• Peak Breeding Activity: April-November
• Gestation period : 18 weeks
• Number of offspring: 83
• Typical Foods: invertebrates, carrion, aquatic plants, fish, birds, and small mammals
Large specimens may weigh more than 35 pounds and have a carapace (shell) more than 14 inches long. The shell has three rows of keels that serrate towards the back.
Habitat and Habits
Although the snapping turtle's powerful, keen-edged jaws are capable of doing great damage to a carelessly placed finger, stories of their snapping broom handles in half are greatly exaggerated. However, great caution should be exercised when handling these exceptionally bold and aggressive reptiles. Preferred habitat is fresh or brackish water with muddy bottoms and abundant vegetation.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
The reproductive biology of turtles is fascinating. With the exception of softshell turtles, the sex of all species of Ohio turtles is dependent on the temperature at which the eggs develop. For instance, snapping turtle eggs that develop at about 77oF will all hatch out as males, while eggs that develop at much higher or lower temperatures will all hatch out as females. In the wild, warmer eggs at the top of a nest may all hatch out as females, while cooler eggs at the bottom hatch out as males.