Snapping turtles are common in Connecticut and New York. They can also be found in eastern Canada, central and eastern U.S., throughout Mexico and down into Central America.
They prefer still, slow and shallow waters with vegetation to hide in, but can also be found at the edges of deeper lakes and rivers.
Unlike many other freshwater turtle species, snapping turtles do not bask in the sun. They also can't withdraw into their shell like other turtles - which is why they 'snap' in defense.
Snapping turtles will eat almost anything they can catch, as well as some plants and dead animals.
It's believed they can live 40 to 50 years and grow to 60 pounds.
Snapping turtles face a number of challenges. Many females are hit by cars as they cross roads looking for nesting spots. Eggs and young turtles are preyed upon by raccoons, skunks, coyotes and even crows. People kill turtles out of fear, which is unnecessary. Like most wild animals, they're aggressive only when they feel threatened. If you see a snapping turtle in your yard give her - and her nest - some space.
Our resident snapping turtle - named Franklin - lives in the Watershed gallery.