What Do Snapping Turtles Look Like

What Do Snapping Turtles Look Like?

What do snapping turtles look like? 

If you’ve come across a turtle crossing the road, and you think it is a snapping turtle, but you are not quite sure, then you are in the right place. 

In this article, we’ll describe the appearance of the snapping turtle. In addition, we’ll look closely at the differences between an alligator snapping turtle and a common snapping turtle. 

And if that’s not enough, we’ll answer other related questions, as well. 

Snapping turtles spend most of their time in the water, however, in the summer months, they lay eggs on land. During those months, snapping turtles often come in interaction with people. If you come in contact with a snapping turtle, and you identify as it, be careful. They can be hostile towards people, especially in that period when they carry eggs. If you are interested to learn how dangerous snapping turtles can be, check out our article on that topic. 

Now, let’s describe the snapping turtle appearance.

Alligator Snapping Turtle vs Common Snapping Turtle 

The most popular types of snapping turtles are the alligator snapping turtle, and the common snapping turtle. They resemble each other, yet they have differences that separate the common snapping turtle from the alligator snapping turtle. 

Both types of turtles have a prehistoric look, and oftentimes people think that they are descendants of the dinosaurs. They have pointy tails, no teeth, but strong jaws. They also have a strong robust build, with thick necks. 

However, they differ in size. The alligator snapping turtle is quite larger than the common snapping turtle. If you are interested to learn more about their sizes check out our article on that subject: How big do snapping turtles get

The alligator snapping turtle lives longer, compared with the common snapping turtle. 

The most noticeable difference is the shape of their shells. Alligator snapping turtles have distinct ridges on their shells, compared with the smoother shell of the common snapping turtle. 

What do baby snapping turtles look like 

The appearance snapping turtles have as babies are what makes people want to keep as pets. However, they quickly realize that these cute small turtles will grow into big monster turtles that are not friendly towards people. 

Baby snapping turtles have long tails and spiny looking shells. They resemble older snapping turtles from the same species. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How do you know if it’s a snapping turtle? 

Snapping turtles are easily recognized by their muscular build, their large size, and their strong jaw. Snapping turtles, unlike other species of turtles, can’t hide inside their shells. 

What color is a snapping turtle? 

The carapace of a snapping turtle has brown, or olive green colors, however, the color of their skin often varies from yellow to rusty orange. If you ever come in contact with an older snapping turtle, you’ll notice that on its shell grows algae, which helps blend in the environment. 

What should you do if you find a baby snapping turtle? 

Snapping turtles tend to travel, and people frequently find them while crossing roads. If you ever come across a baby snapping turtle, don’t touch it, unless it needs help. And, under no circumstances, take the turtle to keep it at home as a pet. Snapping turtles are kept as pets, however, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone that’s inexperienced. 

Final Thoughts 

Now, you know how to recognize snapping turtles and distinguish them from other species of turtles. If you ever come across a snapping turtle, the best advice I can give you is to stay away from it. 

Snapping turtles feel vulnerable on land, especially when they carry eggs. They’ll attack you, and most likely harm you if you try to approach them. 

I hope you learn something new today, and this article answers your question: What do snapping turtles look like? 

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