Snapping turtle looks like a rock

Westman is alive with critters if you know wher and when to look for them

This turtle is aptly named. Yes, turtles bite so beware.

Manitoba’s largest reptile grows to a shell length of up to 50 cm. The record weight for a Common Snapping Turtle is 35 kg. With its long neck and long tail stretched out the total length of a Snapping Turtle can be twice the length of its shell. Colour is dark brown, younger specimens appear nearly black. Hatchlings are dark brown to black with prominent white spots or markings on the underside. The dark colour, large head with beak-like mouth, long tail and serrated edge along the rear of the shell distinguish this species from the Painted Turtle.

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Snapping turtles like to live where it never dries up, like the bottom of a lake or river, and they will eat almost anything including fish, amphibians, crayfish, snails and other invertebrates, but also aquatic plants and carrion. Small mammals and birds floating on the water surface may be snapped up, too.

Mating probably takes place in May. Clutches of up to 80 eggs are laid in June in loose or sandy soil. Hatchlings emerge in September. From late May to early July it is not uncommon to find them crossing roads as they move from one water body to another, or females search for nest sites.

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