Species of the Week: The Common Snapping Turtle

Photo by Nata Culhane

This week’s #SpeciesOfTheWeek is the largest turtle species found in Ontario, the Common Snapping Turtle! This turtle was found creating her nest along the gravel/sandy sides of a road, a common nesting place for turtles. Unfortunately, road mortality is a significant contributor to the decline of a variety of turtle species. Did you know all 8 species of turtles in Ontario are federally recognized as species at risk? Unlike most turtle species, Snapping Turtles are not able to recede into their shells as they do not have a plastron, which makes them especially vulnerable to predators on land. As such, snapping turtles have developed a different protection mechanism of utilizing their strong jaws to snap. However, while they are swimming Snapping Turtles are generally very calm; they are a top predator in water bodies, so they do not feel vulnerable. In fact, seeing a snapping turtle in a water body is a good thing as they help improve the water quality of the water body they call home as they remove dead fish and frogs.

This entry was posted in Friends of Murphys Point, Murphys Point, Murphys Point Provincial Park, Species of the Week. Bookmark the permalink.

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