This is because males fight over females, and the bigger you are the more powerful rival you are. Despite their highly aquatic nature, they do not swim particularly well and are often observed simply walking on the bottom. As long as you respect a Common Snapping Turtle’s space when on land, or if you encounter them when they are in water, a Snapping Turtle will have no reason to be defensive. After I got older, I continued to hear it from many of them. Alligator Snapping Turtle Bite Slices Fake Finger Off in Slow Motion. Between the two species of snapping turtles the common snapping turtle is the most numerous one. But some specimens are able to reach even bigger sizes, sometimes reaching up to 19 inches. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has not assessed the global status of the snapping turtle. In general they live between 50 and 70 years. They have a black shell, compared to the lighter shades than common snapping turtle usually have. Sometimes people think they have a snapping turtle and it’s just a little box turtle. I am also a the proud owner of 4 turtles, as well as biological sciences student at Oxford Brookes University. If you own a turtle and you don’t want to get bitten than you should make sure that it’s well fed. On land the snapping turtle can become defensive as they cannot pull their head or limbs into their shell, and its sharp beak and strong jaws can cause injury if harassed. And even if turtles don’t take care of their eggs after they lay them, they will protect them while they are inside of them. Being the only person in my family interested in herps, I was told this numerous times growing up. Its long tail has a series of triangular spikes along the top that are reminiscent of those of a stegosaurus. Snapping Turtle. The range of snapping turtles extends from Ecuador to southern Ontario, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia. Turtles, especially snapping turtles are agents of biodiversity; in addition to cleaning detritus from waters, they spread seeds that grow into plants that support fish nurseries and wetland ecosystems. When a turtle feels very threatened they will bite you and then they won’t let go. Snapping turtles are among Canada's most at-risk species, and in Ontario the animals face a heightened threat every day. Turtles don’t care how they get their food as long as they get it. "Don't let a snapping turtle bite you 'cause it won't let go till it thunders." It seemed like some of them were just joking with me, but others I think honestly believed it. But they rarely bite when in the water. | Travis Smola Journalist, Wide Open Spaces. Snapping turtle nests contain up to 50 round eggs, whereas other Ontario turtle species lay oval-shaped eggs that generally number between three and 15. They are not normally aggressive and the bites are mainly accidental. At this size, the turtle might be very old, perhaps well over 100 years. (With Pictures and Video). /s. This what an alligator snapping turtle can do to your fingers! Adult snapping turtles have few natural enemies, but both hibernating and young adults are occasionally victims of opportunistic predation by otters and mink. Help remove the snapping turtle from Ontario's game species list. M. temminckii is one of the heaviest freshwater turtles in the world. However, for shallow cuts that draw blood, you need to properly clean and treat the injury before seeking professional medical treatment. "It's important for folks to know that, in Ontario, snapping turtles are a species of special concern. The snapping turtle is the largest freshwater turtle in Canada, with adults weighing between 4.6 – 16 kg. With the sharper beak they will be able to penetrate the meat deeper, and they might also be able to tear if off. A snapping turtle can exert a force of over 600 Newton when biting, but a human can exert twice the force between the second molars. Hitting the turtle will only make things worse. Status The common snapping turtle is not designated as a species at risk provincially in Ontario or by COSEWIC. They live in ponds, streams, and occasionally can be found in the more brackish water of estuaries. Unlike most other Ontario turtles, the snapping turtle has a very small plastron and cannot withdraw into its shell for protection when threatened. It’s easy to judge how dangerous a snapping turtle is just by the stories you hear about them. Since snapping turtles have enough bite force to amputate a finger, immediate medical attention may be needed for serious bites. They had to develop other defense mechanisms in order to protect themselves. Thank you in advance. This will cause a lot more damage than a simple snap. Friends of Ontario Snapping Turtles. The nest site is often the side of a road, an embankment or a shoreline, but the females will use almost any area they can excavate. We hope you will enjoy the site and that you will find what you’re looking for.​. The best way to protect your fingers is to keep them away, so don’t feed your turtle with your hand, you can just place the food on the ground. If you are ever bitten by a turtle and the turtle doesn’t let go immediately, don’t hit the turtle. Are snapping turtles dangerous? Box turtles look like snapping turtles and will bite but not as aggressively as an alligator snapper. I have had a painted turtle take a bite of me while I was standing in the water fixing our dock ladder. Welcome to the site and we hope you find what you’re looking for. The snapping turtle ( Chelydra serpentina) is Ontario’s most prehistoric-looking turtle species. Due to their long life span, snapping turtles bioaccumulate many toxins from their environment and, in addition to any negative effects this bioaccumulation has on the turtles, it makes them very unsafe for human consumption. There are two types of snapping turtles, the common snapping turtle and the alligator snapping turtle. And if you are bitten by any kind of turtle and there is blood on your skin, you have to go to the doctor as fast as possible to properly disinfect the bitten area. Status: Special concern. It is believed that the bite force of the alligator snapping turtle is strong enough to snap a broomstick in half. In water the snapping turtle rarely snaps at people or other potential threats and will simply swim away if threatened. 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