Snapping Turtles Eat different diets in different ages of life. The diet of the snapping turtles depends on the age, species, and habitat. They become omnivores and herbivores as they grow up. Snapping turtles are mostly herbivores and eat a variety of stuff like worms, snails, fish, crabs, green grass, and tiny babies of mammals and ducks. They mostly live in freshwater lakes, ponds, and muddy places. Some Snapping turtles are omnivores and rely on both plants and animals.
They used their upper pointed and sharp jaws to catch and eat the prey because they don’t have teeth to chew food. Their appropriate name is because they grab food with a snapping movement.
Moreover, they have a larger set of jaws through which they can easily catch slower moving fish, water snakes, and eels. They mostly sit in the mud to wait for prey that is swim by and sometimes even can stalk the prey by moving slowly to it and then snap it.
Species of Snapping Turtles
Young Snapping turtles forage their diet whenever needed, but adult snapping turtles remain in the water to amaze the prey. Two species of Snapping Turtles have been found on this universe which is discussed below:
What Do Alligator Snapping Turtles Eat?
Alligator Snapping turtles have a small knob on the end of the tongue just like worms and the wiggle their tongue to hold on prey and then strike when the prey closer to feed on.
They are mostly found in North and Central America and spend most of their live-in water and come on the land for laying eggs. They can even kill other tiny turtles by piercing off their heads.
This species of snapping turtle has three rows of spikes present in the shell, which look like dinosaurs. They feed on fish, snails, snakes, and even tiny turtles.
What Do Common Snapping Turtles Eat?
The most popular and well-known variety of snapping turtle is a common snapping turtle and requires special care needs. Common Snapping turtles have distinct features from the Alligator Snapping turtles. They don’t have any knob on the tongue to catch prey. They like to live-in slow-moving water and shallows to easily bury themselves. Their habitat also includes muddy places, streams, marshes, and freshwater lakes.
They mostly exist in the USA, Canada, to the Gulf of Mexico and Central America. Humans first introduced them in the U.S.A. These special common snapping turtles don’t have pointed edges beak to eat both plants and animals. They feed on worms, insects, tiny turtles, small snakes, and birds. They can even eat dead fish and turtles.
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Diet of Snapping Turtles as Pets
If you like Pet snapping turtle, then here are a few ideas and suggestions to handle a snapping turtle. Don’t poke him with a stick as it can cause serious injury to the turtle as he can snap it in half, and it will become useless for you. They can also eat your finger if you get too close to them.
Alligator snapping turtle is significantly larger than the common snapping turtle that can grow larger up to 20 inches, and Alligator can grow up to 33 inches.
Pet snapping turtles eat plants that are easily available at the pet store, which includes duck and water weeds. They also like green vegetables like mustards and green leaves. It is enough to feed two or three-piece of meat and fish at each feeding time.
Box turtles can even dig the ground for eating earthworms, and they like to eat insects like hovers, grasshoppers, and crickets. You can also feed them artificial food like flakes and granules.
Granules contain a larger amount of nutrients in it, so you don’t need to worried about the nutrient value of your pet turtles.
If you feel that they start distended out of the shell, feed them less, and when their skin becomes saggy, then feed them more diet to nourish them properly.
Baby snapping turtles like to eat worms, unfrozen fish, fruits, meat, or any other healthy food.
Human food like green beans, carrots, peas, apples is a very healthy diet for the box snapping turtles.
One interesting fact about Snapping turtles is that they bury themselves in mud to wait for prey. When the pry comes along, they quickly jump to snatch it. This interesting feature of Snapping turtles is famous as Ambush Method.
It is important to notice that milk and dairy products are very dangerous for them as their stomach is unable to break down the lactose.
According to the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, a snapping turtle jaw strength is registered between 207 and 225 force of Newton.
Snapping turtles is one of the most interesting and ancient animals, you can easily keep them at home, and their caring is also very easy. However, adults snapping turtles require additional care because of their size.
If you learn about nature, then it will be one of the best pets you ever had before!