How Big Do Snapping Turtles Get

How Big Do Snapping Turtles Get (Largest Alligator Snapping Turtle Ever)

How big do snapping turtles get? 

If you are planning to keep a baby snapping turtle as a pet, at first, you need to inform yourself about the size snapping turtles reach. 

You certainly don’t want to buy an animal and later on discover that it grows so big that you can’t keep it anymore. Snapping turtles are not ordinary pets. The size of some alligator snapping turtles can really surprise you. 

It’s not something you want in your home. 

However, if you are still interested in keeping these turtles, keep reading. In this article, you’ll learn about alligator snapping turtle size, common snapping turtle size, and other related topics as well. In addition, you’ll learn what’s the largest alligator snapping turtle in the world. 

Sounds good enough? Let’s get started! 

How Big Do Alligator Snapping Turtles Get

The alligator snapping turtle is a species of turtle, oftentimes referred to as the largest freshwater turtle in the world. 

If we exclude the biggest specimens, an adult alligator snapping turtle has a length from 30 to 80 cm (14 to 32 inches) and weight from 9 to 80 kg (19 to 176 lb). In general, males are bigger than females. 

How Big Do Common Snapping Turtles Get

The common snapping is a large freshwater species of turtles

An adult common snapping turtle has a length from 25 to 47 cm (10 to 19 inches) and a weight from 5 to 16 kg (10 to 35 lb) 

What Influences the Snapping Turtle Size 

The size one snapping turtle reach depends on various factors. These are the most common factors that influence the growth rate of the snapping turtle. 


Diet is one of the most important, if not the most important factor that determines the alligator snapping turtle growth rate. Diet, reach with the essential nutrients, and additional supplements, will have a great impact on your turtle growth. If you are interested to learn more check out this article: What do snapping turtles eat

Overall Health 

A healthy turtle is a happy turtle. It’s crucial for snapping turtles to stay healthy in the first years of their lives. Health-related problems in their juvenile period can slow their growth, causing it to not reach their growth potential later down the line. 


Snapping turtle in captivity has more potential to grow to its full size than a snapping turtle in the wild. Turtles in captivity feel more secure, less threatened, and have better conditions for living. On the other hand, snapping turtles in the wild face problems such as predators, lack of food, and environmental issues. 

Largest Alligator Snapping Turtle 

As you have read earlier in this article, the alligator snapping is one of the biggest freshwater species of turtles in the world. 

Despite their sizes, people still keep them as pets. However, have you ever wondered what was the largest alligator snapping turtle recorded? I was curious, so I’ve made little research. Here’s what I’ve found. 

Apparently, people often exaggerate when they make claims about the turtles they caught. 

You’ve probably heard about, or seen people that claim that have caught the biggest snapping turtle ever, oftentimes with pictures of them holding the turtle. However, it’s pretty clear that most of these findings are hoaxes. If we take into consideration the fact that the average size of an adult alligator snapping turtle is 80kg (176 lb), it’s impossible that those turtles represent the largest snapping turtle ever. 

What’s most likely is that those turtles are an average size. An alligator snapping turtle has been found in Kansas in 1937, however, that’s not verified, as well. 

It’s debatable if we’ll ever know what is the biggest snapping turtle in nature. In general, turtles in captivity tend to grow faster and bigger due to more supply of food, and a lack of predators. 

Final Thoughts 

Snapping turtles are not for everyone. With the size they reach, the lifespan snapping turtles have, and the attitude they have towards people in general, you’ve got to be an expert or at least knowledgeable about snapping turtles to even consider keeping them.

The bigger they grow, the more hostile they get. If you ask me, these animals belong only in nature and they shouldn’t be kept by people. 

But, the truth is, people still keep them. 

Now I’d like to hear from you. Did you learn something new today? Did you know what was the biggest alligator snapping in the world? 

And, did this article answer your question: How big do snapping turtles get? 

Let me know in the comments below. 

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