snapping turtle

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snapping turtle,

large, aggressive New World freshwater turtleturtle,
a reptile of the order Chelonia, with strong, beaked, toothless jaws and, usually, an armorlike shell. The shell normally consists of bony plates overlaid with horny shields.
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. The two snapping turtle species are the sole members of the family Chelydridae. Snapping turtles prefer quiet, muddy water. They spend most of their time submerged, surfacing periodically to breathe. They feed on fish and other aquatic animals as well as on vegetation and decaying matter; they are valuable scavengers. They have long necks, powerful jaws, and fierce dispositions, lunging at aggressors and biting them. Snapping turtles lay their eggs in the ground in early summer, often at some distance from water. The eggs, about 20 in a clutch, hatch after a 10-week incubation, and the young find their way to water.

The common snapping turtle, or snapper (Chelydra serpentina), is found from SE and S central Canada to NE South America. The adult is often over 18 in. (45 cm) long and weighs over 30 lb (14 kg); some specimens weigh twice as much. The alligator snapper (Macrochelys temmincki) is found in the SE United States and the Mississippi valley. One of the world's largest turtles, it may reach a length of 30 in. (75 cm) and weigh 200 lb (90 kg). It has a muscular, wormlike projection on the tongue, which it uses as a fishing lure as it lies concealed in the mud of a river bottom. In Japan and Europe, where snapping turtles were imported as pets, the turtles have found in the wild and are invasive species.

Snapping turtles are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Reptilia, order Chelonia, family Chelydridae.

References in periodicals archive ?
Home range and movements of the common snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina, in a coastal wetland of Hamilton Harbour, Lake Ontario, Canada.
To pick up a common snapping turtle you need to keep in mind that the danger area is anything from the face, going in every direction, up to roughly 2/3 the length of the body.
Then again, now that the common snapping turtle has been designated our state reptile, perhaps this specimen was on its way to some official function
Pettit KE, Bishop CA and Brooks RJ: Home range and movements of the common snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina serpentina, in a coastal wetland of Hamilton Harbour, Lake Ontario, Canada.
The common snapping turtle is found throughout the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, except Florida and southern Georgia, where it is replaced by another subspecies, the Florida snapping turtle.
Five species were captured (in order of abundance) including the red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans), the painted turtle (Chrysemys picta), the common musk turtle (Sternotherus odoratus), the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina), and the spiny softshell (Apalone spinifera).
Common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina serpentina) eggs were collected in early June from Algonquin Park, Ontario, and incubated at 26 [degrees] C throughout development; at this temperature the turtles hatch in mid- to late August.
Habitat preferences of the common snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina (Reptilia, Testudines, Chelydridae).
For example the less cryptic nests of Common Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina) suffer higher predation rates than the more cryptic nests of Painted Turtles {Chrysemys picta) (Wirsing et al, 2012).
In their review of the ecology of turtles of the United States and Canada, Ernst and Lovich (2009) reported that bears are included in the list of predators of turtles or their eggs for loggerhead sea turtles (as cited by Dodd, 1988 who, in turn, cited Romans, 1775), common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina), western pond turtles (Actinemys marmorata: see also Vander Haegen et al.
species are also being exported to Asian markets, including Common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina), Alligator snapping turtles (Macrochelys temminckii), softshell turtles (Apalone spp.