Snapping Turtle – 5/3/20
Observer: Paul Lauenstein
Observation Date: 5/3/20
Observation Time: 8:30 a.m.
Observation Location: Near Billings Brook downstream of Gavins Pond dam
Common Name: Snapping Turtle
Scientific Name: Chelydra serpentina
Comments: Reptiles are cold-blooded. This individual had hauled itself out of the chilly water to warm itself in the sun. In early June, snapping turtles come out of the water, dig a hole in sandy areas, and bury their eggs. The eggs hatch in late summer or early fall.
Temperature during incubation influences the sex of the hatchlings. See: https://www.jstor.org/stable/1563778?seq=1
More Information: Tufts Wildlife Clinic and Mass Audubon’s guide to turtle species
The snapping turtle’s tail looks like something you might find in Jurassic Park.