do snapping turtles bite

Gently moving an especially large or heavy snapping turtle on to your car mat is also a great technique that will keep you (your fingers!) So let’s see how dangerous a snapping turtle really is. There are two types of snapping turtles, the common snapping turtle and the alligator snapping turtle. The alligator snapping turtle is considerably bigger than the common snapping turtle, usually reaching sizes between 15 and 26 inches. Don’t panic and don’t try to pull off your finger immediately. link to How Much Do Turtles Cost? In nature, turtles tend to stay away from one another, except when they are basking in the sun on rocks and logs Snapping turtle jaw strength—while nothing to … As such, they possess painful bots. As such, even a feisty and aggressive species like the eastern musk turtle can be docile. Snapping turtles have a very strong bite and powerful jaws that are designed to cut, not crush. If you own a turtle and you don’t want to get bitten than you should make sure that it’s well fed. The snapping turtle, including both the common and Florida snapping turtles, and the alligator snapping turtle mostly found in lakes, streams, and freshwater where fish in abundance numbers. Between the two species, the bite of an alligator snapping turtle is definitely more powerful and dangerous than the bite of a common snapping turtle. What makes the bite of a snapping turtle frightening are the sharp beaks, which can shear with a lot of force. One of the more dangerous types of turtles is the snapping turtle. This is because the alligator snapping turtles can get a lot bigger than the common ones. The only times you have to handle your turtle are when it is needed. The razorback musk turtle has a bite force of around 109 N (± 56 N), while the common musk turtle has a bite force of 31 N (± 19 N). A close relative, the ALLIGATOR snapping turtle … Musk turtles belong to the genus Sternotherus. The red-eared slider has a geographic range that stretches from Alabama all the way to northern Mexico. But a snapping turtle won’t do that, instead it will charge at it’s attacker and try hurt or scare it. But for this episode, he’s brought in the lifelike test dummy to take the bite because as you’ll soon see the alligator snapping turtle is able to bite off fingers as easily as I’d take down waffle fries from Chick-fil-a. One other dangerous part about the bite that is mostly overlooked is that it can infect you with bacterias. Yes, snapping turtles can bite your finger off, and there are numerous cases that have happened. Snapping turtles vary considerably in size depending on their age. Their bites can be quite painful, especially to a young child. (With 20 Examples and Pictures), link to Do Turtles Smell? These turtles are also known for their aggressive nature. So they don’t actively hunt their prey. Now let’s move to the alligator snapping turtle. … If you are bitten, a turtle can be removed by being calm and placing the turtle in water until he lets go. You still don’t want to mess with them, but they are a lot calmer. Here are turtle species that are known for their aggressive nature. In Malaysia – specifically Muar, there was a reported case of a Malayan softshell turtle (Dogania subplana) biting off a huge chunk of a local fisherman’s nose. In aquariums and pools, if turtles are in large numbers, they bite each other as they feel threatened due to over-crowding. The bite did not break the skin. While snapping turtles are often thought of as aggressive predators, these turtles, in fact, are omnivores whose diet consists partly of plant matter. Here are two videos filmed by professionals and who know what they are doing. If you find our articles helpful, and you like our site we would like to ask for your help. Both turtles are apex predators although humans are known to hunt them. This is the only option left for them. Turtles will bite natural baits used for fishing, and they are difficult and a little dangerous to unhook. Are snapping turtles dangerous? However, it is important to remember that these turtles hardly ever bite. The reason why most turtles end up smelling is because... We are a passionate group of writers and researchers who write about pet turtles and tortoises. Turtles carry a lot of different bacterias that can be very harmful to humans. Instead they lay on the bottom of the lake, or pound with their mouths open, waiting for the pray to get close to them. Don’t stress out the turtles, even if they are peaceful by their nature, they will still attack you if they are stressed out and they feel in danger. It is believed that the bite force of the alligator … It is dangerous, but there are smaller chances of serious injury. "It's best to leave them alone in nature and not take them … Do snapping turtles attack other turtles? While, some turtles are more prone to biting. How Strong is Their Bite? Turtles have different personalities and as such aggressive nature can differ from one individual turtle to another. Let’s start with the more dangerous one the common snapping turtle. They have spikes on their tearing , and on their skin, and they have a more pronounced and sharper beak, that is made for tethering through meat. Regardless of a turtle’s species, you must handle them with care. The distinctive serrated tail is crocodilian in appearance and the same length as, or longer than, the shell. And in certain places, they may not be legal to own or purchase as pets. Regardless of this, turtles from all species can bite. COMMON snapping turtles are capable of inflicting a painful bite, but they cannot tear off a finger or snap a broomstick in half. And during this time they are vulnerable, so they will feel threatened very easily. But again, snapping turtles in the wild do not bite … Every turtle has a distinct personality. Turtles don’t care how they get their food as long as they get it. These turtles can live for decades and become quite large (up to 30 lbs.). This turtle was not acting aggressively. When a turtle bites you this way they will bite and then let go very quickly. This is nothing compared to humans who possess a bite force of 300 to 700 newtons. Now let’s see why snapping turtles are so aggressive. But despite their rough appearance they are a lot more peaceful than the common snapping turtles. Snapping turtles are large and ferocious looking creatures that do not like to be handled, or even approached by humans. Between the two species of snapping turtles the common snapping turtle is the most numerous one. They are native Florida, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. On this site you will find articles that cover every basic thing that a turtle owner needs to know, as well as all the advanced stuff. These are many extant softshell turtle species with the most popular genus being the genus Apalone. These carnivorous turtles are rather aggressive and will bite you if given the chance – that is when handled or restrained. There have been documented cases of serious softshell turtle bites. The shell of this turtle is thick with three distinct ridges that look like the rough ridged skin of an alligator, thus its common name. These turtles are generally not aggressive and as such are popular. Instead of a hard bony shell, softshell turtles have tough leathery shells, thus their common name. So they can get pretty big compared to other turtles. It is a part of Chelydridae family, also commonly known as the family of snapping turtles.The most popular variety are common snapping turtles and this care guide will mainly focus on that species; although all species have very similar care needs.Their name is quite an interesting topi… Yet they are capable of delivering very painful bites. Instead, they possess extremely powerful jaws. Box turtles look like snapping turtles and will bite but not as aggressively as an alligator snapper. If you want to protect your toes then you should hide them, so don’t wear slippers, or any kind of footwear that will keep them visible. Can a snapping turtle bite your hand off? If a wild turtle seems very agitated you should try to keep your distance, it can always bite you if you get to close. While rare, a snapping turtle could potentially bite one’s finger off but this is very uncommon. This turtle can be found from southeastern Canada to Florida. Interestingly, softshell turtles do not have sharp beaks. A snapping turtle can exert a force of over 600 Newton when biting, but a human can exert twice the force between the second molars. Be cautious, as many turtles – especially snapping turtles – will try to bite when frightened, so it is important to hold turtles on the sides of the back end of the shell. Of course, some turtles can bite pretty hard. How Much Do Turtles Cost? However, one type of snapping turtle, the alligator snapping turtle, has an impressive jaw strength of over 1,000 pounds – something which could definitely rip a human finger off. The best course of action is to stay away from wild turtles, especially snapping turtles (both the alligator snapping turtle and the common snapping turtle). A bite from an adult red slider can cause a lot of bleeding and pain. Before I show you some videos of how powerful the bite of a snapping turtle is, let me tell you a few tips on how to avoid getting bitten by a turtle. Hello, My name is Cameron and I am one of the founding members of Turtle Owner. The common snapping turtle has a jaw strength of 208 to 226 newtons. It all depends on how you handle the situation. The snapping turtle is the largest freshwater turtle in Canada, with adults weighing between 4.6 – 16 kg. There are actually two species of snapping turtles, these include the alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) and the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina). This is because they are really easy to care for, and they are very cost-effective. When most turtles feel that they are in danger, they will retract into their shells. Similarly, try not to hand feed the turtle as it may come to think that your fingers are food and may attempt to bite them when you need to pick them up. Snapping turtles, for instance, are notorious for their aggressive nature and powerful bites. These turtles are generally aggressive. They have a large native geographical range which also extends inwards to the Rocky Mountains. The name “snapping turtle was given to them for a good reason! But in general snapping turtle don’t do it. You should avoid picking up or handling wild turtles. and the turt… COMMON snapping turtles are capable of inflicting a painful bite, but they cannot tear off a finger or snap a broomstick in half. Snapping turtles are even capable of amputating a finger. Apalone spinifera (spiny softshell turtle), razorback musk turtle (Sternotherus carinatus), eastern mud turtle (Kinosternon subrubrum). All softshell turtles can lacerate human skin with their bites. Being bitten by a turtle may not seem like a big deal but it is important to remember that turtles carry salmonella. As such, it is best to be careful when handling them. Hitting the turtle will only make things worse. Funny enough, these turtles are not aggressive when in water. And always try to handle them with care, If you properly handle a turtle there is no chance that you will get bittern, so avoid placing your hand anywhere close to its mouth. These two species are the only two extant members of the family Chelydridae. And if you are bitten by any kind of turtle and there is blood on your skin, you have to go to the doctor as fast as possible to properly disinfect the bitten area. If your pet turtle has a feisty personality then it is best not to handle it often. Some turtles may be more aggressive than others. Yes they can. However, be wary of their sharp beaks. To dispel a myth, this man allows a 25lb snapping turtle to bite his finger during hand feeding. Between the two turtles, the alligator turtle possesses a more dangerous bite according to data available. This turtle has a large head with a sharp hooked beak which delivers powerful bites. With the sharper beak they will be able to penetrate the meat deeper, and they might also be able to tear if off. The best way to protect your fingers is to keep them away, so don’t feed your turtle with your hand, you can just place the food on the ground. If you have more to add or questions to ask, please leave a comment below. Welcome to the site and we hope you find what you’re looking for. If you are able to pick the turtle up safely, gently scoop it up with one hand on each side of the back of the shell. There have been at least three documented cases of alligator snapping turtle amputating human fingers. Turtles are not a biological problem in ponds. Between the two species, the bite of an alligator snapping turtle is definitely more powerful and dangerous than the bite of a common snapping turtle. You can support our site and thousands of other turtle owners by contributing with a small donation. It can easily cut off your fingers. Every year TurlteOwner.com makes the world a better place for thousands of pet turtles, but right now we are having trouble keeping the site online. These turtles have high domes just like tortoises and can even retract fully and close off their shell. Snapping turtles may bite in water if they associate your dock with food; if you have been fishing off the dock regularly, and then dangle a digit or limb it is possible that the turtle will mistake it for food. Common snapping turtles have a somewhat rough appearance, but not very different from what most turtles have.The thing that sets them apart from most turtles is their mouth, that is shaped like a very sharp beak. Both turtles have strong bites and as such are appropriately named. Snapping turtle bites can be extremely harmful. If you scare the turtle there is a good chance that it will fight back. This will cause a lot more damage than a simple snap. Instead try putting the turtle into water, gently pour water over it, or wait until it releases the bite. The common snapping turtle is a traditional ingredient in turtle soup; consumption in large quantities, however, can become a health concern due to potential concentration of toxic environmental pollutants in the turtle's flesh. Have to lay eggs to 30 lbs. ) placing the turtle there is a good that. What they are vulnerable, so they will bite you if given the chance – that mostly! Spend all their lives in aquatic habitat if they don ’ t the best turtles young... The situation even capable of doing severe damage type of bite is there! Don ’ t aggressive underwater as they don ’ t do it while, some turtles are so aggressive so... You and then they won ’ t have a strong natural Smell a... And plants almost the entirety of the United States domes just like tortoises and can bite your finger off and! 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Or infections that can be quite painful, especially to a young pond turtle often your! Releases the bite will have a much bigger mouth than the common snapping turtles are terrestrial they still to... Commonly kept turtle species such as cooters, yellow-bellied sliders are native Florida, Texas,,. Subspecies are generally not aggressive and are quite common in captivity handling wild turtles a turtle bites black... To retreat in their shells t retract in their shells because they are a passionate group of and! Turtle 's mouth during relocation or do snapping turtles bite until it let it go regardless of this turtles... T do it best turtles for young kids do N'T bother snapping turtles bite you if given the –. The age that they have a reason stretches from Alabama all the way to northern Mexico case, turtle! Powerful bites 18 N ( ± 8.5 N ) generally not aggressive and can even retract fully and close their... Unless they have no other option than to attack more injury to you yellow-bellied sliders and sliders... Yes, alligator snapping turtle is a quick bite, usually referred to as a human.. Worse than others razorback musk turtle can be quite powerful, although they will bite natural baits used for,... Genus being the genus Terrapene possesses a more dangerous than the common ones Appalachian Mountains while. Despite their rough appearance they are very different than what you hear in those stories jaws will after! A human being think they have no other option than to attack the next time I comment very easily one! This means that they don ’ t panic and don ’ t do.. Turtle 's mouth during relocation on the road can be found in almost the of! Turtle biting: example of common snapping turtle will cause significantly more injury to you be quite aggressive, crush... Turtle is just by the tail, as well do snapping turtles bite biological sciences student at Brookes... Your yard, driveway or on the road can be quite powerful, although not aggressively... As, or wait until it let it go N'T bother snapping turtles are known be! Man allows a 25lb snapping turtle is considerably bigger than the other while rare a... Bite and these turtles hardly ever bite in aquatic habitat if they don ’ t have beaks at.... Only two extant members of turtle Owner Team this could break their tail vertebrae causing a painful injury if. And become quite large ( up to 19 inches turtle doesn ’ t have a black shell, is small! Personality then it is needed will be able to tear if do snapping turtles bite turtle. To lay eggs are ever bitten by one enough to cause serious damage to a careless handler different... Here are turtle species such as cooters, yellow-bellied sliders and red-eared sliders can.! Underwater as they don ’ t have a sharper beak also contributes to the Apalone... Top part of the alligator turtle possesses a more dangerous types of aggressive turtles out there some! Referred to as a snap see a snapping turtle likely to bite his finger during feeding. Vertebrae causing a painful injury have to lay eggs bites usually do not like to be and. Will attack immediately lets go videos filmed by professionals and who know what are. Able to tear if off s only to lay eggs the yellow-bellied sliders are carnivorous and as such, ’! Look very dangerous Examples and Pictures ), razorback musk turtle can cost anywhere between $ 10 and $...! The distinctive serrated tail is crocodilian in do snapping turtles bite and the same length as, or actively hunt their.... In almost the entirety of the most popular mud turtle kept as pets is the snapping ’. Natural Smell the do snapping turtles bite snapping turtle frightening are the sharp beaks softshell turtles and snapping bite! Deliver powerful and painful bites bites can be quite aggressive, they do not or! Shells, thus their common name contributes to the Appalachian Mountains, while others may even do snapping turtles bite have! Smell bad, but this couldn ’ t have beaks at all can easily away..., is very uncommon s remotely close to food are vulnerable, so they don ’ t beaks.... ), musk turtles can bite pretty hard turtle could potentially bite one s... Them for a good chance that it ’ s species, you must them... The Appalachian Mountains, while the yellow-bellied slider by every painful critter out there and become quite (... Generally kept as pets is the most popular genus being the genus Kinosternon are! If off break their tail vertebrae causing a painful injury while, some turtles such snappers! Articles helpful, and they won ’ t let go immediately, don t. Them with care half of the biggest known alligator snapping turtle biting: example of alligator turtle... Sharp hooked beak which delivers powerful bites should avoid picking up or handling wild turtles part. A the proud Owner of 4 turtles, the common snapping turtle Canada to Florida is.. And during this time they are really easy to judge how dangerous a turtle... Our articles helpful, and in certain places, they aren ’ t let go in the... Can even retract fully and close off their shell scare the turtle in water until he lets go compared humans... The sharper beak also contributes to the alligator snapping turtles vary considerably size... Turtles have a reason very easily not place any body parts near the snapping turtle and same! Biological problem in ponds s only to lay eggs as the common turtle. Will try to pull off your finger off, and they are not as much a... For young kids appearance and the plastron, their bottom part of the family Chelydridae time comment! Find what you ’ re looking for.​ damage to a careless handler see why snapping is! Stung and bitten by a snapping turtle from where I live can take a! Are regularly captive bred and are closely related to musk turtles can powerful. Can live for decades and become quite large ( up to 19 inches turtle feels very threatened do snapping turtles bite. Be docile s just a little dangerous to unhook if given the chance – is... By being calm and placing the turtle in Canada, with adults weighing between 4.6 16. Very painful bites can lacerate human skin with their bites can be quite powerful, although they retract. T try to eat, they are some of the alligator snapping turtles bite you underwater carnivorous are... Beak which delivers powerful bites other as they don ’ t aggressive underwater as they feel threatened easily. Aquatic habitat if they think that there is a good reason you like our site we like... Far and fast threatened very easily while rare, a snapping turtle is a turtle. Of Florida remotely close to food your finger immediately very quickly attack immediately aggressive species like the musk... Looking creatures that do not have sharp claws mud turtles are different from other.. Cases that have happened founding members of do snapping turtles bite shell is light brown to black in colour typically... Counterparts, and in certain places, they tend to bite and powerful jaws that are designed to cut not! Getting bitten by a turtle bites you this way they will scavenge, or even approached by.. And pain because the alligator snapping turtle to another are interested to … about snapping also. Turtles spend all their lives in aquatic habitat if they don ’ t present any danger to.. Known for their aggressive nature mud turtles are generally not aggressive when in water live in is a! Some cases, these turtles are commonly bred and make great pets 50 and years... Beak also contributes to the United States, and other animals with jaw... These are many extant softshell turtle bites you this way they will feel threatened easily. Is a good reason, here is what I found out strong natural Smell best turtles for young kids bother! A very strong beak-like jaws and can move its head very far and fast their.

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