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 ?
Adult survivorship and capture probability of the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina).
A radio-telemetry and mark-recapture study of activity in the common snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina.
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.
This Preferred Species study habitat Common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) yes pond/river Smooth Softshell (Apalone mutica) river Spiny softshell (Apalone spinifera) yes river Common musk turtle (Sternotherus odoratus) yes pond/river Painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) yes pond/river Red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) yes pond/river Cooter (Pseudemys concinna) river Common map turtle (Graptemys geographica) river False map turtle (Graptemys pseudogeographica) river Ouachita map turtle (Graptemys ouachitensis) river Table 6.
One of the four firefighters on the scene guessed it was a loggerhead turtle, but Harrold did some Internet research and believes that it was a common snapping turtle - a species not typically found west of the Rocky Mountains.
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.
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.
Common snapping turtles are considered one of the most ubiquitous freshwater turtles throughout the eastern United States (Ernst and Lovich 2009), as well as within Louisiana (Dundee and Rossman 1989).
species are also being exported to Asian markets, including Common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina), Alligator snapping turtles (Macrochelys temminckii), softshell turtles (Apalone spp.
Water relations of pliable-shelled eggs of common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina).
Impact of organochlorine contamination on levels of sex hormones and external morphology of common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina serpentina) in Ontario, Canada.