In aquariums and pools, if turtles are in large numbers, they bite each other as they feel threatened due to over-crowding. But most of them are just exaggerations. The snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) is primarily aquatic, inhabiting freshwater and brackish environments, although they will travel overland. Welcome to the site and we hope you find what you’re looking for. I am also a the proud owner of 4 turtles, as well as biological sciences student at Oxford Brookes University. And in certain places, they may not be legal to own or purchase as pets. 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. 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). These turtles are rugged-looking with their rigid carapace. Instead, they possess extremely powerful jaws. The shell is light brown to black in colour, typically covered in algae, and measures between 20-36 cm. But if you leave them alone they won’t present any danger to you. The name “snapping turtle was given to them for a good reason! Yes, snapping turtles can bite your finger off, and there are numerous cases that have happened. These turtles are generally not aggressive and as such are popular. 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 a turtle is hungry it will try to eat anything that it’s remotely close to food. There are actually two species of snapping turtles, these include the alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) and the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina). These turtles are also known for their aggressive nature. Snapping turtles have a bite force of 208 newtons and their cousins, the alligator snapping turtles, have a slightly weaker bite force of 158 newtons. What makes the bite of a snapping turtle frightening are the sharp beaks, which can shear with a lot of force. The bigger the turtle, the more power the bite will have. If a wild turtle seems very agitated you should try to keep your distance, it can always bite you if you get to close. Yes they can. But despite their rough appearance they are a lot more peaceful than the common snapping turtles. 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. And one of them is considerably more dangerous than the other. And they can be found in almost the entirety of the eastern half of the United States, and in some parts of Mexico. Are snapping turtles dangerous? If you are interested to … Snapping turtles have a very strong bite and powerful jaws that are designed to cut, not crush. 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. A bite from an adult red slider can cause a lot of bleeding and pain. However, it is important to remember that these turtles hardly ever bite. The snapping turtle is a aquatic turtle, this means that they spend most of their time in water. The distinctive serrated tail is crocodilian in appearance and the same length as, or longer than, the shell. Regardless of this, turtles from all species can bite. But some specimens are able to reach even bigger sizes, sometimes reaching up to 19 inches. 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. Turtles carry a lot of different bacterias that can be very harmful to humans. Just like musk turtles, mud turtles are generally aggressive. Now, that’s bite force. Because turtles prefer dead smelly or fishy meals, you do not smell attractive at all to turtles. 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). So, don't bother snapping turtles -- just leave them alone if you see them. Turtles generally don’t like being handled. Snapping turtles vary considerably in size depending on their age. As such, they possess painful bots. Your email address will not be published. Pond sliders don’t possess powerful bite forces. The bite did not break the skin. The reason why snapping turtle won’t retract in their shells because they can’t. Another thing that differentiates them is that alligator snapping turtles have a much bigger mouth than the common snapping turtles. These turtles can live for decades and become quite large (up to 30 lbs.). A turtle can cost anywhere between $10 and $100... Do Turtles Smell? Their bites can be quite painful, especially to a young child. So they don’t actively hunt their prey. Removing the Turtle. Some turtles will bite when handled. When a turtle feels very threatened they will bite you and then they won’t let go. Instead, submerge the turtle underwater and wait until it let it go. The first one is a quick bite, usually referred to as a snap. Some people have tried to put alcohol where the turtle is biting and it seems to work, but i can’t guarantee that. Mud turtles belong to the genus Kinosternon and are closely related to musk turtles. While rare, a snapping turtle could potentially bite one’s finger off but this is very uncommon. This turtle has a large head with a sharp hooked beak which delivers powerful bites. Now let’s see why snapping turtles are so aggressive. They are also omnivorous, the major difference is that they don’t hunt their prey. They have little interest in biting you, eating you or harming you when they are in the water; In fact, snapping turtles especially are very gentle and curious creatures when they are in the water. What to Expect and How to Prevent. This turtle can be found from southeastern Canada to Florida. Snapping turtle bites can be extremely harmful. 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. Of course, some turtles can bite pretty hard. If you find our articles helpful, and you like our site we would like to ask for your help. So let’s see how dangerous a snapping turtle really is. And the fact that they have a sharper beak also contributes to the danger. Hello, My name is Cameron and I am one of the founding members of Turtle Owner. Your email address will not be published. We hope you will enjoy the site and that you will find what you’re looking for.​. If you choose to Eat Snapping Turtle Meat, you can reduce your exposure by carefully trimming away all Fat and Internal Organs and discarding these Tissues before Cooking the Meat or making Soup. Common snapping turtles can also bite hard enough to cause serious lacerations. 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. When most turtles feel that they are in danger, they will retract into their shells. While snapping turtles are often thought of as aggressive predators, these turtles, in fact, are omnivores whose diet consists partly of plant matter. Here is a photo of that shows the plastron of a snapping turtle, and one that shows the plastron of a red eared slider turtle. Do snapping turtles attack other turtles? While their bites usually do not cause lacerations, it’s best to avoid getting bitten by a pond slider. The second type of bite is a lot more dangerous. The alligator snapping turtles have a smaller population than their counterparts, and they can usually be found in the southeastern United States. As you may already know, turtles aren’t pets that you are supposed to handle or touch frequently. To dispel a myth, this man allows a 25lb snapping turtle to bite his finger during hand feeding. On land the snapping turtle can become defensive as they cannot pull their head or limbs into their shell, and its sharp beak and strong jaws can cause injury if harassed. But a snapping turtle won’t do that, instead it will charge at it’s attacker and try hurt or scare it. Only the females come on open land, and that’s only to lay eggs. … The common snapping turtle has a jaw strength of 208 to 226 newtons. It is believed that the bite force of the alligator … Regardless of a turtle’s species, you must handle them with care. Being bitten by a turtle may not seem like a big deal but it is important to remember that turtles carry salmonella. Common snapping turtles can also bite hard enough to cause serious lacerations. According to the 2002 study on turtle bite performances – Evolution of bite performance in turtles, the Apalone ferox has a bite force of 41.50 Newtons. COMMON snapping turtles are capable of inflicting a painful bite, but they cannot tear off a finger or snap a broomstick in half. He used to go around getting stung and bitten by every painful critter out there. If you are bitten, a turtle can be removed by being calm and placing the turtle in water until he lets go. Occasionally, mutations occur in snapping turtles. However, be wary of their sharp beaks. It all depends on how you handle the situation. There have been at least three documented cases of alligator snapping turtle amputating human fingers. Now let’s move to the alligator snapping turtle. Snapping turtles are large and ferocious looking creatures that do not like to be handled, or even approached by humans. The alligator snapping turtle can be found in the southeastern U.S. As these turtles are aquatic, they spend most of their time in waters. They possess a bite force of about 18 N (± 8.5 N). They also possess snorkel-like snouts. Hitting the turtle will only make things worse. While quite innocuous-looking, musk turtles can deliver powerful and painful bites. This is because the alligator snapping turtles can get a lot bigger than the common ones. These aquatic turtles spend all their lives in aquatic habitat. A snapping turtle is not a simple minded animal that will attack everything is sight, and it definitely won’t be able to break your bones with just a bite. While toad-headed turtles have the strongest bites of any turtle, with a force of 432 newtons, the snapping turtle and snapping turtles are both still very serious threats to the animal kingdom. Here are turtle species that are known for their aggressive nature. They have a black shell, compared to the lighter shades than common snapping turtle usually have. We are a passionate group of writers and researchers who write about pet turtles and turtles in general. As juveniles, the pond sliders are carnivorous and as such have strong jaws and sharp beaks to hunt and feed. A close relative, the ALLIGATOR snapping turtle definitely is capable of doing severe damage. This is the only option left for them. This turtle was not acting aggressively. 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. 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. Snapping turtle jaw strength—while nothing to … A common snapping turtle will usually be smaller than an alligator snapping turtle, usually reaching sizes between 12 and 15 inches. The carapace, the top part of the shell is to small to efficiently cover their body. This is because the alligator snapping turtles can get a lot bigger than the common ones. Box turtles are North American turtles that belong to the genus Terrapene. Their shells are not big enough. In general they live between 50 and 70 years. As carnivorous animals, they crush mollusks, fish, crustaceans, and other animals with their jaw. The only times you have to handle your turtle are when it is needed. As such, even a feisty and aggressive species like the eastern musk turtle can be docile. Yet they are capable of delivering very painful bites. Turtles will bite natural baits used for fishing, and they are difficult and a little dangerous to unhook. Snapping turtles are native to North America. Compared to the alligator snapping turtle, the common snapping turtle is considerably more aggressive. Some turtles such as snappers should not be approached in the wild. Many different subspecies are generally kept as pets; these include the red-eared slider and the yellow-bellied slider. All three species are relatively popular among turtle parents (keepers). Here are two videos filmed by professionals and who know what they are doing. In some cases, these turtles can live over a hundred years which makes them a very long-term commitment. Find a good box or a container that can fit the turtle As such, even when the bite doesn’t break the skin, you need to thoroughly wash your hands and the affected area with water and soap. While, some turtles are more prone to biting. If they think that there is a small possibility that they are in danger they will attack immediately. Posted on Last updated: November 17, 2020 By: Author Brock Yates. 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. If you have more to add or questions to ask, please leave a comment below. As you can tell, these aren’t to be messed with. Softshell turtle turtles are different from other turtles as they don’t have beaks. You should avoid picking up or handling wild turtles. These turtles do bite; A snapping turtle can be quite powerful, although not as much as a human being. Some may carry diseases or infections that can be harmful to humans, while others may even bite and cause some real damage. There are two types of snapping turtles, the common snapping turtle and the alligator snapping turtle. These turtles are generally aggressive. Although these turtles are terrestrial they still belong to the American pond turtle taxonomic family Emydidae. If you ever get bitten by a snapping turtle, chances are it would not let go. In fact, both belong to the same taxonomic family Kinosternidae. Snapping turtles have a very intimidating look, they have a sharp beak, spiked shells and dangerous looking claws, but are they really that dangerous? Turtles bite each other for three reasons (the third is rare): Territorial disputes, such as aquariums and pools where they feel crowded and therefore threatened. They have a large native geographical range which also extends inwards to the Rocky Mountains. I believe they aren’t aggressive underwater as they can easily swim away. And even if turtles don’t take care of their eggs after they lay them, they will protect them while they are inside of them. These turtles have high domes just like tortoises and can even retract fully and close off their shell. A baby alligator snapping turtle from where I live can take off a piece of your finger. 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. One other dangerous part about the bite that is mostly overlooked is that it can infect you with bacterias. They are native Florida, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. It’s easy to judge how dangerous a snapping turtle is just by the stories you hear about them. Snapping turtles are even capable of amputating a finger. So if you meat a snapping turtle on a road, or in another populated area, they are probably just trying to find a safe place to lay their eggs. What to Expect and How to Prevent, Why are snapping turtles more aggressive than other turtles, You Can Help Us Keep TurtleOwner.com Alive. (with Bite Facts and Videos), in this article, as the title implies, I talk about how dangerous snapping turtles are, I give more information about their bite, and I also explore the reasons why they are a lot more aggressive than other turtles and turtle species. Between the two species of snapping turtles the common snapping turtle is the most numerous one. These American turtles are commonly bred and make great pets. There have been documented cases of serious softshell turtle bites. YOU REALLY DON'T WANT TO GET BITTEN BY ONE. Apalone spinifera (spiny softshell turtle), razorback musk turtle (Sternotherus carinatus), eastern mud turtle (Kinosternon subrubrum). Both turtles are apex predators although humans are known to hunt them. How long can a snapping turtle live? These turtles are native to the United States and Mexico. Both turtles have strong bites and as such are appropriately named. In such a case, a young pond turtle often becomes a meal for the large Snapping turtle. The biggest known alligator snapping turtle reached 31.5 inches. Interestingly, softshell turtles do not have sharp beaks. Compared to the common snapping turtle, they look very dangerous. You can support our site and thousands of other turtle owners by contributing with a small donation. How Strong is Their Bite? Softshell turtles and snapping turtles are known to be aggressive and are likelier to bite. Also, if the turtles are hungry and do not find food to eat, they tend to bite out of starvation. And the plastron, their bottom part of the shell, is very small when you compare it to other turtles. These are many extant softshell turtle species with the most popular genus being the genus Apalone. Snapping turtles also have a potentially dangerous bite and have sharp claws. These turtles have a bite force of about 35 N. The scorpion mud turtle also has a bite force of 38 N (± 17 N). Another important thing about the bite is that there are two different types of bites. COMMON snapping turtles are capable of inflicting a painful bite, but they cannot tear off a finger or snap a broomstick in half. Never pick a turtle up by the tail, as this could break their tail vertebrae causing a painful injury. The turtle with the worst bite gotta be the snapping turtle. A pet snapping turtle usually will not bite unless it is scared by rough handling or injured in some way. Vulnerable on land, they appear to be aggressive and fierce. Save my name and email in this browser for the next time I comment. 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. 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. Cumberland sliders are native to the Appalachian Mountains, while the yellow-bellied sliders are native to southern Virginia and the northern border of Florida. Some turtles may be more aggressive than others. When a turtle bites you this way they will bite and then let go very quickly. 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. Musk turtles belong to the genus Sternotherus. In general snapping turtles won’t leave their aquatic habitat if they don’t have a reason. 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. 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. The first thing that is important to know about the force of the bite is that it’s relative to the size of the turtle. If you own a turtle and you don’t want to get bitten than you should make sure that it’s well fed. Softshell turtles belong to the family Trionychidae. Killing a snapping turtle will cause significantly more injury to you since the jaws will contract after death even more. A snapping turtle won't attack a human unless threatened or provoked, especially if it's on land, but it can defend itself, and snapping is its best defense. As such, it is best to be careful when handling them. And during this time they are vulnerable, so they will feel threatened very easily. Instead of a hard bony shell, softshell turtles have tough leathery shells, thus their common name. The most common box turtle kept as pets are the Common box turtle (Terrapene carolina) and its subspecies which include the Florida box turtle (T. c. bauri) and the Eastern box turtle (T. c. carolina). Turtles don’t care how they get their food as long as they get it. Turtles are not a biological problem in ponds. The ridges on the common snapping turtle’s shell are nowhere as prominent as that of the alligator snapping turtle. 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. Writer Bio. They are omnivorous, this means that they eat both meat and plants. In nature, turtles tend to stay away from one another, except when they are basking in the sun on rocks and logs The common snapping turtle has a jaw strength of 208 to 226 newtons. Softshell turtles and snappers are more likely to bite and these turtles can deliver very painful bites. Sliders are very popular. A close relative, the ALLIGATOR snapping turtle … missingbite (7531) “Great Answer” (0) Flag as… ¶ The red-eared slider has a geographic range that stretches from Alabama all the way to northern Mexico. These carnivorous turtles are rather aggressive and will bite you if given the chance – that is when handled or restrained. They are some of the biggest turtles found in America. Instead try putting the turtle into water, gently pour water over it, or wait until it releases the bite. Can a snapping turtle bite your hand off? One of the more dangerous types of turtles is the snapping turtle. Example of common snapping turtle biting: Example of alligator snapping turtle biting: Can snapping turtles bite you underwater? If you scare the turtle there is a good chance that it will fight back. Instead they lay on the bottom of the lake, or pound with their mouths open, waiting for the pray to get close to them. About snapping turtles. But again, snapping turtles in the wild do not bite … Since they are unable to retreat in their shells they have no other option than to attack. They are regularly captive bred and are quite common in captivity. Turtles have different personalities and as such aggressive nature can differ from one individual turtle to another. and the turt… And the fact that they have a sharper beak also contributes to the danger. Turtles are one of the most popular house pets in the world. Careful handling is the key to preventing bites. As musk turtles can be quite aggressive, they aren’t the best turtles for young kids. What should I do if I see a snapping turtle? Don’t panic and don’t try to pull off your finger immediately. 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. Let’s start with the more dangerous one the common snapping turtle. The alligator snapping turtle bites with a bite force of 160 Newton whereas, common snapping turtles possess a higher bite force of around 210 Newtons. There are several types of aggressive turtles out there and some bite worse than others. How Much Do Turtles Cost? 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!) Funny enough, these turtles are not aggressive when in water. If you are ever bitten by a turtle and the turtle doesn’t let go immediately, don’t hit the turtle. 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. Between the two turtles, the alligator turtle possesses a more dangerous bite according to data available. An injured snapping turtle in your yard, driveway or on the road can be aggressive and can bite you if evoked. In fact, they do not have beaks at all. Here you will also find countless interesting turtle facts about turtles, tortoises, terrapins and sea turtles. Do not attempt to remove the turtle if for some reason it has bitten and held on. "It's best to leave them alone in nature and not take them … All softshell turtles can lacerate human skin with their bites. Box turtles look like snapping turtles and will bite but not as aggressively as an alligator snapper. On land, they are rather slow and as such bite as a defensive mechanism. It has very strong beak-like jaws and can move its head very far and fast. Sure, they might compete with fish a little for food items such crayfish and insects, and some snapping and softshell turtles do eat live fish. But in general snapping turtle don’t do it. The age that they reach generally depends on how harsh the habitat that they live in is. Snapping turtles can be dangerous. These knife-like beaks are formidable biting tools. The most popular mud turtle kept as pets is the eastern mud turtle (Kinosternon subrubrum) also known as the common mud turtle. TurtleOwner.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Snapping turtles, for instance, are notorious for their aggressive nature and powerful bites. Do not place any body parts near the snapping turtle's mouth during relocation. To prevent bites try not to handle the turtle often. Box turtles may bite when threatened although this is rare. Sometimes people think they have a snapping turtle and it’s just a little box turtle. 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… (With 20 Examples and Pictures). link to How Much Do Turtles Cost? 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