The common snapping turtle is a species of large freshwater turtle in the family Chelydridae. Its natural range extends from southeastern Canada, southwest to the edge of the Rocky Mountains, as far east as Nova Scotia and Florida
One of North America’s most recognizable fully aquatic Turtles, the Common Snapping Turtle, inhabits nearly all bodies of slow moving, soft bottomed water, fresh and brackish, from Nova Scotia to Mexico, east of the Rocky Mountains. In Florida it gives way to the Florida Snapping Turtle.
Common Snapping Turtles are true omnivores, and will eat anything they can fit into their mouths. Juveniles freely forage for food, while adults prefer to be ambush predators, lying in wait for the next passing meal. These tendencies make all sizes excellent tank turtles. Not the best community turtles, juvenile Common Snapping Turtles think everyone’s tail is a worm – and will promptly remove them – even other snappers’. We feed ours pellets, cut fish and beef. Water plants are also offered. One study has shown hatchlings to imprint well on early food items.
In the last century, people’s taste for Common Snapping Turtles, severely damaged many wild populations. Now, many are farm raised, both in the US and abroad. Wild Snapping Turtles are almost always quite vicious. Captive raised snappers, if handled often, will tame down fairly well. They never loose their fiercely vicious feeding response, and keepers never seem to loose their fascination for them…
Please note that California, Oregon and Washington state do not allow Snapping Turtles to be kept by individuals – so we cannot send Snapping Turtles to those states without special permits. New York State allows Florida Snapping Turtles – but not Common Snapping Turtles.