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Snapping Turtles

Snapping turtles are found in many counties of West Virginia and arepresent in the Laurel Lake area. Snapping turtles are larger turtles that may exceed40 pounds in weight and grow to a carapace length of over 17 inches. The snappingturtle has muscular limbs and a muscular neck. The carapace is dull colored brown to black.

Snapping turtles are omnivorous. They eat aquatic plants and any animalthey can possibly capture. Bites of snapping turtles can be dangerous.

Snapping turtles cannot protect themselves by retracting into their shells,because the shells will not hold the massive limbs and neck of the turtle.

Snapping turtles mate between April and October. Females have been knownto remain fertile up to 3 years after mating. Nesting occurs in late June.Females excavate nests 5 to 7 inches deep and deposit up to 30 eggs in thenest. The eggs are the size of golf balls. The length of incubation varies according to temperature. Baby snapping turtles measure about 1.5 inches in length and are prey to skunks, raccoons, crows, and herons.