Snapping Turtle!

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A common snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina.

I saw this big snapping turtle sunning himself on the shore of The Reservoir in Central Park on one of the first warm sunny days of the year last week.

The snapping turtle is New York’s official state reptile. Big ones can grow to around 18 inches long and weigh about 35 pounds. Wild snappers like this one are estimated to live for about 30 years.

A common snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina.

Julie Feinstein

Julie Feinstein

I am a Collection Manager at the American Museum of Natural History, an author, and a photographer. I live in New York City. I recently published my first popular science book, Field Guide to Urban Wildlife, an illustrated collection of natural history essays about common animals. I update my blog, Urban Wildlife Guide, every Sunday.

Julie Feinstein

Julie Feinstein

I am a Collection Manager at the American Museum of Natural History, an author, and a photographer. I live in New York City. I recently published my first popular science book, Field Guide to Urban Wildlife, an illustrated collection of natural history essays about common animals. I update my blog, Urban Wildlife Guide, every Sunday.

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Susan Lee

Snapping turtles are one critter we’d learned as children that it’s best defense is an aggressive offense…and so we gave them a wide berth! 🙂