Life History of Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center’s Snapping Turtle
Carpenter Nature Center’s Snapping Turtle was hatched out of an egg in 2007 after a raccoon dug up and ate most of the other eggs in the next. He/she was adopted into the Carpenter Nature Center education department in September 2008. We do not know if our snapping turtle is a male or female.
Carpenter Nature Center’s turtle is a wonderful ambassador, teaching thousands of visitors every year about our natural environment and the diversity of wildlife life found in our region. Our turtle will live a comfortable life with humans, as it is provided with all the food it needs and safety from predators. It may live to be well over 50 years old.
It is common to find snapping turtles along roadsides in the spring as females leave wetlands to lay eggs. If you see a snapping turtle on a road, take extreme caution when helping it to safety. Not only is it dangerous to be along a busy roadside but a turtle can also deliver a very nasty bite if feels threatened. Move the turtle in the direction it was going by herding it. If it must be moved more quickly, pick it up by the edge of the shell holding the head end away from you. Warning: Snapping Turtles have very long, maneuverable necks. Do not hold a snapping turtle by its tail as that can harm the turtle. Allowing a turtle to bite a stick and dragging it off the road can also cause injuries to the turtle’s underside, which can be life-threatening.
Individual Snapping Turtles can be aged by the number of rings on their shells, but the species is ancient. Snapping turtles as we know them today evolved over 40 million years ago and are the ancestors of 80% of the turtle species alive today.