MMMCommon Snapping TurtleMMM
Cheldra serpentinaI felt obliged to move this Snapping Turtle to the edge of the road on KingTownship's 18th Sideroad, for fear that it might be run over in the approaching twilight. I believed it to be a female as there was fresh evidence of a recent nest-digging on the opposite side of the road. I moved her to the side she was pointed towards. She seemed to be stalled, maybe tired from the egg-laying process. She certainly roused herself when I touched her and was ready to take a chunk out of me, given the chance. The word serpentina in this turtle's Latin name refers to its abililty to move its head quickly about, like a snake, which one discovers if one tries to pick up a Snapping Turtle. This lady 'snapper' was about 25 cm. They will go to great lengths to find sandy soil for their egg-laying and the shoulders of gravel roads, while hazardous, are often chosen. Please comment if you wish.