John Deming found this snapping turtle in the yard.
Snapping turtles enjoy a long life. A web search suggests a lifespan of 30 years or more. One story tells of a 150 year old snapper. John Deming points out the tiny creature in the photo “could weigh 25 pounds in 50 years.” Snapping turtles are most vulnerable as hatchlings. Once they reach a certain size few natural predators threaten them, other than a car. John believes “seawalls have forced turtles to find nesting sites farther from the lake.”
Do snappers benefit humanity? John says “turtles and seagulls do us a favor by eating all sorts of dead things. And unlike seagulls, turtles don’t poop on your boat cover, although they have no problem eating ducklings and cygnets.”
Snappers may also go for bigger prey. George Hill describes how a turtle took down a swan at Clark Lake. Click here to read it.
Another story relates a sad car vs. turtle encounter. But in the same story, you can relive turtle hunts at Clark Lake–where kids went to find them, how they caught them, and what they did with them. Plus the story takes you back to a preferred way of getting close to them—early paddleboards at Clark Lake.
Buzz Belcher and Ted Ligibel and the Belcher’s paddleboard
And finally, Chuck Berry introduced turtle-connected concern in his 1972 hit “My Ding a Ling.” Google it, and listen to the last third of the song for his insight (content warning).