Ajay Katwala Period 8 5/16/16
Snapping turtles generally live in North America and South America (Snapping Turtle 2) . They are specifically found in lakes, rivers, ponds and canals in Southeast and South central Canada to Northeast South America (Snapping Turtle). They prefer to live in slow moving, deep freshwater. They will lie on the muddy river bottom for camouflage. They will periodically surface to get air or to lay their eggs. In specific areas the National Park Service will help keep their habitats protected (Science Explorations 2).
Snapping turtles have hard protection. They can either have smooth shells or spiky black shells. Their shell is made up of two parts. The top part is the carapace and the bottom part is called the plastron. These two parts are joined at the side by bony bridges. The two shell parts are made up of small, flat plates, that are fused together to the turtle's backbone, ribs and parts of its shoulder and hips. Each plate is covered by broad, thin scales called laminae. The laminae will give the turtle shell its color (Science Explorations). Unlike other turtles, the snapping turtles head is very large and the neck and tail are about equal length. Because of this, the snapping turtles cannot retract it's head, legs or tail into its shell for protection. Also, snapping turtles are very slow. Because they are slow and can't retract their body into their shell, they are very aggressive. If anything comes too close to these turtles, they will not hesitate for a second to attack.
- The alligator snapping turtle ranks among the world’s largest and heaviest freshwater turtles (Snapping Turtle 2)
- Males are generally larger than females
- Males can weigh up to more than 200 pounds (Snapping Turtle 2)
- Some alligator snapping turtles live more than 70 years (Snapping Turtle 2)
- Snapping turtles have been on Earth for more than 90 million years (Snapping Turtle 2)
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