How Big Do Common Snapping Turtles Grow

Common snapping turtles are fascinating creatures that have captured the attention of many people. One of the most common questions people ask is how big these turtles can grow. With their unique appearance and behavior, it’s no wonder why people are so curious to learn more about them.

The size of common snapping turtles can vary greatly depending on a variety of factors, including their age, gender, and environment. While some individuals may be relatively small, others can grow to be quite large. In this article, we’ll explore the different factors that can influence the size of these turtles and provide you with a better understanding of just how big they can get.

how big do common snapping turtles grow

How Big Do Common Snapping Turtles Grow?

Introduction

Snapping turtles are among the most popular reptiles kept as pets. They are known for their aggressive behavior and powerful jaws, which make them excellent predators in the wild. However, many people wonder how big these turtles can get. In this article, we will explore the growth rate of common snapping turtles and provide you with essential information to help you understand these creatures better.

Average size of Common Snapping Turtles

Common snapping turtles are large reptiles that can grow to enormous sizes. These turtles can weigh up to 50 pounds and measure up to two feet in length. However, the size of a snapping turtle will vary depending on many factors, including the habitat where it lives, the availability of food, and its genetics.

The average size of a snapping turtle is around 12 to 15 inches in length and weighs between 10 to 35 pounds. Male snapping turtles tend to be larger than females, and the size difference can be quite significant. In general, snapping turtles continue to grow throughout their lives, but the rate of growth slows down as they get older.

Factors that Affect the Growth Rate of Common Snapping Turtles

The growth rate of common snapping turtles is influenced by various factors. The most crucial factor is the availability of food. Snapping turtles are omnivores, and they will eat almost anything they can find, including fish, insects, and plants. A diet rich in protein will help the turtle grow faster, while a diet lacking in protein will slow down its growth rate.

Another factor that affects the growth rate of snapping turtles is the temperature of their environment. These turtles are ectothermic, which means that their body temperature is regulated by the temperature of their surroundings. If the water temperature is too cold, the turtle’s metabolism will slow down, and its growth rate will be affected.

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Growth Rate of Common Snapping Turtles

The growth rate of snapping turtles varies depending on their age. Young snapping turtles grow at a faster rate than older turtles. In their first year of life, snapping turtles can grow up to 2 inches in length. By the time they reach three years of age, they can measure up to 8 inches in length.

After the age of three, the growth rate of snapping turtles slows down. It can take up to 20 years for a snapping turtle to reach its full size. However, some snapping turtles may continue to grow throughout their lives, albeit at a slower rate.

Benefits of Keeping a Common Snapping Turtle

Keeping a common snapping turtle as a pet can be a rewarding experience. These turtles are fascinating creatures that can live for several decades with proper care. They are also relatively easy to care for and require minimal maintenance.

One of the benefits of keeping a snapping turtle as a pet is that they can help control the population of other animals in your pond or backyard. Snapping turtles are excellent hunters, and they will eat almost anything they can catch. This includes fish, frogs, snakes, and even small mammals.

Vs Other Turtles

Snapping turtles are often compared to other turtles, such as box turtles and painted turtles. While these turtles share some similarities, they are quite different in many ways.

Unlike box turtles and painted turtles, snapping turtles are primarily aquatic and require a large body of water to thrive. They also have a more aggressive temperament and are not recommended for beginners.

Conclusion

Common snapping turtles are fascinating creatures that can grow to enormous sizes. Their growth rate is influenced by various factors, including diet, temperature, and genetics. If you’re thinking of keeping a snapping turtle as a pet, it’s essential to understand their growth rate and care requirements to ensure they live a long, healthy life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions about the size of common snapping turtles:

What is the average size of a common snapping turtle?

Adult common snapping turtles typically measure between 8 to 20 inches in length and weigh between 10 to 35 pounds. The females are usually larger than the males.

However, some exceptionally large specimens have been known to grow up to 18 inches in shell length and weigh over 50 pounds.

How long does it take for a common snapping turtle to reach its full size?

Common snapping turtles grow slowly and can take up to 15-20 years to reach their full size. During their first few years of life, they can grow up to an inch per year, but their growth rate slows down significantly as they age.

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Factors like diet, habitat, and temperature can also affect the growth rate of snapping turtles.

What is the size of a baby common snapping turtle?

Baby common snapping turtles are incredibly tiny, measuring only around 1-2 inches in length and weighing just a few grams. However, they grow quickly during their first few years of life and can reach a size of around 8-10 inches in just a few years.

It’s important to note that baby snapping turtles should not be taken from the wild and kept as pets as they require specific care and can carry diseases that can be harmful to humans.

Do common snapping turtles continue to grow throughout their lifetime?

While common snapping turtles do continue to grow throughout their lifetime, their growth rate slows down significantly as they age. Once they reach maturity, their growth rate is much slower than during their younger years.

However, some exceptionally large snapping turtles have been known to live for over 100 years and can continue to grow slowly throughout their lifetime.

What is the biggest common snapping turtle on record?

The biggest common snapping turtle on record was caught in Kansas in 1937 and weighed 113.4 pounds. It was estimated to be over 100 years old and measured 19.5 inches in shell length.

While this is an exceptional case, it shows that common snapping turtles have the potential to grow to a very large size under the right conditions.

snapping turtle growth for 600 day | turtle growth process life cycle


In conclusion, common snapping turtles can grow to be quite large. These fascinating creatures can weigh over 50 pounds and measure more than 18 inches in length! They are also known for their powerful jaws, which can deliver a nasty bite if provoked.

Despite their intimidating appearance, snapping turtles play an important role in their ecosystem. They help to control populations of smaller animals and keep the balance of nature in check.

If you ever encounter a snapping turtle in the wild, it’s important to give them plenty of space and respect their boundaries. These ancient creatures have been around for millions of years, and they deserve our admiration and protection.

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