Old Mossy Back Snapping Turtle by MotherNature

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Old Mossy Back Snapping Turtle by 

This marvelous creature was about two feet long nose tip to tail tip. It was gliding slowly through the water of a local pond, posing (I suppose) for it’s 15 minutes of fame.

There are two types of snapping turtles in America. This is the Common Snapping Turtle and the shell is often covered with algae because they spend long periods of time laying on the bottom just waiting for a meal. Their necks are long so they can extend it to get their heads above water for a breath.

The Common Snapping Turtle is found just about everywhere from the Rocky Mountains east in North America. It is more often found in fresh water ponds, lakes, and streams, but it will live in brackish environments. The turtle pictured here lives in a brackish pond on the Outer Banks of North Carolina (Buxton, Hatteras Island). The picture was taken May 10, 2011.

These turtles are ambush hunters, preferring to lie buried in mud with only their nostrils and eyes showing. They do like carrion and plants as part of their diets. There’s a story that police departments have used them to help find bodies – macabre, but possibly effective.

When in the water, snapping turtles are not aggressive; on land they become belligerent and are dangerous to handle. The jaws are powerful enough to take off a finger, and their claws are robust and sharp enough to give someone a serious scratch. Their neck is long enough to stretch to their hind feet, so it isn’t safe to pick them up. Picking them up by the tail can injure them. Getting them to bite a branch, then dragging them may cause damage to the animal and offer a chance for infection to set in, possibly killing it.

This turtle’s shell was about 15 inches long; can’t tell you the weight, but it looked hefty!

They typically lay from 25 to 80 eggs which take 9 to 18 weeks to hatch. In cold climates, the eggs may over-winter and hatch the following year as incubation depends on temperature.

For more details , you can visit the web sites listed below.



Do people really eat these as soup? Of course I know they do, but why???

This picture was taken June 4, 2014, at the White’s Mill Preservation Area in Tylersport, Pennsylvania, USA. I used a Canon T4i with a Tamron macro, 90mm lens.

Dedicated to nature’s strange and marvelous creatures.


turtle, snapping, snapper, reptile, pond, water, wildlife, animal, nature, mothernature

I love nature, science, poetry, prose, art, music – you name it! Now that I’m retired, time is mine to spend as I wish (pretty much), and I wish to take pictures of our natural world.

Bringing the outdoors in for others to see, especially those who may not get the opportunity to wander next to a pond, fish at the beach, or tramp in the woods, is a pleasure. I hope to build a window to the wonders of nature that fill our everyday lives.

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  • Keala
    Keala4 months ago

    This is excellent! I love turtles! :)

  • Thank a lot:>) This pond has painted turtles and snapping turtles, and there are some box turtled wandering around the woods. Turtle Heaven!

    – MotherNature

  • jeanlphotos
    jeanlphotos4 months ago

    captured beautifully

  • jeanlphotos
    jeanlphotos4 months ago

    Sorry for the triple .Please delete.Dont know what the heck is going on here tonight…Please forgive

  • Triple the fun – LOL. They are magically gone – poof! Thanks for the lovely comment, Jean:>)

    – MotherNature

  • missmoneypenny
    missmoneypenny4 months ago

    Great find and capture

  • Thank you, MMP. I can always find something interesting if I look:>)

    – MotherNature

  • Bette Devine
    Bette Devine4 months ago

    Very interesting creature. Aren’t these turtles dangerous for humans and animals? I think I remember them featuring in a novel where they were portrayed as dangerous……….

  • I’ve added more to the description for people to read if they choose. These are dangerous because of their powerful jaws and cranky nature, especially when they’re on land and vulnerable. As children, my siblings, neighbors, and I swam in a pond all summer long with huge monstrous snapping turtles and no one was ever injured or even close. When they are in the water they will do anything to escape us big, gawky, splashing humans. Now I can’t say they wouldn’t grab a finger or foot dangled over a raft or boat – that could look like lunch:>)

    – MotherNature

  • Keala
    Keala4 months ago

    Featured 6/8/14

  • Thanks so much! It’s a great local kind of turtle:>)

    – MotherNature

  • billfox256
    billfox2564 months ago

    Terrific capture and well deserving of being featured !!!! Bill

  • Thanks, Bill! I enjoyed seeing it swimming by so slowly – not a care in the world:>)

    – MotherNature

  • autumnwind
    autumnwind4 months ago

    Fabulous capture!!! xoxoxoxoxoxox

  • It was only a few feet away – so nice to have it just swim by and not be afraid:>) HUGS!

    – MotherNature

  • Otto Danby II
    Otto Danby II3 months ago

    Great shot Carol, good job getting this close!

  • I respect that long neck and powerful jaws, that’s for sure! We all do love the critters, don’t we:>)

    – MotherNature

  • Vicki Spindler (VHS Photography)
    Vicki Spindler...3 months ago


  • This is wonderful news, Vicki – I’m delighted to be featured and appreciate it immensely! Thank you so much:>)

    – MotherNature

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