Fast Fact: Snapping Turtles

Snapping turtles are the biggest turtles in northern Illinois, and they are named for their snapping ability. Their bite is no joke and can cause serious injury, but despite this they are not aggressive.

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Snapping turtles spend most of their time underwater, waiting for food to float on by. They are omnivores, which means they eat plants and animals, both from in the water and on land.


Turtles lay their eggs on land, so we most often encounter snapping turtles on land in the spring, as they make their way to their nesting spots. Remember, even though snapping turtles are not aggressive, they will defend themselves if they feel threatened. If you see a snapping turtle, it’s best to give it some space.


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