The head and limbs of the Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) are so large and its lower shell so small that the animal cannot retreat completely into its shell. Its powerful jaws are its defense. Snappers eat a wide variety of aquatic plants and animals. They are usually seen floating lazily just below the water's surface. Females occasionally come on land to seek out sites for laying their eggs, and can be very aggressive at that time.
In the wild it is estimated that they live up to 30 years. Snapping turtles are most vulnerable as hatchlings. Once they reach a certain size there are few natural predators of snapping turtles, though they are often hit by cars when searching for new ponds or nesting sites. Conservation Status: IUCN Red List: No Special Status; US Federal List: No Special Status.