Loads of turtle skulls in ventral view with emphasis on the placement of the foramen posterior canalis carotici interni (the white dots). They are:

(a) †Proganochelys quenstedti(b) †Meiolania platiceps, (c) †Adocus sp., (d) Chelydra serpentina(e) †Solnhofia parsonsi, (f) Lissemys punctata, (g) †Boremys pulchra, (h) †Plesiobaena antiqua, (i) †Bothremys maghrebiana, (j) Chelodina expansa, (k) Pelomedusa subrufa, (l) †Bairdemys venezuelensis

Miyashita, T. (2012) Geometric and Developmental Perspectives on the Evolution of the Skull and Internal Carotid Circulation in Turtles. IN: Morphology and Evolution of Turtles

Me with a large snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) in Massachusetts

“When I awake in the morning, I remember what I have seen and heard of snapping turtles, and am in doubt whether it was dream or reality. I slowly raise my head and peeping over the bedside see my great mud turtle shell lying bottom up under the table, showing its prominent ribs, and realize into what world I have awaked. Before I was in doubt how much prominence my good Genius would give to that fact. That the first object you see on awakening should be an empty mud turtle’s shell!! Will it not make me of the earth earthy? What life, what character, this has shielded, which is now at liberty to be turned bottom upward! I can put specimens of all our other turtles into this cavity. This too was once an infant in its egg. When I see this, then I am sure that I am not dreaming, but am awake to this world. I do not know any more terrene fact. It still carries the earth on its back. Its life is between the animal and vegetable; like a seed it is planted deep in the ground and is all summer germinating. Does it not possess as much the life of the vegetable as the animal?”

Henry David Thoreau, August 27, 1854

Photo Credit: Zachary A. Cava

Skulls of Macrochelys temminckii (alligator snapping turtle) and Chelydra serpentina (common snapping turtle) by BioDivLibrary on Flickr.

Catalogue of shield reptiles in the collection of the British Museum /.
London :Printed by order of the Trustees,1855-1872..

Snapping turtles finding refuge in urban areas while habitats are being polluted

In the Midwest, some people have a fear of encountering snapping turtles while swimming in local ponds, lakes and rivers. Now in a new study, a University of Missouri researcher has found that snapping turtles are surviving in urban areas as their natural habitats are being polluted or developed for construction projects. One solution is for people to stop using so many chemicals that are eventually dumped into the waterways, the scientist said.

"Snapping turtles are animals that can live in almost any aquatic habitat as long as their basic needs for survival are met," said Bill Peterman, a post-doctoral researcher in the Division of Biological Sciences at MU. "Unfortunately, suitable aquatic habitats for turtles are being degraded by pollution or completely lost due to development. We found that snapping turtles can persist in urbanized areas, despite the potential for more interaction with humans."

Peterman said that reducing negative inputs, such as waste and harmful chemicals, into waterways will help restore snapping turtles’ habitats. Engaging in this type of environmental action also will increase biodiversity in those habitats and improve the quality of life to all species that call those habitats home. However, even though turtles are living in urban areas, Peterman says people have nothing to fear.

"Everyone has a snapping turtle story, but some are just too far-fetched and lead to false accusations," Peterman said. "In reality, snapping turtles aren’t aggressive animals and won’t bite unless they are provoked. So, if you should happen to see one around your property, simply leave it alone and let it go about its business."

The study took place in the Central Canal that flows through urban Indianapolis; researchers used tracking devices on large snapping turtles to monitor turtle movements. Peterman and his colleagues found that snapping turtles used all parts of the Central Canal, but were particularly dependent upon forested areas.

"While we didn’t study whether the snapping turtle populations were increasing or decreasing, we regularly saw hatchling and juvenile snapping turtles," Peterman said. "Snapping turtles may not be the first animals that come to mind when thinking about urban wildlife, but if we continue to improve waterways in more places, such as big cities, than the species can coexist peacefully."

Such an excellent title for an article:

Why you should never kiss a snapping turtle: Pet owner hospitalised after show of affection backfires in spectacular fashion

This raises a lot of questions though. Why is this turtle — clearly a Common and not an Alligator Snapper — being released into China? What did this guy think would happen? How badly hurt was he exactly? There’s not much information out there on the end results of snapping turtle bites, and while they can undoubtedly be bad, I’m suspecting they’re horribly over-hyped.


Pulled into my driveway just in time to catch this handsome fellow crawling across it. I decided to chauffeur him on his way across the road so no one would hit him. 

A girl came around the bend in the road right in front of my house just as he was rearing up with his mouth open at me. Bet that was quite a sight! She pulled over and jumped out of her car to take some pics before wishing me luck and driving off. I finally managed to get him across the road safely after that. 

Chelydra: Neobscurantismo

Chelydra es una banda oriunda del Distrito Federal que entre sonidos obscuros e influencia de distintas corrientes metaleras presenta en este 2014 su albúm debút Retrato Oval.

Neobscurantismo es un tema que refleja ciertos aspectos de la sociedad, en las cuales se sostiene la teoría de que la esclavitud no se abolió sino que se permutó por algo llamado “jornada laboral” y “código de vestir”.


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This female snapping turtle was on her way to nest when she was hit by a car and killed in Stone Harbor, New Jersey. Volunteers at The Wetlands Institute carefully made an incision, removed the eggs from the dead turtle, and incubated them. The hatchlings were then released.

Photo Credit: Zachary A. Cava

By all means snapping turtles should be handled with utmost care. Usually shy, they become aggressive when approached and attempted to be handled. Biting, snappers can reach far back, as far as about half of the carapace all the way back across it.

Here, this should be helpful for when you’re trying to be helpful.