Baby Snapper

upstate NY wildlife photographer

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If it weren’t for my two dogs, I probably wouldn’t come across half the stuff I do. Case in point, this baby snapping turtle.

A couple weeks ago they were digging like mad, throwing the sandy soil from underneath them as if perhaps there was hidden treasure buried there by Jack Sparrow himself. Obviously, there was indeed a treasure…just of the reptilian kind.

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upstate NY wildlife photographer

Snapping turtles kind of fall into the same category as snakes for me, you can never quite tell what they are thinking or how pissed off they really are. Who likes being bit anyway? Not this girl, I have a trigger finger to protect 😉

They are pretty cool in their own right though. They’ve been around for 200,000 years, they were around with the dinosaurs. They can live for 40 years. They submerge themselves in the mud with only their eyes/nostrils showing in order to ambush their prey. They will eat all sorts of stuff, pretty much whatever will present itself as an opportunity to not pass up. They mate in the fall, lay their eggs in June/July, and even more crazy- they can hold onto sperm for several seasons and use it when they are ready. The temperature the eggs are incubated at determines the sex of the offspring, eggs maintained at cooler than 80 degrees end up being males, warmer than 80, females.

upstate NY wildlife photographer

Some people think you can pick turtles up by the tail. Don’t, it’s a misconception and those tails aren’t as strong as you think.

I have to say, this snapper was probably one of the most un-enthused models I have ever worked with. The expression on its face speaks volumes.

K

 

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