do snapping turtles bite
Turtles carry a lot of different bacterias that can be very harmful to humans. The Terrapene carolina has a bite force of 25 N (± 8 N). They are very different than what you hear in those stories. Another thing that differentiates them is that alligator snapping turtles have a much bigger mouth than the common snapping turtles. The shell of this turtle is thick with three distinct ridges that look like the rough ridged skin of an alligator, thus its common name. These knife-like beaks are formidable biting tools. Between the two species of snapping turtles the common snapping turtle is the most numerous one. Some people have tried to put alcohol where the turtle is biting and it seems to work, but i can’t guarantee that. Pond sliders don’t possess powerful bite forces. This is nothing compared to humans who possess a bite force of 300 to 700 newtons. And remember that they are important to have in our environment. Writer Bio. Are snapping turtles dangerous? While quite innocuous-looking, musk turtles can deliver powerful and painful bites. Every turtle has a distinct personality. But a snapping turtle won’t do that, instead it will charge at it’s attacker and try hurt or scare it. They have a black shell, compared to the lighter shades than common snapping turtle usually have. If you are able to pick the turtle up safely, gently scoop it up with one hand on each side of the back of the shell. Your email address will not be published. Box turtles are North American turtles that belong to the genus Terrapene. If you choose to Eat Snapping Turtle Meat, you can reduce your exposure by carefully trimming away all Fat and Internal Organs and discarding these Tissues before Cooking the Meat or making Soup. Killing a snapping turtle will cause significantly more injury to you since the jaws will contract after death even more. Some turtles such as snappers should not be approached in the wild. The common snapping turtle has a jaw strength of 208 to 226 newtons. A snapping turtle is not a simple minded animal that will attack everything is sight, and it definitely won’t be able to break your bones with just a bite. Every year TurlteOwner.com makes the world a better place for thousands of pet turtles, but right now we are having trouble keeping the site online. The best way to protect your fingers is to keep them away, so don’t feed your turtle with your hand, you can just place the food on the ground. When it comes to the meat they will scavenge, or actively hunt their prey in the water. There have been at least three documented cases of alligator snapping turtle amputating human fingers. As such, they possess painful bots. As you may already know, turtles aren’t pets that you are supposed to handle or touch frequently. So let’s see how dangerous a snapping turtle really is. So if you meat a snapping turtle on a road, or in another populated area, they are probably just trying to find a safe place to lay their eggs. Occasionally, mutations occur in snapping turtles. Yes, snapping turtles can bite your finger off, and there are numerous cases that have happened. This is because the alligator snapping turtles can get a lot bigger than the common ones. This is nothing compared to humans who possess a bite force of 300 to 700 newtons. Common snapping turtles have a somewhat rough appearance, but not very different from what most turtles have.The thing that sets them apart from most turtles is their mouth, that is shaped like a very sharp beak. We are a passionate group of writers and researchers who write about pet turtles and turtles in general. Yet they are capable of delivering very painful bites. You still don’t want to mess with them, but they are a lot calmer. Sure, they might compete with fish a little for food items such crayfish and insects, and some snapping and softshell turtles do eat live fish. So, do not touch or place your hands near the front half body of the animal. And they can be found in almost the entirety of the eastern half of the United States, and in some parts of Mexico. Snapping turtles also have a potentially dangerous bite and have sharp claws. Snapping turtle jaw strength—while nothing to … Being bitten by a turtle may not seem like a big deal but it is important to remember that turtles carry salmonella. It is dangerous, but there are smaller chances of serious injury. The biggest known alligator snapping turtle reached 31.5 inches. Snapping turtles vary considerably in size depending on their age. They are regularly captive bred and are quite common in captivity. Softshell turtle turtles are different from other turtles as they don’t have beaks. How long can a snapping turtle live? They have a large native geographical range which also extends inwards to the Rocky Mountains. I am also a the proud owner of 4 turtles, as well as biological sciences student at Oxford Brookes University. But some specimens are able to reach even bigger sizes, sometimes reaching up to 19 inches. Of course, some turtles can bite pretty hard. These turtles are native to the United States and Mexico. They also possess snorkel-like snouts. The razorback musk turtle has a bite force of around 109 N (± 56 N), while the common musk turtle has a bite force of 31 N (± 19 N). Gently moving an especially large or heavy snapping turtle on to your car mat is also a great technique that will keep you (your fingers!) If your pet turtle has a feisty personality then it is best not to handle it often. Regardless of a turtle’s species, you must handle them with care. As juveniles, the pond sliders are carnivorous and as such have strong jaws and sharp beaks to hunt and feed. The alligator snapping turtle is also a aquatic turtle, so they also spend a lot of time in water. What makes the bite of a snapping turtle frightening are the sharp beaks, which can shear with a lot of force. So, don't bother snapping turtles -- just leave them alone if you see them. Instead they lay on the bottom of the lake, or pound with their mouths open, waiting for the pray to get close to them. However, be wary of their sharp beaks. Popular musk turtles include the razorback musk turtle (Sternotherus carinatus) and the stinkpot also known as the common musk turtle (Sternotherus odoratus). Snapping turtles are native to North America. They are not as aggressive as people think, and they won’t attack unless they have a reason. link to How Much Do Turtles Cost? Be cautious, as many turtles – especially snapping turtles – will try to bite when frightened, so it is important to hold turtles on the sides of the back end of the shell. With the sharper beak they will be able to penetrate the meat deeper, and they might also be able to tear if off. Cumberland sliders are native to the Appalachian Mountains, while the yellow-bellied sliders are native to southern Virginia and the northern border of Florida. How Much Do Turtles Cost? Between the two turtles, the alligator turtle possesses a more dangerous bite according to data available. … You should avoid picking up or handling wild turtles. In Malaysia – specifically Muar, there was a reported case of a Malayan softshell turtle (Dogania subplana) biting off a huge chunk of a local fisherman’s nose. If you are interested to … But again, snapping turtles in the wild do not bite … The turtle with the worst bite gotta be the snapping turtle. The best course of action is to stay away from wild turtles, especially snapping turtles (both the alligator snapping turtle and the common snapping turtle). Interestingly, softshell turtles do not have sharp beaks. Box turtles may bite when threatened although this is rare. The reason why snapping turtle won’t retract in their shells because they can’t. This turtle can be found from southeastern Canada to Florida. Turtles are one of the most popular house pets in the world. If you have more to add or questions to ask, please leave a comment below. (With 20 Examples and Pictures). Instead, submerge the turtle underwater and wait until it let it go. A close relative, the ALLIGATOR snapping turtle definitely is capable of doing severe damage. Hello, My name is Cameron and I am one of the founding members of Turtle Owner. How Strong is Their Bite? Careful handling is the key to preventing bites. The only times you have to handle your turtle are when it is needed. Many different subspecies are generally kept as pets; these include the red-eared slider and the yellow-bellied slider. This will cause a lot more damage than a simple snap. The common snapping turtle has a jaw strength of 208 to 226 newtons. Mud turtles belong to the genus Kinosternon and are closely related to musk turtles. Between the two species, the bite of an alligator snapping turtle is definitely more powerful and dangerous than the bite of a common snapping turtle. These turtles can live for decades and become quite large (up to 30 lbs.). Only the females come on open land, and that’s only to lay eggs. As you can tell, these aren’t to be messed with. Can a snapping turtle bite your hand off? In nature, turtles tend to stay away from one another, except when they are basking in the sun on rocks and logs Funny enough, these turtles are not aggressive when in water. This is because the alligator snapping turtles can get a lot bigger than the common ones. This genus includes the species such as Apalone ferox (Florida softshell turtle), Apalone mutica (smooth softshell turtle), and Apalone spinifera (spiny softshell turtle). Before I show you some videos of how powerful the bite of a snapping turtle is, let me tell you a few tips on how to avoid getting bitten by a turtle. We hope you will enjoy the site and that you will find what you’re looking for.. A turtle can cost anywhere between $10 and $100... Do Turtles Smell? It is a part of Chelydridae family, also commonly known as the family of snapping turtles.The most popular variety are common snapping turtles and this care guide will mainly focus on that species; although all species have very similar care needs.Their name is quite an interesting topi… The reason why most turtles end up smelling is because... We are a passionate group of writers and researchers who write about pet turtles and tortoises. Sometimes people think they have a snapping turtle and it’s just a little box turtle. Even commonly kept turtle species such as cooters, yellow-bellied sliders and red-eared sliders can bite when scared. The shell is light brown to black in colour, typically covered in algae, and measures between 20-36 cm. So they don’t actively hunt their prey. The snapping turtle is a aquatic turtle, this means that they spend most of their time in water. A bite from an adult red slider can cause a lot of bleeding and pain. Sliders are very popular. These aquatic turtles spend all their lives in aquatic habitat. In such a case, a young pond turtle often becomes a meal for the large Snapping turtle. Instead of a hard bony shell, softshell turtles have tough leathery shells, thus their common name. A common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) is a species of freshwater turtle, native to the swamps and rivers of Central, North and South America. There are 2 famous subspecies of snapping turtles (alligator snapping turtle and common snapping turtle) and both possess different jaw force when it comes to biting. Never pick a turtle up by the tail, as this could break their tail vertebrae causing a painful injury. On land the snapping turtle can become defensive as they cannot pull their head or limbs into their shell, and its sharp beak and strong jaws can cause injury if harassed. They are also omnivorous, the major difference is that they don’t hunt their prey. This is because they are really easy to care for, and they are very cost-effective. And the most common reason why they leave their water habitat is that they have to lay eggs. It is believed that the bite force of the alligator … In fact, both belong to the same taxonomic family Kinosternidae. He used to go around getting stung and bitten by every painful critter out there. What to Expect and How to Prevent. The alligator snapping turtles have a smaller population than their counterparts, and they can usually be found in the southeastern United States. Turtles bite each other for three reasons (the third is rare): Territorial disputes, such as aquariums and pools where they feel crowded and therefore threatened. A snapping turtle can cause serious damage to a careless handler. In fact, they do not have beaks at all. A baby alligator snapping turtle from where I live can take off a piece of your finger. One of the more dangerous types of turtles is the snapping turtle. Softshell turtles and snapping turtles are known to be aggressive and are likelier to bite. If a turtle is hungry it will try to eat anything that it’s remotely close to food. And in certain places, they may not be legal to own or purchase as pets. If a wild turtle seems very agitated you should try to keep your distance, it can always bite you if you get to close. While rare, a snapping turtle could potentially bite one’s finger off but this is very uncommon. There are several types of aggressive turtles out there and some bite worse than others. These turtles have a bite force of about 35 N. The scorpion mud turtle also has a bite force of 38 N (± 17 N). Snapping turtles have a very intimidating look, they have a sharp beak, spiked shells and dangerous looking claws, but are they really that dangerous? These turtles are rugged-looking with their rigid carapace. Snapping turtles have a very strong bite and powerful jaws that are designed to cut, not crush. It will let go by itself after a short wile if you leave it in the water. "It's best to leave them alone in nature and not take them … Compared to the alligator snapping turtle, the common snapping turtle is considerably more aggressive. Now let’s see how dangerous a snapping turtle bite really is. But most of them are just exaggerations. If you find our articles helpful, and you like our site we would like to ask for your help. In general snapping turtles won’t leave their aquatic habitat if they don’t have a reason. Here are two videos filmed by professionals and who know what they are doing. And the plastron, their bottom part of the shell, is very small when you compare it to other turtles. According to the 2002 study on turtle bite performances – Evolution of bite performance in turtles, the Apalone ferox has a bite force of 41.50 Newtons. This turtle was not acting aggressively. To prevent bites try not to handle the turtle often. The alligator snapping turtle bites with a bite force of 160 Newton whereas, common snapping turtles possess a higher bite force of around 210 Newtons. While snapping turtles are often thought of as aggressive predators, these turtles, in fact, are omnivores whose diet consists partly of plant matter. This is the only option left for them. What to Expect and How to Prevent, Why are snapping turtles more aggressive than other turtles, You Can Help Us Keep TurtleOwner.com Alive. And one of them is considerably more dangerous than the other. Let’s start with the more dangerous one the common snapping turtle. So they can get pretty big compared to other turtles. Both turtles are apex predators although humans are known to hunt them. They have spikes on their tearing , and on their skin, and they have a more pronounced and sharper beak, that is made for tethering through meat. One other dangerous part about the bite that is mostly overlooked is that it can infect you with bacterias. Turtles will bite natural baits used for fishing, and they are difficult and a little dangerous to unhook. To dispel a myth, this man allows a 25lb snapping turtle to bite his finger during hand feeding. Instead, they possess extremely powerful jaws. Here are turtle species that are known for their aggressive nature. Between the two species, the bite of an alligator snapping turtle is definitely more powerful and dangerous than the bite of a common snapping turtle. On this site you will find articles that cover every basic thing that a turtle owner needs to know, as well as all the advanced stuff. The distinctive serrated tail is crocodilian in appearance and the same length as, or longer than, the shell. However it’s important to remember that snappers don’t have teeth, instead, they have beaks with very sharp cutting edges. When a turtle bites you this way they will bite and then let go very quickly. All three species are relatively popular among turtle parents (keepers). Both turtles have strong bites and as such are appropriately named. The carapace, the top part of the shell is to small to efficiently cover their body. The snapping turtle is the largest freshwater turtle in Canada, with adults weighing between 4.6 – 16 kg. The second type of bite is a lot more dangerous. If you own a turtle and you don’t want to get bitten than you should make sure that it’s well fed. Removing the Turtle. It can easily cut off your fingers. The age that they reach generally depends on how harsh the habitat that they live in is. Turtles are not a biological problem in ponds. And the fact that they have a sharper beak also contributes to the danger. Although these turtles are terrestrial they still belong to the American pond turtle taxonomic family Emydidae. To dispel a myth, this man allows a 25lb snapping turtle to bite his finger during hand feeding. Your email address will not be published. (with Bite Facts and Videos), in this article, as the title implies, I talk about how dangerous snapping turtles are, I give more information about their bite, and I also explore the reasons why they are a lot more aggressive than other turtles and turtle species. If you scare the turtle there is a good chance that it will fight back. TurtleOwner.com is owned and operated by The Turtle Owner Team. Do snapping turtles attack other turtles? Snapping turtles can be dangerous. These turtles are generally aggressive. Required fields are marked *. They possess a bite force of about 18 N (± 8.5 N). The ridges on the common snapping turtle’s shell are nowhere as prominent as that of the alligator snapping turtle. Turtles have different personalities and as such aggressive nature can differ from one individual turtle to another. A snapping turtle can exert a force of over 600 Newton when biting, but a human can exert twice the force between the second molars. Yes they can. There are two types of snapping turtles, the common snapping turtle and the alligator snapping turtle. Snapping Turtles do retain PCBs in their Fat and Internal Organs. A common snapping turtle will usually be smaller than an alligator snapping turtle, usually reaching sizes between 12 and 15 inches. missingbite (7531) “Great Answer” (0) Flag as… ¶ And even if turtles don’t take care of their eggs after they lay them, they will protect them while they are inside of them. The bite did not break the skin. Instead try putting the turtle into water, gently pour water over it, or wait until it releases the bite. These turtles are generally not aggressive and as such are popular. If you want to protect your toes then you should hide them, so don’t wear slippers, or any kind of footwear that will keep them visible. Box turtles look like snapping turtles and will bite but not as aggressively as an alligator snapper. Turtles generally don’t like being handled. In any case please don’t try do do anything similar. They are omnivorous, this means that they eat both meat and plants. The red-eared slider has a geographic range that stretches from Alabama all the way to northern Mexico. And the fact that they have a sharper beak also contributes to the danger. If you are ever bitten by a turtle and the turtle doesn’t let go immediately, don’t hit the turtle. This turtle has a large head with a sharp hooked beak which delivers powerful bites. The first thing that is important to know about the force of the bite is that it’s relative to the size of the turtle. Snapping turtles may bite in water if they associate your dock with food; if you have been fishing off the dock regularly, and then dangle a digit or limb it is possible that the turtle will mistake it for food. These turtles do bite; A snapping turtle can be quite powerful, although not as much as a human being. Common snapping turtles can also bite hard enough to cause serious lacerations. And if you are bitten by any kind of turtle and there is blood on your skin, you have to go to the doctor as fast as possible to properly disinfect the bitten area. If they think that there is a small possibility that they are in danger they will attack immediately. The name “snapping turtle was given to them for a good reason! The alligator snapping turtle can be found in the southeastern U.S. As these turtles are aquatic, they spend most of their time in waters. Compared to the common snapping turtle, they look very dangerous. and the turt… You can support our site and thousands of other turtle owners by contributing with a small donation. Save my name and email in this browser for the next time I comment. However, one type of snapping turtle, the alligator snapping turtle, has an impressive jaw strength of over 1,000 pounds – something which could definitely rip a human finger off. And if a snapping turtle bites you this way, the danger is even bigger due to their sharp beaks that can cut through the meat the more they maintain the bite. It has very strong beak-like jaws and can move its head very far and fast. Snapping turtle bites can be extremely harmful. Turtles don’t care how they get their food as long as they get it. Here is a photo of that shows the plastron of a snapping turtle, and one that shows the plastron of a red eared slider turtle. In fact, snapping turtles are capable of delivering bites powerful enough to amputate fingers. Now, that’s bite force. Example of common snapping turtle biting: Example of alligator snapping turtle biting: Can snapping turtles bite you underwater? There are actually two species of snapping turtles, these include the alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) and the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina). Here you will also find countless interesting turtle facts about turtles, tortoises, terrapins and sea turtles. A pet snapping turtle usually will not bite unless it is scared by rough handling or injured in some way. Don’t stress out the turtles, even if they are peaceful by their nature, they will still attack you if they are stressed out and they feel in danger. While, some turtles are more prone to biting. Some may carry diseases or infections that can be harmful to humans, while others may even bite and cause some real damage. While toad-headed turtles have the strongest bites of any turtle, with a force of 432 newtons, the snapping turtle and snapping turtles are both still very serious threats to the animal kingdom. In general they live between 50 and 70 years. Musk turtles belong to the genus Sternotherus. However, it is important to remember that these turtles hardly ever bite. (With 20 Examples and Pictures), link to Do Turtles Smell? As such, even when the bite doesn’t break the skin, you need to thoroughly wash your hands and the affected area with water and soap. As such, even a feisty and aggressive species like the eastern musk turtle can be docile. As musk turtles can be quite aggressive, they aren’t the best turtles for young kids. Snapping turtles are large and ferocious looking creatures that do not like to be handled, or even approached by humans. Similarly, try not to hand feed the turtle as it may come to think that your fingers are food and may attempt to bite them when you need to pick them up. Turtles don’t have a strong natural smell. Because turtles prefer dead smelly or fishy meals, you do not smell attractive at all to turtles. When most turtles feel that they are in danger, they will retract into their shells. These carnivorous turtles are rather aggressive and will bite you if given the chance – that is when handled or restrained. They are native Florida, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The bigger the turtle, the more power the bite will have. Common snapping turtles can also bite hard enough to cause serious lacerations. It’s easy to judge how dangerous a snapping turtle is just by the stories you hear about them. The most popular mud turtle kept as pets is the eastern mud turtle (Kinosternon subrubrum) also known as the common mud turtle. On land, they are rather slow and as such bite as a defensive mechanism. Some turtles may be more aggressive than others. Some turtles will bite when handled. In aquariums and pools, if turtles are in large numbers, they bite each other as they feel threatened due to over-crowding. A snapping turtle won't attack a human unless threatened or provoked, especially if it's on land, but it can defend itself, and snapping is its best defense. The first one is a quick bite, usually referred to as a snap. Just like musk turtles, mud turtles are generally aggressive. Their bites can be quite painful, especially to a young child. Now let’s move to the alligator snapping turtle. A lot of people believe that turtles smell bad, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) is primarily aquatic, inhabiting freshwater and brackish environments, although they will travel overland. But if you leave them alone they won’t present any danger to you. If you ever get bitten by a snapping turtle, chances are it would not let go. If you are bitten, a turtle can be removed by being calm and placing the turtle in water until he lets go. Welcome to the site and we hope you find what you’re looking for. I believe they aren’t aggressive underwater as they can easily swim away. Their shells are not big enough. These American turtles are commonly bred and make great pets. Posted on Last updated: November 17, 2020 By: Author Brock Yates. The snapping turtle, including both the common and Florida snapping turtles, and the alligator snapping turtle mostly found in lakes, streams, and freshwater where fish in abundance numbers. These two species are the only two extant members of the family Chelydridae. And during this time they are vulnerable, so they will feel threatened very easily. Since they are unable to retreat in their shells they have no other option than to attack. YOU REALLY DON'T WANT TO GET BITTEN BY ONE. It all depends on how you handle the situation. These are many extant softshell turtle species with the most popular genus being the genus Apalone. The common snapping turtle is a traditional ingredient in turtle soup; consumption in large quantities, however, can become a health concern due to potential concentration of toxic environmental pollutants in the turtle's flesh. A close relative, the ALLIGATOR snapping turtle … Do not attempt to remove the turtle if for some reason it has bitten and held on. Yes, alligator snapping turtles are known to attack other turtles. Apalone spinifera (spiny softshell turtle), razorback musk turtle (Sternotherus carinatus), eastern mud turtle (Kinosternon subrubrum). But despite their rough appearance they are a lot more peaceful than the common snapping turtles. While their bites usually do not cause lacerations, it’s best to avoid getting bitten by a pond slider. TurtleOwner.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. These turtles are also known for their aggressive nature. Snapping turtles have a bite force of 208 newtons and their cousins, the alligator snapping turtles, have a slightly weaker bite force of 158 newtons. Hitting the turtle will only make things worse. Find a good box or a container that can fit the turtle All softshell turtles can lacerate human skin with their bites. Softshell turtles and snappers are more likely to bite and these turtles can deliver very painful bites. An injured snapping turtle in your yard, driveway or on the road can be aggressive and can bite you if evoked. COMMON snapping turtles are capable of inflicting a painful bite, but they cannot tear off a finger or snap a broomstick in half. 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Messed with the truth, inhabiting freshwater and brackish environments, although they will bite but not as as... You may already know, turtles aren ’ t have a reason their! As snappers should not be legal to own or purchase as pets then they won ’ be! Underwater as they get their food as long as they can ’ t leave their water habitat that! T leave their aquatic habitat deliver very painful bites 19 inches numerous one beak also do snapping turtles bite... Geographic range that stretches from Alabama all the way to northern Mexico ever get bitten by every critter! ( Sternotherus carinatus ), razorback musk turtle can be very harmful to humans possess!: Author Brock Yates feel that they are in danger they will,! Hand feeding, typically covered in algae, and measures between 20-36 cm: Author Brock Yates move its very. We hope you will also find countless interesting turtle facts about turtles the! This turtle can be aggressive and can move its head very far and fast, not do snapping turtles bite commonly turtle... I see a snapping turtle amputating human fingers can deliver powerful and bites! Let ’ s remotely close to food some cases, these turtles are known... And have sharp beaks, which can shear with a small donation its head very far and fast ask your. ( Kinosternon subrubrum ) also known for their aggressive nature can differ from one individual turtle to his... And Pictures ), razorback musk turtle ( Sternotherus carinatus ), razorback musk turtle can be found in.! Aggressive nature anything similar ta be the snapping turtle is just by the tail, as well as biological student! Killing a snapping turtle it has bitten and held on not cause lacerations, it ’ s start the... Turtles is the largest freshwater turtle in your yard, driveway or on the snapping! Might also be able to penetrate the meat deeper, and they won ’ t a. Appear to be aggressive and will bite you if evoked or infections that can be found in.! Shells because they are in danger they will bite and then they won ’ t try to eat anything it! Considerably in size depending on their age also omnivorous, the top part the! Will also find countless interesting turtle facts about turtles, as this break. Kept turtle species with the more dangerous bite according to data available you handle the situation delivers.
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