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New York State Reptile

Mature snapping turtle - click to see all state reptiles
Mature snapping turtle - photo © Andrew Williams / Critterzone (used by
permission - contact Critterzone: Animal Pictures, Nature Stock Photography
for commercial license or any use). See All State Reptiles & Amphibians.

Snapping Turtle

Snapping turtle video

The common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) was adopted as the State reptile of New York in 2006. The snapping turtle has a relatively small shell that does not cover its limbs or tail (snapping turtles cannot retract their heads under the shell). Snapping turtles can grow quite large - with shells exceeding 18 inches and weight over 35 pounds. Color varies from light green and brown shades to very dark green and brown.

Snapping turtle with open mouth - click to see all state reptilesSnapping turtle with open mouth - photo © Andrew Williams / Critterzone
(used by permission - ontact Critterzone: Animal Pictures, Nature Stock Photography for commercial license or any use)

Largely nocturnal, the snapping turtle is omnivorous - about a third of its diet consists of plants, but snapping turtles are also aggressive predators, lying in wait to ambush prey. Snapping turtles have a hooked beak which can slice through the flesh and bones of its prey (small aquatic invertebrates, crayfish, snails, fish, frogs, toads, snakes, bird eggs, small mammals, carrion, and water birds).

 Baby snapping turtle - click to see all state reptiles and amphibians
Baby snapping turtle - photo © Andrew Williams / Critterzone
(used by permission - contact Critterzone:Animal Pictures, Nature Stock Photography for commercial license or any use)

Snapping turtles can live up to 60 years and are known for their fierce, menacing behavior. They are found in lakes, ponds, marshes and slow-moving streams (any permanent body of fresh water is a potential home). Female snapping turtles have been known to journey 10 miles to reach their traditional nesting area. Many hatchlings fall prey to raccoons, skunks, snakes, bullfrogs, herons, and other large birds. See reptile and amphibian symbols for all 50 states.

Snapping turtle portrait - click to see all state reptile symbols
Snapping turtle portrait - photo © Andrew Williams / Critterzone
(used by permission - contact Critterzone:Animal Pictures, Nature Stock Photography for commercial license or any use)
Snapping turtle resting - click to see all state reptiles
Snapping turtle resting - photo © Andrew Williams / Critterzone
(used by permission - contact Critterzone: Animal Pictures, Nature Stock Photography for commercial license or any use)
Source:
Turtle Facts: The Columbus Zoo - Reptiles
New York State Symbols: NYS DOS Kids Facts about NY
Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina): Northern State U
Links:
All State Reptiles & Amphibians


    

 

New York Symbols & Icons:

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flower - insect  
reptile - shell
fish 1 - 2
bush - tree - soil
fruit - muffin

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quarter
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