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.
(8.) 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 has some distinctive characteristics that set it apart from most other species of turtle, except its closest relative, the alligator snapping turtle.
Taken from the Avilon Zoo were three mature red-footed tortoises, a yellow-footed tortoise, a common snapping turtle, three black palm cockatoos, and a brown tufted capuchin monkey, said the zoo's Facebook post.
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.
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).
We have chosen to use the common snapping turtle. Its life history is predominantly aquatic and it spends a considerable amount of time buried in the muddy bottoms of lakes and streams.
The testicular cycle of the common snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina, in Wisconsin.
Diatoms on the carapace of common snapping turtles: Luticola spp.
By the end of the day, the group had collected two yellow-bellied sliders, four eastern box turtles, two American alligators, two raccoons, one Nile monitor lizard, two common snapping turtles, one Gulf Coast box turtle, one black-throated monitor lizard, and one barred rock rooster.
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).