Snapping Turtle Size Explained & Compared With Others

Last Updated on April 11, 2023 by Amin Tawar

Snapping Turtle Length

Snapping Turtle Size

Snapping turtles are found in North America and are a species of freshwater turtle. They are known for their large size and strong jaws, which they use to catch fish and other prey. These turtles are primarily aquatic and can be found in a variety of freshwater habitats, such as swamps, ponds, and slow-moving streams.

Snapping turtles have a distinctive appearance, with a large, dark-colored shell and a long tail. Other than their appearance, we can also spot snapping turtles on the basis of their overall length. 

The average length of an adult snapping turtle is around 8 to 14 in (20-36 cm) in shell length, while some can reach 19.3 in (49 cm) in shell length.

However, it’s important to note that, captivity snapping turtles can reach much smaller sizes than wild specimens, due to limited space and diet.

Snapping Turtle LengthCentimeter Feet 
Average 20-36 cm0.67-1.17 ft 
Maximum 49 cm1.6 ft 

Snapping Turtle Weight

The weight of a snapping turtle can vary significantly depending on its age, sex, and the environment in which it lives. Adult snapping turtles have an average weight of 10 to 35 lbs (4.5 – 16 kg). However, some individuals can reach larger, up to 75 lbs (34 kg) in weight.

And, if you are thinking of keeping these as pets, then you should know that in captivity, a snapping turtle’s diet should consist of a variety of protein sources, such as fish, chicken, and worms, as well as fresh vegetables, fruits, and aquatic plants. 

They are opportunistic feeders and will eat a wide variety of foods in the wild. Adult turtles should be fed a diet that is high in protein and low in fat, as they are prone to obesity.

In general, a turtle’s weight and appetite are important indicators of its overall health, and regular monitoring and veterinarian check-ups are recommended to ensure that the turtle is healthy.

Snapping Turtle weightKilograms Pounds 
Average 4.5 – 16 kg10 to 35 lbs
Maximum 34 kg75 lbs

Snapping Turtle Egg & Clutch Size

It’s important to note that the population of snapping turtles is greatly impacted by the egg collection and nest destruction. For example, snapping turtle eggs are considered a delicacy in some cultures, which leads to the over-harvesting of eggs and a decline in the population. 

Snapping turtles are known to lay large clutches of eggs, with the size of the clutch varying depending on the age and size of the female turtle. 

The average clutch size for a female snapping turtle is around 20-40 eggs, but it can range anywhere from 10-50 eggs per clutch. The eggs are round and have a soft, leathery shell, they are usually white in color and are about the size of a ping-pong ball, around 3 cm in diameter.

Once the eggs hatch, the young turtles will emerge from the nest and will be on their own. They are very small, about 2-3 cm long and are vulnerable to predators. The hatchlings will typically head toward water to start their lives. 1

Snapping Turtle Size Comparison To Human

Snapping Turtle Size compared with human

When comparing the size of a snapping turtle to that of a human, it’s important to note that the turtle’s shell length is the primary measurement used to determine the size, as this is the most distinctive feature of the turtle. 

A turtle with a shell length of 30-50 centimeters (12-20 inches) would be considered an average-sized adult snapping turtle, and would be roughly the same size as a small to medium-sized dog.

When compared to the average height of an adult human, which is around 5.5-5.9 feet, a snapping turtle would be considered relatively small. 

However, when compared to the average weight of an adult human, which is around 132-176 lbs (60-80 kg), a snapping turtle would be considered much heavier.

Animal type Length Weight 
Snapping turtle 8 to 14 in (20-36 cm)10 to 35 lbs (4.5 – 16 kg)
Average adult human 5.5 to 5.9 feet132 to 176 pounds (60 to 80 kgs)

Also Check Out Leatherback Turtle Size & Comparison

Snapping Turtle Size Vs Tortoise Size Comparison

It’s easy to mix up the size of a snapping turtle and a tortoise, but these two species of reptiles are vastly different in terms of size and overall appearance.

Snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) are a freshwater species of turtles native to North America, they are known for their large size and strong jaws, with adults typically measuring 30-50 centimeters (12-20 inches) in shell length, and weighing between 5-35 kg (11-77 lbs). While some individuals can reach larger, up to 60 cm (24 inches) in shell length and weighing up to 40 kg (88 lbs).

On the other hand, tortoises are land-dwelling species, and depending on the species, can vary greatly in size. On average, tortoises have a length range of 15 cm (6 inches) to 1.3 m (4 ft 3 in) long and a weight of 4.5-417 kg (10-919 lb), with certain types being smaller than this, and some much larger. 

So, while both snapping turtles and tortoises are reptiles, they are vastly different in terms of size, with tortoises often being much larger than their aquatic counterparts.

Animal type Length Weight 
Snapping turtle 8 to 14 in (20-36 cm)10 to 35 lbs (4.5 – 16 kg)
Tortoise 15 cm (6 inches) to 1.3 m (4 ft 3 in)4.5-417 kg (10-919 lb)

Also Check Out Painted Turtle Size & Comparison

Snapping Turtle Vs Box Turtle Size Comparison (comparison table)

Lastly, let’s compare two types of different turtles like the snapping turtle and the box turtle. 

By now we know that snapping turtles are large and typically measure about 8 to 14 in (20-36 cm) in shell length, and weigh between 10 to 35 lbs (4.5 – 16 kg). However, some individuals can grow much larger and heavier. 

On the other hand, box turtles such as the Eastern box turtle are significantly smaller in size, with adults typically measuring around 10-15 cm (4-6in) in length and weighing around 0.5-0.9kg (1-2 lbs)). These turtles have a more domed-shaped shell which is often brightly colored, distinct from the snapping turtle’s dark-colored and rough textured shell. They are also more terrestrial than aquatic species.

So, overall Snapping turtles are much larger and heavier than box turtles. 

Animal type Length Weight 
Snapping turtle 8 to 14 in (20-36 cm)10 to 35 lbs (4.5 – 16 kg)
Box turtles  10-15 cm (4-6in)0.5-0.9 kg (1-2 lbs)

Conclusion

And that was everything you need to know about the size of Snapping Turtle. I hope this article was informative enough and your queries were answered.

Thank You For Reading!

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