Snapping Turtle

As omnivores, these turtles eat both vegetation and meat. Their name comes from the way they eat.

What do snapping turtles do during the harsh Iowa winters? They live underwater! The turtles’ body temperature matches the temperature of their environment. 

Since snapping turtles don’t reach sexual maturity for about 11 to 13 years, it's extra important to avoid predators as they grow.

Newly hatched snapping turtles are about the size of a quarter. This leaves them as an easy meal for predators. Adult snappers are quite a bit larger — they can weigh up to 40 pounds, with a shell of eight to 15 inches long.

Snapping turtles are Iowa’s largest turtle species, but they’re so much more than their tough demeanor.

Mill Creek Park-Snapping Turtle; taken by: Sarah Fiddelke


Photo: Iowa Sportsmen