Snapping Turtle – 5/3/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/3/20

Observation Time: 8:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Near Billings Brook downstream of Gavins Pond dam

Common Name: Snapping Turtle

Scientific Name: Chelydra serpentina

Comments: Reptiles are cold-blooded. This individual had hauled itself out of the chilly water to warm itself in the sun. In early June, snapping turtles come out of the water, dig a hole in sandy areas, and bury their eggs. The eggs hatch in late summer or early fall.

Temperature during incubation influences the sex of the hatchlings. See:

More Information: Tufts Wildlife Clinic and Mass Audubon’s guide to turtle species

The snapping turtle’s tail looks like something you might find in Jurassic Park.