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Snapping Turtles: Chelydridae

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Snapping Turtles And People, Snapping Turtle (chelydra Serpentina): Species AccountGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS


Snapping turtles live in North America, Central America, and South America, from southern Canada to Ecuador.

These turtles mainly live in permanent water bodies, ones that are filled with water all year long. Some are able to survive in somewhat salty waters, but they typically prefer freshwater. Although they spend the majority of their time in the water, they will travel quite a distance over land to nest, and one species makes overland trips from one watering hole to another.

Snapping turtles are primarily meat eaters, dining on almost anything they can find, whether it is alive or dead. The diet includes worms, insects, snails, and larger items, such as other turtles, ducklings, and small mammals. Although it is not common, some turtles can live on an all-plant diet.

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) lists the alligator snapping turtle as Vulnerable, which means that there is a high threat of their extinction: they could die out entirely. There are many sources for these threats, including too much hunting of them and the loss of good habitat.

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Animal Life ResourceDinosaurs, Snakes, and Other Reptiles