How Long Do Common Snapping Turtles Get

Common snapping turtles are fascinating creatures that inhabit freshwater bodies across North America. These turtles are known for their sharp beaks and powerful jaws, which they use to catch prey and defend themselves from predators. One of the most common questions people have about these turtles is: how long do they get?

The answer is not simple because common snapping turtles can grow to different sizes depending on factors such as their gender, diet, and environment. However, in general, males tend to be smaller than females, and adults can reach a length of up to 18 inches or more. In this article, we will explore the factors that influence the size of snapping turtles and provide some tips for observing them in the wild.

how long do common snapping turtles get

How Long Do Common Snapping Turtles Get?

Common snapping turtles are one of the largest freshwater turtles in North America. Known for their aggressive behavior and powerful jaws, these turtles can reach impressive sizes. In this article, we’ll explore just how big common snapping turtles can get and what factors contribute to their growth.

Size and Growth of Common Snapping Turtles

Common snapping turtles can grow to be quite large, with males typically being larger than females. On average, adult males can reach lengths of up to 18 inches and weigh around 35 pounds, while females can grow up to 15 inches and weigh around 20 pounds.

The growth rate of common snapping turtles is largely dependent on their environment and food availability. In ideal conditions, they can grow up to an inch per year until they reach adulthood, which can take anywhere from 8 to 20 years.

Factors That Affect Growth

There are several factors that can affect the growth rate of common snapping turtles. One of the most important factors is food availability. Snapping turtles are opportunistic feeders and will eat almost anything, but a diet of fish, insects, and plants will help them grow faster.

Water temperature also plays a role in their growth rate. Warmer water temperatures can increase their metabolism and speed up their growth, while cooler water temperatures can slow it down.

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The size of their habitat can also affect their growth rate. Snapping turtles need plenty of space to move around and explore, and a larger tank or pond can help them grow faster.

Benefits of Owning a Common Snapping Turtle

Common snapping turtles make fascinating pets for those who are experienced in turtle care. They have unique personalities and can be quite interactive with their owners.

They are also relatively low-maintenance pets, as long as their habitat is kept clean and they are provided with enough food and space to live comfortably.

VS Other Turtles

Compared to other turtles, common snapping turtles are known for their aggressive behavior and powerful jaws. While this can make them more challenging to care for, it also makes them a unique and interesting pet for those who are up for the challenge.

Other turtles, such as red-eared sliders and box turtles, are more docile and easier to handle, making them better choices for novice turtle owners.

Conclusion

Common snapping turtles can grow to impressive sizes, with males typically being larger than females. Their growth rate is largely dependent on their environment and food availability, and they can take anywhere from 8 to 20 years to reach adulthood.

For experienced turtle owners, common snapping turtles can make fascinating pets with unique personalities. However, novice turtle owners may want to consider other, more docile species.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions and answers about the size of common snapping turtles:

What is the average size of a common snapping turtle?

A fully grown common snapping turtle can reach a carapace length of 8 to 18 inches and a weight of 10 to 35 pounds. Females are usually larger than males.

However, the size of a snapping turtle can vary depending on factors such as habitat, food availability, and genetics.

How long do common snapping turtles live?

Common snapping turtles have a long lifespan and can live up to 30 years in the wild. In captivity, they can live even longer with proper care and a suitable environment.

Their lifespan can be affected by various factors, including predation, disease, and habitat destruction.

What is the growth rate of common snapping turtles?

The growth rate of common snapping turtles varies depending on their environment and food availability. In general, they grow slowly and can take up to 15 years to reach maturity.

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During the first few years of their lives, they can grow up to 1 inch per year. However, as they reach adulthood, their growth rate slows down significantly.

What is the size of a baby snapping turtle?

A baby snapping turtle is very small and can fit in the palm of your hand. They are typically between 1 to 2 inches in length at hatching and weigh less than an ounce.

At this size, they are very vulnerable to predators and require protection from their mother until they are strong enough to fend for themselves.

Do common snapping turtles continue to grow throughout their lives?

Yes, common snapping turtles continue to grow throughout their lives, but the rate of growth slows down significantly as they reach adulthood.

Most of their growth occurs during the first 15 years of their lives, after which their growth rate decreases. However, they can continue to grow slowly for several more decades.

Snapping Turtles: Everything You Need To Know!


In conclusion, common snapping turtles are fascinating creatures that can grow to impressive sizes. The average adult snapping turtle can grow to be around 10-12 inches long, but some have been known to reach up to 18 inches. However, it’s important to remember that turtles can have a long lifespan, with some living up to 40-50 years in the wild.

It’s also worth noting that the size of a snapping turtle can vary depending on factors such as diet, habitat, and genetics. So while 10-12 inches may be the average size for an adult, there are always exceptions to the rule.

If you’re interested in learning more about snapping turtles or are lucky enough to spot one in the wild, it’s important to remember to observe them from a safe distance and not to disturb their habitat. With their impressive size and powerful jaws, snapping turtles are best appreciated from afar.

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