My they grow up fast! This massive snapping turtle (lower picture) was spotted in the Mississippi near Brainerd. It definitely makes your want to curl your toes as if you’re in the kayak next to it. The reptile looks like a prehistoric dinosaur, swimming in the murky dark waiting to SNAP! In reality, they’re quite docile!
The Snapping Turtle is Minnesota’s largest turtle. As an adult, its upper shell (carapace) averages 20-36 cm (8-14 in.) in length, and its weight ranges from 4.5-16 kg (10-35 lbs.). The largest known Minnesota individual weighed 29.5 kg (65 lbs.) and had a carapace that was 49.5 cm (19.5 in.) long. The Snapping Turtle’s carapace is variably colored from green to brown to black and often has moss covering it. In young turtles, raised crests form three longitudinal keels along the carapace. These crests gradually disappear as the turtles mature. The back edge of the carapace in all sized turtles is strongly toothed. The lower shell (plastron) is considerably reduced in size relative to the upper shell and provides little protection for the turtle. Snapping Turtles have a long tail, with a series of raised scales along the top that create sawtooth projections. Their head is large, with large and powerful jaws, and their neck is long. The Snapping Turtle is usually docile in the water but can be aggressive when it is on land, often lunging forward and striking out to “snap” at its foe.