April 14, 2013

snapping turtle

snapping turtle by ricmcarthur
snapping turtle, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
A snapper in the hand is a handful.
Never pick up a turtle by its tail, particularly a snapper as you could break the spine.

The snapping turtle is the largest freshwater turtle in Canada.

The snapping turtle is Ontario’s most prehistoric-looking turtle species. Its long tail has a series of triangular spikes along the top that are reminiscent of those of a stegosaurus. The carapace (upper shell) is tan or olive to black in colour, has a coarsely serrated anterior (front) edge and three longitudinal ridges, and is often covered with algae. The plastron (lower shell) is very small. The maximum length of the carapace in this species is 47 centimetres.

Chelydra serpentina


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