Beware of the Snappers

Categories: Lens Friends.

The snapping turtles are out looking for places to lay their eggs,  Last week we discovered one at the side of our road … no muddy patches there to lay eggs.  It was huge and we wondered where it had come from and where it was going.  The dilemma was to get it off the busy road and somewhere safe.

Snapping turtles are Canada’s largest freshwater turtles and are listed provincially and federally as a species of concern or endangered.  The snappers are on a decline in Ontario and you can legally hunt them.

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Just look at that big tail and those huge claws.  Their tails can be as long as or longer than their body.

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We are trying to convince it to turn around and not venture out onto the road.  A big stick made it open its mouth but didn’t make it move.  A snapper cannot withdraw into its shell like other turtles so its only protection is to snap in hopes the enemy will go away.

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Of course I was there with my camera … at a safe distance and using the zoom lens.  The upper shell is called a carapace and the lower shell a plastron.

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Just look at all those wrinkles.  I guess living in muddy water isn’t a good moisturizer for your skin.  Snapping turtles reach maturity at 20 years and they are between 20 and 36 cm long and can weigh up to 16 kg.

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Perhaps trying to use the theory … I can’t see you so you can’t see me!

There can be 40 to 50 eggs in one laying.  They will hatch in the late fall.  Hatchlings are 2 to 3 cm. long.

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A passer by stopped his truck and grabbed it by the tail and moved it to a grassy area.   Animal control said they wouldn’t do anything, despite it being a busy road and it was just about time for the school buses to arrive.   A neighbour and a friend moved it into the truck and took it to a marshy area way back in the fields.  I don’t know if we did the right thing or not but at least we got it off the road.

I’m sharing this lens friend (not sure if it is really a friend) with Saturday’s CrittersCamera Critters and Nature Notes.

Have a look at some more of my lens friends photos.

 

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