How Can You Tell How Old a Snapping Turtle Is?

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To find the age of a snapping turtle, very carefully count the rings around one section of his shell while staying away from his powerful jaws. It is best to start counting the outer ring first and work toward the center. The number of rings is equal to the turtle’s age.

Snapping turtle hatchlings start out about the size of a quarter and continue to grow their whole lives. The older they are, the more slowly they grow. Snapping turtles can live as long as 100 years.

Snapping turtles are aquatic and can see well both above and below the surface of the water. They spend most of their time in the water walking on the bottom instead of swimming. They like to leave the water to sun themselves. This helps them warm up in northern climates, allowing them to store more fat for winter hibernation.

Snapping turtles prefer still or slow-moving bodies of water with lots of mud, plants and water lilies. They can live in fresh or salt water. If they live in salt water, they need to return to fresh water regularly to drink. They prefer shallow water where they can stay on the bottom and look above water at the same time. Snapping turtles can survive for as much as two weeks without water; this makes overland migration possible.