -  Still free, but now only available by email request.

 

 

Female snapping turtle digging out nest.

Snapping Turtle laying eggs. - 2  Female "A"
The turtle had dug out a significant hole with her hind legs.

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Large - 4608 x 3456  -  Still free, but now only available by email request.

 

 

Female snapping turtle covering her eggs with sand.

Snapping Turtle laying eggs. - 3  Female "A"
Photographed in late June at a northern Ontario lake.

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Large - 4608 x 3456  -  Still free, but now only available by email request.

 

 

Female snapping turtle covering her eggs.

Snapping Turtle laying eggs. - 4  Female "A"

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Female snapping turtle with injury to mouth nostrils.

Snapping Turtle laying eggs. - 5  Female "A"

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Large - 4608 x 3456  -  Still free, but now only available by email request.

 

 

Female snapping turtle with injured broken nose beak.

Snapping Turtle laying eggs. - 6  Female "A"

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Female snapping turtle laying eggs.

Snapping Turtle laying eggs. - 7  Female "A"

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Female snapping turtle laying eggs in sandy nest.

Snapping Turtle laying eggs. - 8  Female "A"
Can you see her newly laid egg, just beside her foot?

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Female snapping turtle covering her eggs with sand.

Snapping Turtle laying eggs. - 9  Female "A"
She soon begins the task of covering her eggs and tamping down the sand.

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Female snapping turtle covering eggs.

Snapping Turtle laying eggs. - 10  Female "A"
Alternating from left to right foot, the turtle pushed the sand back into the hole she
had just dug and stomped on the soil to protect her eggs.

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

Large - 4608 x 3456  -  Still free, but now only available by email request.

 

 

Female snapping turtle walking.

Snapping Turtle laying eggs. - 11 Female "A"
Her mission complete, she now retreats to the safety of the lake.

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Female snapping turtle walking in grass.

Snapping Turtle laying eggs. - 12  Female "A"
Can you see how her tracks are made?  Note the tail dragging on the ground behind her.

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Female turtle leaving nesting site.

Snapping Turtle laying eggs. -13  Female "A"

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Close up of head of snapping turtle.

Snapping Turtle - 1  (Female B)
This snapper was busy laying her eggs beside the lake in Northern Ontario.

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Snapping turtle

Snapping Turtle - 2 (Female B)
This snapper was busy laying her eggs beside the lake in Northern Ontario.

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

Large - 2448 x 3264 - Still free, but now only available by email request.

 

 

Close up of a snapping turtle.

Snapping Turtle - 3  (Female B)
This snapper was busy laying her eggs beside the lake in Northern Ontario.

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

Large - 3456 x 4608 - Still free, but now only available by email request.

 

 

Snapping turtle laying eggs.

Snapping Turtle - 4  (Female B)
This snapper was busy laying her eggs beside the lake in Northern Ontario.

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

Large - 4608 x 3456 - Still free, but now only available by email request.

 

All turtles come on land to lay their eggs.  In many species, the incubation temperature in the nest determines if an egg develops into a male or female.  Higher temperatures produce females, while lower ones produce males.  

Turtles lay their eggs in sand or mud, digging and laying their eggs in holes.  Once covered, the eggs are left to incubate by themselves.  Hatchlings squirm to the surface and head directly towards the nearest water source.

 

Snapping Turtle Image Pages  [1]   [2]

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If you'd like to drop me a note to let me know if any of these images have been useful, I'd love to hear from you. I'm curious to see if my snapshots have been of benefit to you in some way.  Also, I'd like to hear what kind of images you'd like to see more of. 

 

 

 

Remarkable
Reptiles !

In the Book "The lectures of Linnaeus concerning the Animal Kingdom", published about 100 years ago, Carl Linnaeus wrote in the beginning of his Chapter on Amphibia that animals in this Chapter are "the ugliest, most cruel and most poisoning".  He expressed that he was happy that our Creator put rather few of these animals into this class.  If there had been more, they would have hurt the other species.

Carl Linnaeus (1701-1778) was a Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist.  He is known as the father of taxonomy and the one who laid the foundations for our current biological naming scheme.

Did you know....

Reptiles breathe air!

Almost all reptiles lay shelled eggs!

 

Sensational 
Snakes !

 

 

 

 

 

Terrific Turtles !

 

 

 

Did you know...

The King Cobra is the largest venomous snake in the world.  It is 12 feet long! 

Frogs breathe with their lungs but also their skin!

 

 

 

 

 

Amazing Alligators !

 

 

Did you know...

Reptiles have holes instead of ears!

Reptiles today live on every continent except Antarctica!

Most reptiles have a 3-chambered heart!

 

Be sure to check out all the reptile image categories !

 

 

 

 

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