How Long Is a Snapping Turtle Neck?

How Long Is a Snapping Turtle Neck?

Snapping turtles are known as a species of freshwater turtles and fall under the Chelydridae family.

Snapping turtles are known as a species of freshwater turtles and fall under the Chelydridae family.

You can find them in the southeastern part of Canada and in the southwestern region towards the edge of the Rocky Mountains.

You will also find them in Nova Scotia and Florida. The unique thing about these freshwater turtles is that they can consume both plants and animals.

These turtles have shells that can grow over 20 inches and are also pretty aggressive. The snapping turtles get to leave 30 years to 45 years and don’t have many predators.

But the main question here is, “how long is the neck of the snapping turtle”? Well, the neck is as long as their actual body.

To know more about the snapping Turtle’s neck, behavior, appearance, and various other things, please go through this post.

How Long is the Snapping Turtle’s Neck?

how long is the snapping turtle’s neck?

If you encounter a Snapping Turtle walking around on land, you will find its head, which is around several inches, is out of the shell. But don’t get fooled by that.

When these turtles feel as if they’re in danger or threatened, they will extend their neck completely out of their shell. Their neck’s length is around two-thirds of their shell’s length.

Since these creatures are pretty aggressive, they can bite you instantly if you try to get closer to them. So be careful.

With the help of their long necks, they can easily capture all types of prey, like crayfish, fish, and even frogs.

Besides that, you will often find them lying on the muddy ground of the river or pond, and it’s only their sticks out so that they can breathe occasionally. Their nostrils function as snorkels because they are positioned at the tip of their snouts.

The Behavior and Appearance of a Snapping Turtle

In this section, you will learn about both the appearance and the behavior of these freshwater turtles. Let’s begin.

The Appearance

the appearance

Snapping turtles have dark-colored eyes, webbed feet, a hooked-shaped mouth, and four legs. Each foot has 5 claws, and its skin is covered with “Tubercles” or rough bumps.

They have a black or dark brown “Carapace” or shell, and the “Alligator Snapping Turtle” has prominent ridges on their shell compared to the common Snapping Turtle. The shell of these turtles is between 8 inches to 18 inches long.

To have a good understanding of this, let’s take 8 golf t-shirts from one end to the other. Doing so, you will find that the length is equal to the shell of the Snapping Turtle.

You will find their tail is not like the other turtles. Its tail contains ridges on the surface, and the tail is long as its shell.

These turtles can weigh around 10 pounds to 35 pounds, and a fully grown, 35-pound Snapping Turtle weighs a lot more compared to other turtles.

This is pretty true because a 10-pound Snapping Turtle’s weight is equal to a full-grown house cat. The biggest Snapping Turtle to ever exist is the Alligator Snapping Turtle, which weighs around 249 pounds.

These turtles also have a strong plate known as the “Plastron” at the bottom. The platform is too big to let the Turtle withdraw fully into its shell.

So, disappearing into the shell is surely not possible for these turtles, especially when they’re surrounded by danger.

The Behavior

Even though these turtles look dangerous [which they are], they quickly hide if they come face-to-face with a predator.

They will keep themselves hidden at the bottom of the river or the pond. But when they’re on land, they will surely try to defend themselves from their predators.

They will use their strong and big claws, jaws, and also their hooked-shaped mouth to protect themselves from predators.

That’s why you should keep your distance from these turtles because they will attack you without any hesitation.

The head and neck will make a wide range of movements and will move instantly when spotting a dangerous animal or prey.

Many people, including experts, have defined Snapping Turtles as spiteful when it comes to defending themselves from predators. These turtles are solitary except during the breeding period.

They must live at a specific location and solely depend on the food products which are available at that location.

Snapping Turtles and Their Population Threats

The common Snapping Turtles are known to have a variable and high level of:

  • Mortality of hatchlings and embryos
  • Low success in reproduction
  • Delay in reproductive maturity.

The population of the Snapping Turtle has declined greatly within the past several years. It is mainly because of their habitat getting ruined and pet trading.

The common types of Snapping turtles frequently travel on land so that they can reach their new home or just lay eggs.

The destruction of their habitat, pollution, overcrowding, and scarcity of food has made these Snappers move from one place to another.

That’s why it’s not common to find these turtles traveling to the closest water source or going much far than that.

Interesting Facts to Know About the Snapping Turtles

By now, you already know plenty of things about the Snapping Turtle. But there are some facts that will provide you with a lot more information about them. Let’s find out!

Snapping Turtles Have Lived with the Dinosaurs

snapping turtles have lived with the dinosaurs

Snapping turtles have existed for a long time and also lived during the Dinosaurs era. This shows that they survived the “mass extinction,” which occurred 65 million years ago. Experts say that these turtles have existed for 90 million years.

Their ancestors resided in the continents of Asia and Europe around 40 million years ago. After 2 million years, there was no trace of these turtles in these regions.

At present, the Alligator Snapping Turtle and Common Snapping Turtle are the only turtles on this Earth.

Within 90 million years, these snappers have changed greatly. But they surely live and appear the same as they did during the Jurassic era.

They Can Live for Months Without Breathing

they can live for months without breathing

Humans cannot even live for several minutes without breathing, but these Snapping Turtles can survive without breathing for months. During the cold months, these turtles disappear under ponds or rivers for several months.

Now, you might be thinking, how can they live without breathing underwater? Well, during the cold months, their metabolism lessens by around 90%. Through “Cloacal Respiration,” they can absorb all the oxygen to live underwater.

This means, the Snapping Turtles utilizes their “Cloaca” to disperse both carbon dioxide and oxygen in and out of themselves.

Snapping Turtles Can Jump and Sing

Snapping turtles can make countless sounds. They can even hiss a lot louder but can also quack, bark, squeak, click, cluck, growl, chirp, and even grunt.

But that’s not all they can do. These turtles can also hear them singing, and you will not find any other species of Turtle doing that.

Experts have even pointed out that these turtles are excellent jumpers compared to other turtles. When disturbed, they will jump forward.

Common Snapping Turtle is the Official Reptile of the NY State

New York State has countless emblems. The state animal is a beaver, the state bird is the Eastern Blue Bird, and the state beverage is Milk. The state tree is Sugar Maple, and the official state flower is the Rose.

But when it comes to the state reptile, it is the popular and well Snapping Turtle. It’s mainly because it’s the biggest freshwater Turtle to ever exist in the NY state.

Snapping Turtles are Unique and Oldest-Living Turtles

snapping turtles are unique and oldest-living turtles

When compared to other turtles, Snapping Turtles are a lot different. Not only did they live side-by-side with the Dinosaurs, but they were also one-of-a-kind.

They weigh a lot more than the other turtles, eat all types of animals, including frogs, and even sing and jump.

These are the things that make the Snapping Turtle so unique and dangerous at the same time. Besides that, they also have a neck, which is as long as their body, and it uses the neck to catch prey.

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