Few turtles are as iconic and as well known as snapping turtles. Famous for their crushing bite and imposing size, these native turtles can grow to massive proportions, making them formidable predators.
The Herpetology department is proud to announce that one of our Common Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina) has been placed on exhibit, alongside our American Alligator (The same turtle featured in the video below!). Voracious eaters, our snappers eat a large variety of foods, but show preference towards catfish fillets and smelt, as seen in the video (FUN FACT: The animals in our collection are fed what we consider to be quality food for human consumption. Our smelt, trout, and catfish are delivered fresh by Sam Rust Seafood Inc, the same company that supplies many local seafood restaurants!).
Snapping turtles are largely ambush predators; rather than actively hunting their food, snappers lie in wait for prey to swim within reach. The snapping turtle can extend its long neck with incredible speed, making an easy meal of any unwary fish. Fortunately for those of us who like to swim, snapping turtles are typically docile in the water, and will only show their aggression on dry land where they feel vulnerable.