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.
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.
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.
Environmental contamination and developmental abnormalities in eggs and hatchlings of the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina serpentina) from the Great Lakes-St.
The testicular cycle of the common snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina, in Wisconsin.
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.
Nearly 60% of the hatchlings released were recaptured alive in a similar experiment using common snapping turtles (Janzen 1993a), although the drift fence in that study was only 50 m from the release point, which may have increased the likelihood of recapturing turtles by reducing their exposure time to predators and adverse environmental conditions.
In June, eggs of common snapping turtles were collected from five freshly constructed nests on National Wildlife Refuge land in Whiteside County, Illinois.
Water relations of pliable-shelled eggs of common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina).